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  1. #26

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    The full list will be published in the December edition of BBC Music Magazine.

    For those lamenting the absence of Chris Rea or indignant that Johnny Mercer has been overlooked once again, this is how the list was compiled. The BBC asked 174 living composers to name "five composers from throughout history who they considered to be the greatest, according to four main criteria: originality, impact, craftsmanship and enjoyability.”

    Since the composers they polled work in the classical tradition (or concert or whatever you want to call it), it is no surprise that the composers who emerged from their votes as favourites were also from that tradition. Were the BBC to ask jazz artists the same question, they would probably get jazz answers. Singer-songwriters would most likely choose people who sang and wrote songs.

    But people in the classical tradition are expected to be more open to other genres than anyone working in those genres, because of some peculiar reverse snobbery. Composers who write complex musical works for orchestras are expected to bow down before the writers of pop songs. So outrage breaks out whenever a poll of this kind is conducted.

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  3. #27

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    In my opinion Arvo Pärt from Estonia is one of the best contemporary composers. ”Für Alina” is a masterpiece that I feel deserves more attention today.


  4. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bbmaj7#5#9
    In my opinion Arvo Pärt from Estonia is one of the best contemporary composers. ”Für Alina” is a masterpiece that I feel deserves more attention today.
    Hear, hear!

    The Estonians hit WELL above their weight. Heino Eller, Eduard Tubin and the great choral composer Veljo Tormis should all be lauded.

    I met Veljo Tormis once, as my former FIL is Estonian and my BIL lived in Estonia at the time. (My nephew Jonas Tarm is an up-and-coming conductor and composer who is performed frequently in Estonia.) We were attending a concert of Tormis' and other choral works performed in Tallinn.

    I haven't met Arvo Part, but my ex-wife was on a plane with him once and got his autograph for me. He is one of my favorite composers. I think his masterwork as an album is Te Deum, but all the ECM recordings are pristine and compelling. Fuer Alina is also a beautiful work.

    It is interesting how such a small country surrounded by often-hostile states could produce such a wealth of musical art. The Estonians are influenced culturally by Finland, with whom they share a similar language, as well as by Germany and Russia. I would say their composers prior to Part anyway were working in the same language as Jean Sibelius and many of the prominent Scandinavian composers.

  5. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bbmaj7#5#9
    In my opinion Arvo Pärt from Estonia is one of the best contemporary composers. ”Für Alina” is a masterpiece that I feel deserves more attention today.
    I had never heard of him before recently googling something like "music to play during dying" and ended up having Pandora play a lot of his music for my dad during his final days in home hospice.

  6. #30

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    In the top ten those are big names of course, but I really do not understand how Béla Bartók is not there. I know ten is a small place, and Bartók can be placed there in the cost of removing another, but except of Bach, Beethoven and Mozart all others in the list are questionable for Bartók.

  7. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Karol
    Leonard Bernstein on, Why Beethoven is the greatest composer of all time:

    Leonard Bernstein: Many, many composers have been able to write heavenly tunes and respectable fugues. Some composers can orchestrate the C-major scale so that it sounds like a masterpiece, or fool with notes so that a harmonic novelty is achieved. But this is all mere dust - nothing compared to the magic ingredient sought by them all: the inexplicable ability to know what the next note has to be.
    Very passionate, hard to arguing. Interestingly I used to think similar about Brahms when listening. Well not exactly as Bernstein said about Beethoven but something like this: No note can be missed, all is necessary, no more can be placed, how this man (Brahms) could create this perfection?

    When It came to my mind, then realized Brahms is also left from this list, I do not know how can I not realized it for first read. Brahms is probably underrated... In my list he is in the top five.