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  1. #1

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    As chosen by 174 of the world's leading composers (alive now ;o).

    JS Bach named as the Greatest Composer of All Time by today’s leading composers - Pianist

    The list is longer than 10 but these are the top 10:

    1. Johann Sebastian Bach2. Igor Stravinsky3. Ludwig van Beethoven4. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart5. Claude Debussy6. Gyorgy Ligeti7. Gustav Mahler8. Richard Wagner9. Maurice Ravel10. Claudio Monteverdi

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  3. #2

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    That’s great, but I’m missing the Czech composer Antonin Dvorak and the Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky on the list.

  4. #3

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    Glad Strav is on there.

  5. #4

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    no real surprises..ligeti maybe...but hes got that 2001 film clout!..stravinsky at 2?..no doubt jsb #1 tho...

    my personal 10 would be a little more arcane tho!! hah

    cheers

  6. #5

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    Nice to see Mahler do so well.

  7. #6

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    ps- hard not to see the red priest..the great antonio vivaldi in there...his mandolin pieces alone!!.. a giant!! #1 js bach studied vivaldi!!

    a classic!-





    cheers

  8. #7

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    No Smokey Robinson?!

  9. #8

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    Handel is not mentioned either.

  10. #9

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    Duke Ellington belongs on the list. typical dead white men BS.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by ronjazz
    Duke Ellington belongs on the list. typical dead white men BS.
    Big time...

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by ronjazz
    Duke Ellington belongs on the list. typical dead white men BS.
    Though I immediately thought of Duke those are some pretty heavy guys on that list despite their whiteness, maleness and deadness.

  13. #12

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    I haven't found the BBC poll listing of the top fifty.

    However, Duke made their list of the top 10 composers of the 20th century.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Elliott
    I haven't found the BBC poll listing of the top fifty.

    However, Duke made their list of the top 10 composers of the 20th century.
    I haven't seen the full list either. It was supposed to come out (in the magazine, Pianist) on Wednesday October 30th. I assume it has but is not yet online. Would like to see who else is on it and where they place.

  15. #14

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    Oh well. I don't like the music of four of these guys at all. And I'd put Mozart first. Am I weird, or is it in fact possible for such a list to please everyone? And is there a point to it in any case? And why isn't XXXXXXXXXXXXXX (insert name of your favourite composer/s who don't appear on the list?) not there?

    If this kind of thing has any value at all, I think it's probably as something to get a conversation going, which is of course exactly what it's doing here. So fair enough, more power to it's elbow.

    Also.....Smokey Robinson?

  16. #15

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    No, such a list can’t please everyone to 100 percent. We all have different musical tastes, even the 174 composers which’ve chosen all nominated. It would’ve been quite boring and weird if this list was accepted as a general rule in society.

  17. #16

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    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.

    Beethoven had this gift to a degree that leaves them all panting in the rear guard. When he really did it – as in the Funeral March of the Eroica – he produced an entity that always seems to me to have been previously written in Heaven, and then merely dictated to him. Not that the dictation was easily achieved. We know with what agonies he paid for listening to divine orders. But the reward is great. There is a special space carved out in the cosmos into which this movement just fits, predetermined and perfect.

    Bernstein’s friend, a British poet: Now you’re igniting.

    Leonard Bernstein: (deaf to everything but his own voice): Form is only an empty word, a shell, without this gift of inevitability; a composer can write a string of perfectly molded sonata-allegro movements, with every rule obeyed, and still suffer from bad form. Beethoven broke all the rules and turned out pieces of breath-taking rightness. Rightness - that’s the word! When you get the feeling that whatever note succeeds that last is the only possible note that can rightly happen at that instant, in that context, then chances are you’re listening to Beethoven. Melodies, fugues, rhythms - leave them to the Tchaikovskys and the Hindemiths and Ravels. Our boy has the real goods, the stuff from Heaven, the power to make you feel at the finish: Something is right in the world. There is something that checks throughout, that follows its own law consistently, something we can trust, that will never let us down.

    Bernstein’s friend: (quietly): But that is almost a definition of God.

    Leonard Bernstein: I meant it to be.

    Full text here: Genuine Music Legend Leonard Bernstein Asks: Why Beethoven? | rhap.so.dy in words
    Last edited by Tom Karol; 11-05-2019 at 02:41 PM.

  18. #17

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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.

    Beethoven had this gift to a degree that leaves them all panting in the rear guard. When he really did it – as in the Funeral March of the Eroica – he produced an entity that always seems to me to have been previously written in Heaven, and then merely dictated to him. Not that the dictation was easily achieved. We know with what agonies he paid for listening to divine orders. But the reward is great. There is a special space carved out in the cosmos into which this movement just fits, predetermined and perfect.

    Bernstein’s friend, a British poet: Now you’re igniting.

    Leonard Bernstein: (deaf to everything but his own voice): Form is only an empty word, a shell, without this gift of inevitability; a composer can write a string of perfectly molded sonata-allegro movements, with every rule obeyed, and still suffer from bad form. Beethoven broke all the rules and turned out pieces of breath-taking rightness. Rightness - that’s the word! When you get the feeling that whatever note succeeds that last is the only possible note that can rightly happen at that instant, in that context, then chances are you’re listening to Beethoven. Melodies, fugues, rhythms - leave them to the Tchaikovskys and the Hindemiths and Ravels. Our boy has the real goods, the stuff from Heaven, the power to make you feel at the finish: Something is right in the world. There is something that checks throughout, that follows its own law consistently, something we can trust, that will never let us down.

    Bernstein’s friend: (quietly): But that is almost a definition of God.

    Leonard Bernstein: I meant it to be.

    Full text here: Genuine Music Legend Leonard Bernstein Asks: Why Beethoven? | rhap.so.dy in words
    Now that is an insightful observation. Who am I to disagree with Lennie?

    I did have a history professor who was writing a book on post-Enlightenment artists, including Mozart; it was not completed prior to his death unfortunately. His thesis was that Mozart was the "best" composer of classical music, because not only was he prolific in every area of composing--solo sonatas, string quartets, symphonies, operas--but he was brilliant in each and every area.

    I will give Beethoven more breadth of feeling (though Mozart's Requiem, Die Zauberfloete and his late symphonies would give Ludwig a run for his money) but Ludwig only wrote one opera. Granted it was a masterpiece, but Mozart wrote 22 of them, most of them of superlative quality--starting from age ELEVEN...

    But back to the list. Any list which includes 70% safe choices and 30% head-scratchers is probably doing its job as click-bait.

    I am only a little familiar with Ligeti but don't see how he could end up on such a list. What about Arvo Part? Bela Bartok? Aaron Copland?

    Where are Handel, Haydn, Brahms, Schubert and Schumann? Monteverdi in favor of Vivaldi? Really?

    While I sympathize with including Ellington, I think the standard should be writing solo and symphonic music, i.e., for strings. If you want to expand it to large ensemble composition, then I think you would have some more contenders. Heck I would throw Miles Davis and Frank Zappa into the mix.

  19. #18

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    I'd like to see more recognition for Giovanni Gabrieli's works written with the reverberant qualities of the Cathedral of San Marco in Venice in mind. My mind, already prepared with The Ventures in Space to explore the possibilities of boinga-boinga, went wacka-wacka. Seriously magnificent music.

    Oh, and Bernstein was absolutely correct about. Ludwig van....

  20. #19

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    Lists. People do love they lists.

  21. #20

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    No Kanye West? Big mistake.

    Sent from my H8216 using Tapatalk

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Karol
    Bernstein’s friend, a British poet: Now you’re igniting.
    That summer at Tanglewood, his path crossed with that of the British poet Stephen Spender. Frieda Lawrence, the widow of author D.H. Lawrence, had offered Spender the use of her ranch some 15 miles north of Taos. The property had been given to her by local legend Mabel Dodge Luhan in 1924. (By way of thanks, Frieda Lawrence presented Mabel Dodge Luhan with the manuscript of her late husband’s novel Sons and Lovers.) After D.H. died, in 1930, Frieda opened the ranch’s gates to a procession of artistic types seeking seclusion in which to work, including Aldous Huxley, W.H. Auden, and Tennessee Williams

    Bernstein asked Spender if he could come along.

    Now read on.

  23. #22

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    I wonder what are the 10 greatest lists of all time.

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop
    I wonder what are the 10 greatest lists of all time.
    Here's 10 and then some.

    The Hundred Best Lists of All Time | The New Yorker

  25. #24

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    I don't see Willie Dixon, Lennon-McCartney, Rogers & Hart, Gershwin, Ellington, Coltrane, or Holland-Dozier-Holland on that list. I think there must have been a mistake at the printer.

    John

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Litterick
    That summer at Tanglewood, his path crossed with that of the British poet Stephen Spender. Frieda Lawrence, the widow of author D.H. Lawrence, had offered Spender the use of her ranch some 15 miles north of Taos. The property had been given to her by local legend Mabel Dodge Luhan in 1924. (By way of thanks, Frieda Lawrence presented Mabel Dodge Luhan with the manuscript of her late husband’s novel Sons and Lovers.) After D.H. died, in 1930, Frieda opened the ranch’s gates to a procession of artistic types seeking seclusion in which to work, including Aldous Huxley, W.H. Auden, and Tennessee Williams

    Bernstein asked Spender if he could come along.

    Now read on.
    That's great stuff. Lennie was not without his flaws, but what a character and a talent.

    He could be considered one of our great composers based on his orchestral and theatrical work.

  27. #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.

  28. #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.


  29. #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.

  30. #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.

  31. #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.

  32. #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.