Best Composer ever

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Re: Best Composer ever

Postby Yagan Kiely » Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:18 pm

For me, it seems next to impossible to say who the best composer is, for the simple fact that you cannot compare, for example, the Baroque period to the Romantic period in any objective way.
Emotively you can, that is one (of actually many) thing/s in common.

Brahms
Brahms's ideals weren't as entrenched in the Romantic, musical, mindset as others. His classicism in his writing sets him apart from many of his Romantic counterparts, so regardless of opinions of his greatness, is he really a great Romantic, or merely* a great composer?

best composer.
However, the best can be narrowed down to a tens.

*Sounds worse than it is.

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Re: Best Composer ever

Postby dwgmuse » Sun Sep 27, 2009 10:34 pm

Emotively you might come close, but that is not a particularly relevant issue.

I am speaking of the music itself, and not any emotions that that particular music may incur,
on account that there is no objectivity in doing that.

Most importantly, you have to look at what the composer has actually written. For example, in actuality,
Bach did not truly write anything original. He just took older music and stamped his own originality on to it.

More to the point, listen to Bach's Passacaglia in C minor, and then listen to Stravinsky's Rite of Spring.
Are you or anyone in the world able to 100% objectively compare the two works?
You could, of course somewhat compare Bach to Handel, that would be easier, but compare Bach to Stravinsky - -
for example......puleez, that is impossible.

So, what is a great composer? This can only be answered in a subjective way that is based upon a person's
background, especially the way they associate any music to their life, and their level of musical sophistication.

Try to compare a Strauss waltz to an extremely complex Messiaen organ selection. It cannot be done objectively
IN TERMS OF THE ACTUAL NOTES ON THE PAGE and, not how it makes anyone feel, or daydream, or think, etc.

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Re: Best Composer ever

Postby Yagan Kiely » Mon Sep 28, 2009 10:20 am

He just took older music and stamped his own originality on to it.
I fail to see the difference here to what ever other composer in history has done (to varying degrees of course). If that isn't original, then originality is a farce.

Bach to Stravinsky - -
You can easily compare compositional traits and musical elements, even compositional methods. They are (obviously) not as obvious as those from the Baroque era but there certainly are countless ways to look at it.

Bartok incorporates styles from medieval to early 20th century in his music.
Can you compare Stravinsky to Mozart? Stravinsky was neo-classical at a point in time.

It cannot be done objectively
IN TERMS OF THE ACTUAL NOTES ON THE PAGE and, not how it makes anyone feel, or daydream,
Of course it can. (I don't know) but there could be similarities (for example) in how they treat dissonances in certain situations; how they treat semitones etc. etc. To say that just because there are different styles they cannot be compared is ignoring a lot of what is in composition. Composition is as much a craft as it is an art.

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Re: Best Composer ever

Postby Sergeï » Mon Oct 05, 2009 1:27 pm

Taking music that already existing it and incorporating it into a new piece doesn't mean it isn't original or that it isn't creative. I'm thinking, in particular, about Brahms's 4th symphony, 4th movement, which is taken straight from Bach. Even though it already existed, in its new setting it is, at least in my opinion, an entirely new entity, and thus an original and creative work.

Speaking of Bach and Bramhs, I do believe you can compare works from different periods. Typically, I find that Brahms's Ein Deutsches Requiem is sometimes pure Mozart in its style (the second half of the 6th movement comes to mind), though written quite some time later.


Finally, regarding the question "who is your favourite composer", not only am I not sure everyone would have an answer -- I know I wouldn't! -- but I think it's more interesting to compare what we think than to just assert our preference :)
"We love art because life is not enough." - Fernando Pesora

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Re: Best Composer ever

Postby Sieglinde » Sat Oct 24, 2009 12:55 pm

I couldn't pick one. For example, I love Mozart more than Bach, but that doesn't make Bach lesser - it's just personal preference. (And I still look at Bach like a God too...)

In a novel the writer makes Puccini say: "Never compare geniuses. Only mediocrity has levels."

So I'm simply grateful we have so many great composers.

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Re: Best Composer ever

Postby Ender Wiggin » Tue Oct 27, 2009 3:05 am

My favorite is Chopin. But JS Bach is very close.

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Re: Best Composer ever

Postby allegroamabile » Tue Oct 27, 2009 3:42 am

"Never compare geniuses. Only mediocrity has levels."


Where is this from?

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Re: Best Composer ever

Postby mignonette » Fri Jan 01, 2010 12:26 pm

Chopin...

It really depends on the person..

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Re: Best Composer ever

Postby Sergeï » Sun Jan 17, 2010 1:09 am

Not only does it depend on the person, it also depends on the interpretation. Typically, Beethoven's 9th or Mozart's requiem are both extraordinary enough to make anyone say "thsi is the best composer ever"; however, when I hear the 9th by Maazel, or the Requiem by Abbado, I cringe.

This is, after all, one of the very distinct markings of "classical" music (quotation marks obviously put to distinguish classical the genre - as opposed to baroque, romantic, etc. - to classical as the general category used to classiy everything from Vivaldi to Bartok). Classical music does not exist on its own. You will never hear a piece by Mozart; what you will hear is a piece written by Mozart and performed by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, directed by Karl Böhm. And as it happens, what should have been the same piece can and will become a different piece depending not only on the artist - compare George Szell and Otto Klemperer's Eine Kleine Nacthmusik - but on the place: listening to a piece at home or at a concert are two very, very different things.


So yes, preferences depend on the person, but they depend on much more - hence the difficulty of really finding - if such a thing exists - a favourite composer.
"We love art because life is not enough." - Fernando Pesora

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Re: Best Composer ever

Postby Melodia » Sun Jan 17, 2010 6:53 am

Of course that discounts, ya know, getting to know the music itself externally from the performance.

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Re: Best Composer ever

Postby yourattentionplease » Thu Feb 18, 2010 2:51 pm

There can, of course, be no sane, rational doubt that the greatest composer ever was anyone but Dmitri Dmitrievich Shostakovich.

Bach and Mozart did not write music; they were talentless hacks who wrote muzak.

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Re: Best Composer ever

Postby pianogirl23 » Thu Feb 18, 2010 11:41 pm

I have to say Chopin and Rachmaninoff are the best composers ever. Chopin is sooo romantic and expressive. He makes great climaxes and utilizes practically every feeling there has to be in the world. I love his stuff sooo much... especially the complete nocturnes, preludes, etudes, and fantasie impromptu (although that can get a little over played like Liszt's liberstraum) and Rachmaninoff is sooo impassioned...i play Rachmaninoff whenever i feel like throwing myself into a piece... (you know what i mean??) i like his 2nd piano concerto, selected preludes, selected piano sonatas, and romance 4 6 hands
Mozart is awesome too b/c he's so playful...but music is all about feeling and sometimes i feel like mozart, haydn, and those guys can get too passe and repetitive...prokofiev and those contemporary composers are ok but it takes a lot to understand them...debussy is too gentle for my taste...music needs substance
oh and liszt isn't that bad either...but it's too flashy and he writes with no consideration for those with small hands (I reach no more than an octave)
except i absolutely adore his romance in e minor
Last edited by pianogirl23 on Wed Jul 07, 2010 5:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Best Composer ever

Postby simplicissimus » Sat Feb 20, 2010 10:14 am

Piotr Ilitch Tchaïkovski

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Re: Best Composer ever

Postby Mavr » Sat Feb 20, 2010 2:24 pm

In my opinion - Frédéric Chopin
Interesting and rare classical sheet music at http://rare-sheet-music.blogspot.com

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Re: Best Composer ever

Postby dr927 » Tue May 25, 2010 4:37 am

yourattentionplease wrote:There can, of course, be no sane, rational doubt that the greatest composer ever was anyone but Dmitri Dmitrievich Shostakovich.

Bach and Mozart did not write music; they were talentless hacks who wrote muzak.


I love Shostakovich as much as the next 20th century Russian music lover, but this is just a little bit ridiculous.


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