Best Composer ever

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Re: Best Composer ever

Postby FFChopin1849 » Sun May 30, 2010 6:03 pm

My favorite: Chopin (as my username might suggest)
The "best": I would have to go with Beethoven, and Bach being a close second.

Whoever posted that one's favorite composer is one that closely resembles them, I think they were right on. I've never thought about that before, but it seems to be pretty accurate :)

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Re: Best Composer ever

Postby Raftuniversity » Tue Jun 29, 2010 2:24 am

I would say Erich Wolfgang Korngold

Beautiful melodies like Puccini
Massive thrilling orchestras like R.Strauss
Epic climactic phrases like Mahler
Heart wrenching songwriting like Zemlinsky
Prodigious talent like Mozart
Tragic life story/alienation like Rossini

Korngold covers all the bases. I wish orchestras and opera houses would program his music...

Of course most romantic composers get judged in the context of beethoven, and his bust is the only one in boston symphony hall.

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Re: Best Composer ever

Postby dwil9798 » Tue Jun 29, 2010 4:42 am

Raftuniversity wrote:I would say Erich Wolfgang Korngold

Beautiful melodies like Puccini
Massive thrilling orchestras like R.Strauss
Epic climactic phrases like Mahler
Heart wrenching songwriting like Zemlinsky
Prodigious talent like Mozart
Tragic life story/alienation like Rossini

Korngold covers all the bases. I wish orchestras and opera houses would program his music...


The most underrated opera of all time is Korngold's Das Wunder der Heliane without a doubt. It is a great opera that totally outshines Die Tote Stadt. I don't know if that qualifies him as the best.

I don't think I've added any input to this topic, so I'll say that I personally believe Richard Wagner the greatest composer. He was a brilliant orchestrator and vocal writer, wrote beautiful melodies, reformed the opera world, was extremely innovative, and revolutionized harmony as well as staging for operas. He did it all.

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Re: Best Composer ever

Postby vinteuil » Tue Jun 29, 2010 10:18 pm

dwil9798 wrote:I don't think I've added any input to this topic, so I'll say that I personally believe Richard Wagner the greatest composer...He did it all.

Except for Chamber Music :P.

"Greatest" is always hard, because "greatest" is largely a measure of later views of a composer's music. However, I'll say that I think that Bach is a reasonably good answer, if only for his sheer technical capabilities and versatility.
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Re: Best Composer ever

Postby dwil9798 » Tue Jun 29, 2010 11:40 pm

perlnerd666 wrote:
dwil9798 wrote:I don't think I've added any input to this topic, so I'll say that I personally believe Richard Wagner the greatest composer...He did it all.

Except for Chamber Music :P.


Siegfried Idyll?!?!?!?!? String Quartet?!?!?!?!?!? :P

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Re: Best Composer ever

Postby vinteuil » Tue Jun 29, 2010 11:48 pm

2 as compared to 13 operas?
besides, Siegfried-Idyll is for chamber orchestra. And the string quartet is not at all representative of his style as a composer.
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Re: Best Composer ever

Postby KGill » Wed Jun 30, 2010 12:18 am

Kind of like Verdi in that respect... (i.e. the string quartet)

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Re: Best Composer ever

Postby vinteuil » Wed Jun 30, 2010 12:39 am

Yeah, but Verdi wrote representative sacred music at least, unlike our friend Richie. :)
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Re: Best Composer ever

Postby dwil9798 » Wed Jun 30, 2010 1:45 am

perlnerd666 wrote:Yeah, but Verdi wrote representative sacred music at least, unlike our friend Richie. :)


I would hardly say Verdi is "better" than Wagner though, and I think even people who don't like Wagner would agree with that.

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Re: Best Composer ever

Postby Raftuniversity » Wed Jun 30, 2010 2:09 am

I can't believe people are arguing against the notion that one could believe that wagner is the greatest composer ever...

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Re: Best Composer ever

Postby vinteuil » Wed Jun 30, 2010 11:32 pm

A challenge! :lol:

“Wagner is a composer who has beautiful moments but awful quarter hours”
“One can't judge Wagner's opera Lohengrin after a first hearing, and I certainly don't intend to hear it a second time”
--Rossini

The first one is a good reason to consider that someone like Bach, who has almost no "awful" moments, someone like Varèse who had the consideration to destroy the works that are not as close to perfect as the extant ones, someone like Monteverdi who has an incredible track record of good compositions through his entire prolific career, or even someone like Chopin whose mature works are all outstanding examples of their kind might be "greater."
dwil9798 wrote:
perlnerd666 wrote:Yeah, but Verdi wrote representative sacred music at least, unlike our friend Richie. :)


I would hardly say Verdi is "better" than Wagner though, and I think even people who don't like Wagner would agree with that.

I would totally agree, BTW. That's sort of the point.
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Re: Best Composer ever

Postby dwil9798 » Thu Jul 01, 2010 3:15 am

perlnerd666 wrote:“Wagner is a composer who has beautiful moments but awful quarter hours”
“One can't judge Wagner's opera Lohengrin after a first hearing, and I certainly don't intend to hear it a second time”
--Rossini


"I can never listen to that much Wagner, it always gives me the urge to conquer Poland"

It's true Bach never has awful moments in his music, but by those standards Beethoven would be out of the running due his poor track record. And you have to take into account a composer's innovativeness. Bach was a extremely innovative when it came to counterpoint, but maybe not as innovative with harmony as Gesualdo. And Schnittke was certainly more innovative than Shostakovich, but for different reasons. It's a tough call.

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Re: Best Composer ever

Postby vinteuil » Thu Jul 01, 2010 6:51 pm

That's why there's never concensus :)
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Re: Best Composer ever

Postby Niels » Thu Jul 22, 2010 11:34 am

In some way is Liszt maybe one of the greatest composers ever.
Even though he is known for his virtuosity on the piano, that is only a small part of his music. He did much more than that. He was probably the first atonal composer (Bagatelle sans Tonalité, which was published in 1885), he was the inventor of the symphonic poem (which later was developed by Strauss), and he was very original. Liszt was also an important figure in the new German school of the 19th century
Charles Rosen said about the Don Juan Reminscenes that every note was still Mozart, but that also every note proved Liszt originality.
What do you think?

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Re: Best Composer ever

Postby KGill » Thu Jul 22, 2010 8:43 pm

My personal opinion of Liszt is that while he may have some inventiveness to his credit, there isn't much else to set him apart from the crowd. His music is melodramatic to the point of being tiresome and overly romanticized (except for a few very, very late works). Really, apart from the works everyone thinks of to demonstrate his inventiveness (e.g. the Bagatelle), his music was rather ordinary, although at least fairly technically skillful (I mean in compositional craft, not piano technique), unlike someone like Mendelssohn. (I really can't understand why that guy is famous...) I think of him as largely a composer of showpieces and encore music, with a handful of works with real musical depth.


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