Skip to comments.The Greatest [Top Ten Composers of all time revealed!]
Posted on 01/23/2011 1:38:09 PM PST by Pharmboy
HERE goes. This article completes my two-week project to select the top 10 classical music composers in history, not including those still with us.
Left, 1. Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750). From top left, 2. Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827), 3. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 91). 4. Franz Peter Schubert (1797-1828). From middle left, 5. Claude Achille Debussy (1862 1918), 6. Igor Stravinsky (1882 1971), 7. Johannes Brahms (1833 97). From bottom left, 8. Giuseppe Verdi (1813 1901), 9. Richard Wagner (1813 83), 10. Bela Bartok (1881 1945).
I am about to reveal my list, though as those who have been with me on this quest already know, Ive dropped hints... And the winner, the all-time great, is ... Bach!
My top spot goes to Bach, for his matchless combination of masterly musical engineering (as one reader put it) and profound expressivity. Since writing about Bach in the first article of this series I have been thinking more about the perception that he was considered old-fashioned in his day. Haydn was 18 when Bach died, in 1750, and Classicism was stirring. Bach was surely aware of the new trends. Yet he reacted by digging deeper into his way of doing things. In his austerely beautiful Art of Fugue, left incomplete at his death, Bach reduced complex counterpoint to its bare essentials, not even indicating the instrument (or instruments) for which these works were composed.
On his own terms he could be plenty modern. Though Bach never wrote an opera, he demonstrated visceral flair for drama in his sacred choral works...
The obvious candidates for the second and third slots are Mozart and Beethoven. If you were to compare just Mozarts orchestral and instrumental music to Beethovens, that would be a pretty even match....
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Id certainly stick Vivaldi in there, and a few other earlier composers, while axing Stravinsky”
Hmmmmmm.....I suppose this is a conservative website, after all.
But, wow, that’s ....an ...interesting substitution!
Bach’s music is academic. It can be quite revealing if you are taking it apart note by note and using it for study.. but not much else in terms of listening enjoyment. Just my opinion. But as a composer, Mozart has no equal. There’s Mozart, and there’s everybody else.
I’m with you. Where is Handel?
Mozart should be first. And where is Rossini? This *is* a pathetic Liszt. (Where is Franz?)
With exceptions of course, such as the Partita no 3.
A personal favourite of mine Felix Mendehlsson.....but probably not innovative enough to make the top ten.
I am just relieved the VERDI is on the list. I am surprised Tchaikovsky is not. He did it all. Opera, ballet, orchestra, piano. His Nutcracker is some of the greatest music ever written. Too sentimental, I guess.
I’d toss Wagner off the list and put Mahler on. Toss Stravinsky and Bartok off and replace with Handel and Haydn.
What about John Lennon?
Like comparing apples, oranges, star fruit, pineapple, and prunes ugh.. plums.. and maybe raisins or grapes..
Then you must have never heard Fernandino Carulli.
The video accompanying this article is very good...and only 7 minutes long. Very well worth watching!
No Prokofiev or Dvorak or Janacek?
No Hayden, Chopin, Tchaikovsky, or Schumann? This list is a joke.
Bartok and Debussy make it? Please.
Nothing new. Brilliant, but nothing new.
Can Lennon really stand on his own...without McCartney and George Martin?
I never saw a picture of Bartok. Funny, I expected him to look like Bela Lugosi.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.