Brahms real talent...

Sapphire
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Post by Sapphire » Tue Nov 07, 2006 6:55 pm

BWV 1080 wrote:
Brahms wrote:
Great interview. It's entirely likely that Schumann remains one of the most underrated composers of all time.
Its difficult to see how Schumann is underrated if he is widely held (and fairly so) to be one of the greatest and most influential early Romantic composers - easily the peer of Chopin and Liszt
I think the point is that it's sometimes said that Schumann's contribution outside solo piano was not great, and some even say his compositional technique for larger orchestral works was a bit "iffy". It's also alleged by some that his later works suffered a quality deterioration. Isserlis is saying he doesn't agree with any of this, and therefore Schumann should be rated more highly. All these counter-alllegations have been made by others, but Isserlis is a highly respected musician and is the latest to make them in this Schumann's anniversary year (he died in 1856).

I've seen a longer version of this interview in which he is very critical of Clara Schumann for adopting a paranoid attitude with regard to preventing the publication of various late works she considered inferior (or tainted). Having said this, Clara - a brilliant musician - certainly recognised high quality music and she was unstinting in her many public performances in show-casing her husbands works. (Jack and Karl, I bet those performances were something, ay?)

To anyone who listens to his Piano Concerto, 4 wonderful symphonies, piano quintet, beautiful song cycles, and tons more, Schumann's extraodinary all-round abilties are obvious. To many he is seen to be just another Romantic, but I feel that he should be rated among the top Romantics. I'm sure from what I've seen of late there is a growing interest in Schumann. Let's hope it continues because his works contain a real treasure chest of goodies that more should enjoy. In many ways I actually prefer Schumann to several other 19th C notables. Bearing in mind he produced all this while suffering from bipolar disorder (serious depression) is all the more remarkable. He was only 46 when he died and the last two years were in hospital. Very sad indeed.


Saphire

Opus132
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Post by Opus132 » Tue Nov 07, 2006 10:12 pm

diegobueno wrote:Paul,

Do you really prefer to hear notes that have no purpose?
More to point, can you find a composer more tightly controlled and purposeful then Debussy or Webern, the latter having wrote the most tightly controlled and purposeful music ever?

paulb
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Post by paulb » Tue Nov 07, 2006 10:57 pm

diegobueno wrote:Paul,

Do you really prefer to hear notes that have no purpose?
Well what I mean is the way Debusy and Ravel arranges their piano works. I mean just listen to them. We just slap the term, "impressionISM" on their solo piano workd, and "done deal", we've got it all boxed up nicely.

I've been listening to Ravel and Debussy 25 yrs and today as I hear Roge's cd2 of his Decca release, its playing for the 3rd time this evening , and may hear it a 4th.


Take Webern's I Mark I know this is THE composer you had in mind with your comment, "no purpose") short little 1 minute leider for soprano and piano.
Just one of those pieces works a spell on me, so powerful that I'm locked into a trance. I can't explain the feelings. Its like a out-the-body sensation.

Just now playing is Debussy's La Cathedrale Engloutie. What words can I use to describe the emotional content of this 6:21 work.
These 12 Preludes Bk1, is as if there are 12 parts of A Symphony Of Preludes, or Preludes Symphonique.

No time to go into Ravel's "notes without a sense of purpose"

Yes give me the 'senseless", the "wayward spirit", the 'boundless"...away with that germanic structured, mechanical, matter of factness, variations on my "romantic" little theme....music style.

I've always felt "yucked" with that germanic form. And Chopin is not exempt from my brash and uncouth opinions.

Though i am german by my mothers side, I think i fit more the figure of the wayward fool in the germanic folk tales. The twin borther to the hero. The fool always sees things others completely miss, thats if he survives his idiotacy.

Away ye brazen tutonics, ye titans, go conquor other lands, leave me in peace.
Give me the fairy land, places where only the soul can find the paths. A journey where the mind must be left at the gate, and so the Soul now can breathe and live.

They say, at least its of old jewish legend, that when a man dies, his last thoughts will come fulfilled. But why wait to the end, my hope is that i will get to hear Debussy and Ravel in my afterlife.
Otherwise how could i call that place, Heaven?

Oh gee, i forgot, Debussy and Ravel were professed, ATHEISTS.
Shame on me worshipping works of "the unsaved". "the heathen" :wink:
Psalm 118:22 The Stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.
23 This is the Lord's doing , it is marvelous in our sight.

paulb
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Post by paulb » Tue Nov 07, 2006 10:59 pm

Opus132 wrote:
diegobueno wrote:Paul,

Do you really prefer to hear notes that have no purpose?
More to point, can you find a composer more tightly controlled and purposeful then Debussy or Webern, the latter having wrote the most tightly controlled and purposeful music ever?
My goodness you should have waited.
Did I answer your question?

One of us may be a bit deaf. What else could it be? :roll:
Psalm 118:22 The Stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.
23 This is the Lord's doing , it is marvelous in our sight.

paulb
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Post by paulb » Tue Nov 07, 2006 11:09 pm

Brahms wrote:
paulb wrote: man give me Prokofiev, Berg, Webern, Schonberg, Debussy, Ravel...many others. Whose approach is totally opposed to the form you described. At least thats how my ears hear it.
Prokofiev often composed very much within the rubric outlined in my post ("tightly controlled" etc). Take a gander at his 3rd Piano Concerto, wherein Prokofiev wielded extremely tight reins to sculpt and control the motivic kernels permeating all 3 movements. The same can be said for his 5th Symphony and 2nd Violin Concerto.

Schoenberg worshipped Brahms, and harbored nothing but deep-seated respect for Brahms' meticulous craftsmanship.

Ravel and Debussy had very different goals than Brahms, and their music resides in a different galaxy than Brahms, Beethoven, Schumann, Schubert, etc.

Prokofiev's 6,7,8 piano sonatas as 'structured? huh?
His 2nd sym as structued?

Schonberg took the best of the romantic era and magnified it to a brilliant and dazzling level of splendor. His 6 sq's all his chamnber, his choral, all his neo-romantic early yrs.

"Debussy and Ravel...their music resides in another galaxy..." I think my above post would suggest that I am from another planet.
Trust me, I'm not on drugs as some here are joking, "you must be on the paulb tab"
I am from another galaxy., can i please get the hospitality and respect any foreign dignitary would receive from nation to nation.

btw this must explain my deep desire to find my way to...southeast Arizona. And you thought we landed in New Mexico :wink:
Or is this the smiley appropriate :twisted:
Last edited by paulb on Wed Nov 08, 2006 6:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
Psalm 118:22 The Stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.
23 This is the Lord's doing , it is marvelous in our sight.

paulb
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Post by paulb » Tue Nov 07, 2006 11:21 pm

karlhenning wrote: , you rogue! :D
Fact is, Paul, "every note/phrase/figure having an essential purpose" -- far from being at all opposed to these composers -- is strikingly appropriate for Prokofiev, Berg, Webern, Schoenberg, Debussy & Ravel.

I cannot answer for why your ears don't hear that.

You're going to be incarcerated someday for this wilful murder of cultural history, mon vieux 8)

Cheers,
~Karl
If my views are counted as "appauling, even seditious" then rogue am I.

Karl you know the idea I'm getting at.
I just listened to one minute 20 seconds of the Beethoven sonata, violin/piano, Brahms 2 sonatas violin/piano/David oistrakh. Thats structured , in the sense that each phrase has a beginning and this emblished little ending. Then starts another, picking up on the theme, the piano does little trills or pounding some notes as back up, just to let the violin know "I'm here with you, keep going violin".
"hey piano, whatever I say , you repeat, OK?...Yeah violin thats cool"
Psalm 118:22 The Stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.
23 This is the Lord's doing , it is marvelous in our sight.

paulb
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Post by paulb » Tue Nov 07, 2006 11:28 pm

Uh oh, i just got a PM asking if I knew anything about if/why GMG site is down. Said had no idea.

I see it is down...must be on good behavoir...reinforcements from the 'romantic bergade" will soon be arriving.
Retreat!!! :P
Psalm 118:22 The Stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.
23 This is the Lord's doing , it is marvelous in our sight.

Jack Kelso
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Post by Jack Kelso » Wed Nov 08, 2006 1:23 am

BWV 1080 wrote:
Brahms wrote:
Great interview. It's entirely likely that Schumann remains one of the most underrated composers of all time.
Its difficult to see how Schumann is underrated if he is widely held (and fairly so) to be one of the greatest and most influential early Romantic composers - easily the peer of Chopin and Liszt
That's just the point: he's more than the "peer of Chopin and Liszt", since (in addition to his songs and piano works) his orchestral, chamber and choral works put him in the front rank of the greatest of composers.

Jack
"Schumann's our music-maker now." ---Robert Browning

karlhenning
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Post by karlhenning » Wed Nov 08, 2006 8:16 am

paulb wrote:
karlhenning wrote: Fact is, Paul, "every note/phrase/figure having an essential purpose" -- far from being at all opposed to these composers -- is strikingly appropriate for Prokofiev, Berg, Webern, Schoenberg, Debussy & Ravel.

I cannot answer for why your ears don't hear that.

You're going to be incarcerated someday for this wilful murder of cultural history, mon vieux 8)

Cheers,
~Karl
. . . Karl you know the idea I'm getting at.
No, I don't, Paul, for the post of yours to which I respond above, is unintelligible.

Not appalling, not maverick, not rogueish.

Just unintelligible.

Cheers,
~Karl
Karl Henning, PhD
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston, Massachusetts
http://members.tripod.com/~Karl_P_Henning/
http://henningmusick.blogspot.com/
Published by Lux Nova Press
http://www.luxnova.com/

BWV 1080
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Post by BWV 1080 » Wed Nov 08, 2006 8:35 am

Jack Kelso wrote:
That's just the point: he's more than the "peer of Chopin and Liszt", since (in addition to his songs and piano works) his orchestral, chamber and choral works put him in the front rank of the greatest of composers.

Jack
No, that makes him the peer of Chopin and Liszt, who are well in the front rank of the greatest composers

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Post by Jack Kelso » Wed Nov 08, 2006 9:07 am

BWV 1080 wrote:
Jack Kelso wrote:
That's just the point: he's more than the "peer of Chopin and Liszt", since (in addition to his songs and piano works) his orchestral, chamber and choral works put him in the front rank of the greatest of composers.

Jack
No, that makes him the peer of Chopin and Liszt, who are well in the front rank of the greatest composers
Now, don't get me wrong---Liszt was great in his own way. But how many composers belong in that region of "greatEST"?

I've read a lot of musicology, but I've never read anyone who would rank Liszt with Handel, Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann, Wagner or Brahms----but then again, perhaps he's one of your favorites.

I can enjoy Liszt works very much ---and am very well acquainted with Liszt's 2 piano concerti, ALL the 13 sym. poems, the "Dante" and "Faust" symphonies as well as the sonata in b minor, dozens of his transcriptions, many piano and a few organ works. Even by his own admission, his own creative talents did not land him into the company above. Liszt is almost always at least interesting or stirring, but seldom sublime.

Chopin's piano output could be said to equal Schumann's in many respects, but where are the songs, chamber, orchestral and choral and dramatic works where Schumann went beyond him?

Schumann's music is simply richer in texture, deeper and more profound in expression, broader in scope.

Would you regard Karl Orff the equal of Hindemith?

Jack
"Schumann's our music-maker now." ---Robert Browning

BWV 1080
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Post by BWV 1080 » Wed Nov 08, 2006 10:22 am

Jack Kelso wrote:
BWV 1080 wrote:
Jack Kelso wrote:
That's just the point: he's more than the "peer of Chopin and Liszt", since (in addition to his songs and piano works) his orchestral, chamber and choral works put him in the front rank of the greatest of composers.

Jack
No, that makes him the peer of Chopin and Liszt, who are well in the front rank of the greatest composers
Now, don't get me wrong---Liszt was great in his own way. But how many composers belong in that region of "greatEST"?

I've read a lot of musicology, but I've never read anyone who would rank Liszt with Handel, Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann, Wagner or Brahms----but then again, perhaps he's one of your favorites.

I can enjoy Liszt works very much ---and am very well acquainted with Liszt's 2 piano concerti, ALL the 13 sym. poems, the "Dante" and "Faust" symphonies as well as the sonata in b minor, dozens of his transcriptions, many piano and a few organ works. Even by his own admission, his own creative talents did not land him into the company above. Liszt is almost always at least interesting or stirring, but seldom sublime.

Chopin's piano output could be said to equal Schumann's in many respects, but where are the songs, chamber, orchestral and choral and dramatic works where Schumann went beyond him?

Schumann's music is simply richer in texture, deeper and more profound in expression, broader in scope.

Would you regard Karl Orff the equal of Hindemith?

Jack
If you really read alot of musicology, you would not be thinking in terms of lists of Greatest Composers of All Time(tm). You would be thinking of who were the leading lights of early Romanticism. That list is topped by Schumann, Liszt and Chopin. Beside, I found the official list of Greatest Composers of All Time(tm), here:
http://www.digitaldreamdoor.com/pages/b ... -comp.html

and Schumann is number 14, well behind Chopin at 8 but ahead of Liszt at 22

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Post by Jack Kelso » Thu Nov 09, 2006 1:23 am

BWV 1080 wrote:You would be thinking of who were the leading lights of early Romanticism. That list is topped by Schumann, Liszt and Chopin. Beside, I found the official list of Greatest Composers of All Time(tm), here:
http://www.digitaldreamdoor.com/pages/b ... -comp.html

and Schumann is number 14, well behind Chopin at 8 but ahead of Liszt at 22
Serves you right if you believe the manufacturers of that list. That is pure pop-musicology, and has as much to do with real musical analysis as astrology does with astronomy.

Wagner behind Tschaikowsky is silly. Schubert and Brahms are placed too high and this potpouri was obviously made without the slightest regard to any of Schumann's oratorios, dramatic works, late compositions and analysis of his harmonies.

But the list DOES serve one purpose: it definitely underlines what Saphire, Karl, Brahms (the poster) I and others have been saying----Schumann is blatently underrated.

So go ahead and put on Liszt's "Mazeppa" (or "Les Prèludes" or "Tasso") and then play an overture by Schumann ("Manfred") or Brahms ("Tragic") and see if you can tell the difference in profundity, spirituality and depth. The proof, as they say, is in the pudding.

Good listening!
Jack

Jack
"Schumann's our music-maker now." ---Robert Browning

Brahms
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Post by Brahms » Thu Nov 09, 2006 3:04 am

BWV 1080 wrote:My only point was that I do not care for Brahm's melding of his Romanic tonal language with classical sonata forms and prefer the variations and character pieces.
BWV 1080: how, specifically, would you restructure the materials Brahms used in his symphonies so as to avoid the classical sonata-form constraints? Would you recast the Third and Fourth Symphonies as a tone poems? Or would you scrap them altogether, deeming the music as unworthy?

If you can arrive at a better way to restructure and "liberate" these masterpieces, you should do so.

Jack Kelso
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Post by Jack Kelso » Thu Nov 09, 2006 3:19 am

Brahms wrote:
BWV 1080 wrote:My only point was that I do not care for Brahm's melding of his Romanic tonal language with classical sonata forms and prefer the variations and character pieces.
BWV 1080: how, specifically, would you restructure the materials Brahms used in his symphonies so as to avoid the classical sonata-form constraints? Would you recast the Third and Fourth Symphonies as a tone poems? Or would you scrap them altogether, deeming the music as unworthy?

If you can arrive at a better way to restructure and "liberate" these masterpieces, you should do so.
Good point, Brahms. Other 19th-century masters have poured romantic content into classical molds, too.

I'm yet to read about this quality of Brahms being flawed in any way.

Jack
"Schumann's our music-maker now." ---Robert Browning

Sapphire
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Post by Sapphire » Thu Nov 09, 2006 3:54 am

Jack Kelso wrote:
BWV 1080 wrote:You would be thinking of who were the leading lights of early Romanticism. That list is topped by Schumann, Liszt and Chopin. Beside, I found the official list of Greatest Composers of All Time(tm), here:
http://www.digitaldreamdoor.com/pages/b ... -comp.html

and Schumann is number 14, well behind Chopin at 8 but ahead of Liszt at 22
Serves you right if you believe the manufacturers of that list. That is pure pop-musicology, and has as much to do with real musical analysis as astrology does with astronomy.

Wagner behind Tschaikowsky is silly. Schubert and Brahms are placed too high and this potpouri was obviously made without the slightest regard to any of Schumann's oratorios, dramatic works, late compositions and analysis of his harmonies.

But the list DOES serve one purpose: it definitely underlines what Saphire, Karl, Brahms (the poster) I and others have been saying----Schumann is blatently underrated.

So go ahead and put on Liszt's "Mazeppa" (or "Les Prèludes" or "Tasso") and then play an overture by Schumann ("Manfred") or Brahms ("Tragic") and see if you can tell the difference in profundity, spirituality and depth. The proof, as they say, is in the pudding.

Good listening!
Jack

Jack

DDD's list of "greatest composers" has been quite heavily revised recently, but the details haven't yet been posted on the main site. Schumann has been "promoted" from 14 to 11, Chopin demoted from 8 to to 12 and Liszt upgarded from 22 to 15. The biggest change is that Wagner has been bumped up from 9 to 4.

DDD produce lists on several music areas (greatest symphonies, piano concertos, chamber etc). There is obviously nothing "official" about any of their lists. They are compiled on various criteria, and are periodically debated and adjusted according to the views of an arbitrary bunch of classical music fans who happen to log in. That's mainly what DDD exists for, namely to allow debate and amend "top 100" lists of classical and other music.

I must say that I have found DDD's classical music lists very useful in building up my CD collection. I don't take the exact rankings literally and nor should anyone else. I reckon it's far more useful to have DDD-style structured lists by genre than the kind of thing that so ludicrously passes off as "advice" on several other sources. The point is that all the main works are listed on DDD in at least a rough order of quality. I'd finish up with a right load of rubbish if I took too much notice of some of the highly dubious stuff that gets posted here. I only come mainly here for a chat, not advice!



Saphire

Jack Kelso
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Post by Jack Kelso » Thu Nov 09, 2006 4:59 am

Yes, indeed---lists are a lot of fun to make, but nothing more. The one from "most popular composers on SWR2 German radio" began:

1. Mozart
2. J.S. Bach
3. Beethoven
4. Schumann
5. Haydn
6. Schubert
7. Brahms
8. Mendelssohn
9. Dvorâk
10. Wagner

...and was based on six weeks research of the radio guides. Again, nothing that can be taken seriously....but it DOES show some variance in popularity of certain composers compared to Anglo-Saxon lists.

Jack
"Schumann's our music-maker now." ---Robert Browning

val
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Post by val » Thu Nov 09, 2006 5:42 am

The one from "most popular composers on SWR2 German radio" began:

1. Mozart
2. J.S. Bach
3. Beethoven
4. Schumann
5. Haydn
6. Schubert
7. Brahms
8. Mendelssohn
9. Dvorâk
10. Wagner

It is not a coincidence that 9 of the then composers are germans (in a general meaning of the word).
That is natural, since the enquiry was made to a german public.
The results would be different if the question was put in a russian, italian or french radio.

As for me, I deeply agree with the list above: I would only take Dvorak and Mendelssohn and replace them by Debussy and Schönberg (or Stravinsky).

Sapphire
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Post by Sapphire » Thu Nov 09, 2006 7:35 am

Jack, Brahms, Val and Others

DDD Greatest Composer List

Further to my previous post, and others, I give below the latest DDD list of "greatest composers". Unlike the German radio list, this one at least purports to be universal. It's certainly not just based on CD sales, or current popularity in any sense. It tries to be more objective than that. For example, it took into account "influence" and it factored in the Kentucky list, which I suspect at least one or two know about given tell-tale signs from various previous posts.

At the end of the day any list of "greatest composers" is obviously going to be affected by personel choice, even though it is supposed to be based on wholly objective criteria. The DDD list is no exception. On the whole, however, I think it's not bad. I stress it does not accurately reflect my personal tastes: I would have Schumann much higher and Haydn lower, for example.

It's interesting to note that Schnittke and Pettersson don't get a look-in anywhere, not even in the lowest depths of the "honourable mentions" (bum-end!) department. They must be very lowly rated, because there are dozens of others.

Here it is the latest DDD list of Greatest Composers (top 30 only given):

1. Ludwig Van Beethoven - 1770-1827
2. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - 1756-1791
3. Johann Sebastian Bach - 1685-1750
4. Richard Wagner - 1813-1883
5. Joseph Haydn - 1732-1809
6. Johannes Brahms - 1833-1897
7. Franz Schubert - 1797-1828
8. Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky - 1840-1893
9. George Frideric Handel - 1685-1759
10. Igor Stravinsky - 1882-1971
11. Robert Schumann - 1810-1856
12. Frederic Chopin - 1810-1849
13. Felix Mendelssohn - 1809-1847
14. Claude Debussy - 1862-1918
15. Franz Liszt - 1811-1886
16. Antonin Dvorak - 1841-1904
17. Giuseppe Verdi - 1813-1901
18. Gustav Mahler - 1860-1911
19. Hector Berlioz - 1803-1869
20. Antonio Vivaldi - 1678-1741
21. Richard Strauss - 1864-1949
22. Serge Prokofiev - 1891-1953
23. Dmitri Shostakovich - 1906-1975
24. Béla Bartók - 1881-1945
25. Anton Bruckner - 1824-1896
26. Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina - 1525-1594
27. Claudio Monteverdi - 1567-1643
28. Jean Sibelius - 1865-1957
29. Maurice Ravel - 1875-1937
30. Ralph Vaughan Williams - 1872-1958


.......

Saphire

BWV 1080
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Post by BWV 1080 » Thu Nov 09, 2006 7:48 am

What is you all's obsession with ranking composers? Aside from personal preference you cannot rank Bach against Brahms any more than you can rank Caravaggio against Picasso or Shakespeare against Beckett.
BWV 1080: how, specifically, would you restructure the materials Brahms used in his symphonies so as to avoid the classical sonata-form constraints? Would you recast the Third and Fourth Symphonies as a tone poems? Or would you scrap them altogether, deeming the music as unworthy?

If you can arrive at a better way to restructure and "liberate" these masterpieces, you should do so.
Lets see, I would assemble a committee of prominent musicologists to study and rewrite the works and reassemble them in more of a cyclic form, treating the sonata themes as leitmotifs. The works obviously need a program to be real Romantic masterpieces so the leitmotifs would each represent a different group that has struggled for self-actualization against the white male patriarchy. For example the opening motif of the 4th symphony would represent the struggles of gay eskimos. Also to improve the works multicultural elements should be added, so for example, the first movement of the 4th Symphony will have parts added for African drummers and Tibetan throat singers.
Last edited by BWV 1080 on Thu Nov 09, 2006 8:24 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by Sapphire » Thu Nov 09, 2006 8:00 am

Jack and Val and Brahms

Further to my post above, I should perhaps have given my personal Top 10 list as well. I really don't think there is anyone to touch Beethoven. As you will see I haven't listed Bach. I got fed up with baroque a long while ago. From Val's comments it looks as if our little club of Schumann devotees is growing.

1. LvB
2. Schubert
3. Schumann
4. Brahms
5. Chopin
6. Mozart
7. Tchaikovsky
8. Wagner
9. Mendelssohn
10. Liszt

........

Saphire

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Post by Jack Kelso » Thu Nov 09, 2006 8:21 am

Saphire wrote:Jack and Val and Brahms

Further to my post above, I should perhaps have given my personal Top 10 list as well. I really don't think there is anyone to touch Beethoven. As you will see I haven't listed Bach. I got fed up with baroque a long while ago. From Val's comments it looks as if our little club of Schumann devotees is growing.

1. LvB
2. Schubert
3. Schumann
4. Brahms
5. Chopin
6. Mozart
7. Tchaikovsky
8. Wagner
9. Mendelssohn
10. Liszt

........

Saphire
Well, Saphire---your list is a LOT better than that so-called "objective" one, even though your concentration is 19th century.

As soon as I saw Tschaikowsky on that other list ahead of Schumann I knew it was just another popularity contest. Tschaikowsky has VERY few unblemished masterpieces, wrote less than HALF of what Schumann wrote and has barely a handful of what psychologist and musicologist Hans Keller writes of Schumann's music, "spotless works of genius".

If Germans were into lists you can bet Schumann would get a fair shake. He is one of the most beloved masters here.

Thanks for sharing your personal favorites. Mine are:

1. Schumann
2. Beethoven
3-4. Handel and Mozart (tied)
5. J.S. Bach
6. Wagner
7. Haydn
8. Bruckner
9. Schubert
10. Brahms

Schumann was the favorite composer of Sviatoslav Richter....and the favorite Romantic composer of George Szell, Emil Gilels, Heinz Holliger (Swiss composer, oboist and musicologist), conductor William Boughton (English Sym. Orch.) and Andras Schiff----among many others.

No shame, then, for me to give him the no. 1 spot.

Jack
"Schumann's our music-maker now." ---Robert Browning

BWV 1080
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Post by BWV 1080 » Thu Nov 09, 2006 8:28 am

My personal top ten at the moment, in no particular order is

Bartok
Carter
Dutilleux
Boulez
Schoenberg
Mozart
Chopin
Brahms
Wolpe
Shostakovich

Jack Kelso
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Post by Jack Kelso » Thu Nov 09, 2006 8:44 am

BWV 1080 wrote:My personal top ten at the moment, in no particular order is

Bartok
Carter
Dutilleux
Boulez
Schoenberg
Mozart
Chopin
Brahms
Wolpe
Shostakovich
BWV1080:

I'm surprised Brahms is so high on your list, considering the critique you launched on him. (I wonder why you take the posting opus of Bach's "Die Kunst der Fuge"....?!)

But this list, very heavy in 20th-century masters, is very individual and just as valid as others. It underscores how silly the idea of list-making really is, except to better understand the mentality/personality of the maker!

Still---we do it. Germans I know just can't get into it ("Well, it depends on my mood", or "I like this by Vivaldi better than that by Telemann...") ---which I understand, too.

Jack
"Schumann's our music-maker now." ---Robert Browning

Brahms
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Post by Brahms » Thu Nov 09, 2006 8:48 am

Saphire wrote: 18. Gustav Mahler - 1860-1911
Mahler at 18? That he isn't in the top dozen is utterly shameful. :evil:

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Post by Michael » Thu Nov 09, 2006 9:04 am

Jack Kelso wrote:Schumann was the favorite composer of Sviatoslav Richter....and the favorite Romantic composer of George Szell, Emil Gilels, Heinz Holliger (Swiss composer, oboist and musicologist), conductor William Boughton (English Sym. Orch.) and Andras Schiff----among many others.

No shame, then, for me to give him the no. 1 spot.

Jack
William Boughton :shock: :shock: To see him amongst such exalted company quite astonishes me... it would probably astonish this ghastly conductor even more...or, God forbid, encourage him.
Michael from The Colne Valley, Yorkshire.

Jack Kelso
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Post by Jack Kelso » Thu Nov 09, 2006 9:14 am

Michael wrote:
Jack Kelso wrote:Schumann was the favorite composer of Sviatoslav Richter....and the favorite Romantic composer of George Szell, Emil Gilels, Heinz Holliger (Swiss composer, oboist and musicologist), conductor William Boughton (English Sym. Orch.) and Andras Schiff----among many others.

No shame, then, for me to give him the no. 1 spot.

Jack
William Boughton :shock: :shock: To see him amongst such exalted company quite astonishes me... it would probably astonish this ghastly conductor even more...or, God forbid, encourage him.
May I ask what causes such a negative reaction to Boughton?

Jack
"Schumann's our music-maker now." ---Robert Browning

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Post by Michael » Thu Nov 09, 2006 9:18 am

This topic reminds me of a candidate that I interviewed for a University place. He had a bee in his bonnet about Mozart saying that he was little more than a composer who churned out a rag bag of cliches. The candidate was quite plainly a sandwich short of a picnic but oh we did have some fun! Thank you Dalibor, Paulb etc for cheering up my day :D
Michael from The Colne Valley, Yorkshire.

Sapphire
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Post by Sapphire » Thu Nov 09, 2006 10:04 am

Jack Kelso wrote:As soon as I saw Tschaikowsky on that other list ahead of Schumann I knew it was just another popularity contest. Tschaikowsky has VERY few unblemished masterpieces, wrote less than HALF of what Schumann wrote and has barely a handful of what psychologist and musicologist Hans Keller writes of Schumann's music, "spotless works of genius".

Jack
But Jack, I'm keen on ballet! And ballet without Tchaikovsky would be like Hamlet without the Prince of Denmark. Fewer masterpieces than Schumann? I'm not so sure about that. What about?
  • Nutcracker
    Swan Lake
    Romeo & Juliet overture
    Sleeping Beaty
    S4
    S5
    S6
    Piano Con 1
    Piano Con 3
    Violin Con
    Francesca di Rimini
    Capricio Italien
    Serenade for Strings
    Marche Slave
    Piano trio in A Min
The ballets alone are monumental works. So too are the late symphonies. I must admit that my like of Tchaikovsky is partly a throw-back to my youth when he and Mozart were Nos 1 and 2. I then lost interest to some extent but later became keen on ballet, and found a renewed interest in Mr T. I don't know whether you are interested in ballet, but if not currently and if you were to become so I almost guarantee your opinion of Mr T would go up.

Some would say Tchaikovsky was one of the greatest composers of melody who ever lived, along with Beethoven and Schubert. For me many of his works - especially the ballet music - paint florid scenes with brilliant orchestration. I consider his special skill was bringing the melodies just at the right moment. If you watched a ballet you'd know what I mean.

He was certainly more diverse than Wagner and some would say more innovative and creative than Brahms. As is well-known it is often said that Brahms basically imitated Beethoven and Mozart, and did nothing that had not really been done before. That's not to say Brahms was poor innovately. In fact I don't think this is quite true, and in any event I prefer Brahms overall, imitation or not. I've said so in my rankings. Also, remember that Tchaikovsky had a poweful influence on later generations too. So no apologies from me in saying I like Mr T.

As for Schumann, you know I like his work a great deal. But I wouldn't pretend that everything he wrote was brilliant, any more than I would say the same of Beethoven or Schubert. My admiration is based on the general thrust of their style, not because I thought they wrote perfectly on all occasions. I love Schumann mainly because of his unique solo piano style which I happen to like more than most others. There is other material I like too. I love Schubert because of his chamber works, piano sonatas, lieder, and late symphonies. I love Beethoven because he made such an important break in music and produced some of the cleverest and perfect pieces that one can possibly imagine. In actual fact, I'd place Beethoven miles higher than the rest. His late String Quartets are unbeatable.

And yes I greatly prefer Romantic music to anything else. It's not for lack of trying anything else, I can assure you. I have a big collection of baroque, and "classical" but I've grown tired of it. If I had continued my list beyond No 10, I would have included Sibelius, Dvorak, Vaughan Williams, Elgar, some Mahler. Beyond that, I'm not much impressed but I can listen to Ravel, Debussy, Bartok, Shosty up to a point.



Saphire

DavidRoss
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Post by DavidRoss » Thu Nov 09, 2006 10:20 am

BWV 1080 wrote:Lets see, I would assemble a committee of prominent musicologists to study and rewrite the works and reassemble them in more of a cyclic form, treating the sonata themes as leitmotifs. The works obviously need a program to be real Romantic masterpieces so the leitmotifs would each represent a different group that has struggled for self-actualization against the white male patriarchy. For example the opening motif of the 4th symphony would represent the struggles of gay eskimos. Also to improve the works multicultural elements should be added, so for example, the first movement of the 4th Symphony will have parts added for African drummers and Tibetan throat singers.
Now we're cookin' with gas! Image that stodgy old D minor piano concerto transformed into a concerto for kalimba and gamelan orchestra!

Brahms's real talent...lay in writing extraordinarily beautiful music of lasting interest--including great masterworks in every genre he turned his hand to.
"Most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives." ~Leo Tolstoy

"It is the highest form of self-respect to admit our errors and mistakes and make amends for them. To make a mistake is only an error in judgment, but to adhere to it when it is discovered shows infirmity of character." ~Dale Turner

"Anyone who doesn't take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either." ~Albert Einstein
"Truth is incontrovertible; malice may attack it and ignorance may deride it; but, in the end, there it is." ~Winston Churchill

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Post by Sapphire » Thu Nov 09, 2006 11:02 am

Brahms wrote:
Saphire wrote: 18. Gustav Mahler - 1860-1911
Mahler at 18? That he isn't in the top dozen is utterly shameful. :evil:
Brahms: What would your "objective" list look like; i.e. what do you think a list would look like if it was to be fair to the views of say a 10,000 random sample of classical music lovers, not just your favorites.

Difficult isn't it, especially when you try to factor in things like innovation and influence?

I didn't think the DDD list was too bad. It's not much like my personal preferences, but you have to try to allow for that.


Saphire

karlhenning
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Post by karlhenning » Thu Nov 09, 2006 11:13 am

And Saphire! Don't forget the sextet Souvenir de Florence, Opus 70!

Cheers,
~Karl
Karl Henning, PhD
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston, Massachusetts
http://members.tripod.com/~Karl_P_Henning/
http://henningmusick.blogspot.com/
Published by Lux Nova Press
http://www.luxnova.com/

BWV 1080
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Post by BWV 1080 » Thu Nov 09, 2006 11:52 am

An "objective" top ten take on innovation and influence would be:

Dunstable
Josquin
Monteverdi
Bach
Haydn
Beethoven
Wagner
Mahler
Schoenberg
Stravinsky

Sapphire
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Post by Sapphire » Thu Nov 09, 2006 12:35 pm

karlhenning wrote:And Saphire! Don't forget the sextet Souvenir de Florence, Opus 70!

Cheers,
~Karl
Karl: Thanks. I will walk around in shame for the rest of the day for missing that one. I also forgot "Eugene Onegin".

I have talked myself in to having a Tchaikovsky evening. I think S4, S5, S6 should just about be OK.


Saphire

paulb
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Post by paulb » Thu Nov 09, 2006 3:48 pm

Jack Kelso wrote:
Saphire wrote:Jack and Val and Brahms

Further to my post above, I should perhaps have given my personal Top 10 list as well. I really don't think there is anyone to touch Beethoven.

1. LvB
2. Schubert
3. Schumann
4. Brahms
5. Chopin
6. Mozart
7. Tchaikovsky
8. Wagner
9. Mendelssohn
10. Liszt

........

Saphire
Well, Saphire---your list is a LOT better than that so-called "objective" one, even though your concentration is 19th century.


Thanks for sharing your personal favorites. Mine are:

1. Schumann
2. Beethoven
3-4. Handel and Mozart (tied)
5. J.S. Bach
6. Wagner
7. Haydn
8. Bruckner
9. Schubert
10. Brahms

Schumann was the favorite composer of Sviatoslav Richter....and the favorite Romantic composer of George Szell, Emil Gilels, Heinz Holliger (Swiss composer, oboist and musicologist), conductor William Boughton (English Sym. Orch.) and Andras Schiff----among many others.

No shame, then, for me to give him the no. 1 spot.

Jack

Well since we are doing the fav list thing again, why not, you asked for it..

The Royal roundtable Of Composers. Though all are equal, I do imagine this is how they are seated, at the head of the table sits the king, correct?

King Mozart, with Schnittke sitting at his right, Pettersson at his left
Schonberg, Berg Webern , Carter are all having joyful ,witty, conversation. Bartok and Shostakovich. have finally settled all issues are are united as Kights Of The Royal Table.
Here we see Ravel and Debussy dressed in fine french clothing, everyone in admiration. .
Vivaldi and Bach are delighting everyone with wonderful tales of old.
There are places for visiting Knights,
Hartmann, Mussorgsky , Wagner, Ives, Janacek, Bruch, Grieg, Albeniz all find warm welcomes.



Of course we never refuse shelter for the traveler.

EDIT:

KURT WEILL
My god, how could I forget SIR Kurt Weill., most certainly is always welcome at The Royal Table.
Psalm 118:22 The Stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.
23 This is the Lord's doing , it is marvelous in our sight.

Sapphire
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Post by Sapphire » Thu Nov 09, 2006 5:07 pm

Hello Paul

Yeah, we've been hiding away in here having a nice chat about all our heros. Only slight disagreements here and there, but we are all basically united against the foe.

We've actually been increasing our strength. There are Schumann fans all over the place. Just been waiting to "come out", lol. It must have been bottled up inside them.

Do you want to join the fan club? You are welcome to apply. We've got a long waiting list for new members but if you stop all this bolony about Schnittke et al we'll give you an expedited processing form. You are obviously an urgent case and we can't let you sink any further into this ghastly 20th C morass of second raters, nay third third raters.

Do not despair, help is at hand. Apply now and be saved!


Saphire

Sergeant Rock
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Post by Sergeant Rock » Thu Nov 09, 2006 6:01 pm

BWV 1080 wrote:An "objective" top ten take on innovation and influence would be:

Dunstable
Josquin
Monteverdi
Bach
Haydn
Beethoven
Wagner
Mahler
Schoenberg
Stravinsky
That's damn near perfect. There are several other major players though. Two composers that need to be squeezed in are Schubert (Gretchen am Spinnrade revolutionized Lieder, and hence changed the course of musical history) and Berlioz. Impossible to imagine what the 19th century would have sounded like had Berlioz not been around.

Sarge
"My unpretending love's the B flat major by the old Budapest done"---John Berryman, Beethoven Triumphant

BWV 1080
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Post by BWV 1080 » Thu Nov 09, 2006 6:08 pm

Sergeant Rock wrote:
BWV 1080 wrote:An "objective" top ten take on innovation and influence would be:

Dunstable
Josquin
Monteverdi
Bach
Haydn
Beethoven
Wagner
Mahler
Schoenberg
Stravinsky
That's damn near perfect. There are several other major players though. Two composers that need to be squeezed in are Schubert (Gretchen am Spinnrade revolutionized Lieder, and hence changed the course of musical history) and Berlioz. Impossible to imagine what the 19th century would have sounded like had Berlioz not been around.

Sarge
True, Berlioz is to the 19th century symphony what Mahler is to the 20th. I have ignored vocal music after the Renaissance. If I had considered it, Mozart would displace Haydn, being that any opera is impossible to conceive without Mozart's influence.

Sergeant Rock
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Post by Sergeant Rock » Thu Nov 09, 2006 6:13 pm

BWV 1080 wrote: True, Berlioz is to the 19th century symphony what Mahler is to the 20th. I have ignored vocal music after the Renaissance. influence.
Ah, that explains the absence of Schubert. Truck on...

Sarge
"My unpretending love's the B flat major by the old Budapest done"---John Berryman, Beethoven Triumphant

Opus132
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Post by Opus132 » Thu Nov 09, 2006 6:37 pm

Sergeant Rock wrote:Impossible to imagine what the 19th century would have sounded like had Berlioz not been around.
Better, probably. :lol:

Sergeant Rock
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Post by Sergeant Rock » Thu Nov 09, 2006 6:44 pm

Opus132 wrote:
Sergeant Rock wrote:Impossible to imagine what the 19th century would have sounded like had Berlioz not been around.
Better, probably. :lol:
Don't let Karl hear you saying that!

Sarge
"My unpretending love's the B flat major by the old Budapest done"---John Berryman, Beethoven Triumphant

paulb
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Post by paulb » Thu Nov 09, 2006 6:54 pm

Saphire wrote:Hello Paul

Yeah, we've been hiding away in here having a nice chat about all our heros. Only slight disagreements here and there, but we are all basically united against the foe.

We've actually been increasing our strength. There are Schumann fans all over the place. Just been waiting to "come out", lol. It must have been bottled up inside them.

Do you want to join the fan club? You are welcome to apply. We've got a long waiting list for new members but if you stop all this bolony about Schnittke et al we'll give you an expedited processing form. You are obviously an urgent case and we can't let you sink any further into this ghastly 20th C morass of second raters, nay third third raters.

Do not despair, help is at hand. Apply now and be saved!


Saphire

Yeah thanks for the kindness and understanding .....but really our kingdoms are ...heck we are from other planets.
maybe there is some truth to the idea that before we were born on earth, we were souls from other planets.
So its not reincarnation in the sense that we were earthlings before we were born, but actually spirits from other planets...well thats enough metaphysical lessons for the day :roll:

Saphire, notice how DISTINCTLY different our your camps list and mine.
I think someone mentioned Shostakovich and Schonberg. 2, out of a possible 10, and only one of your group made the mention, oh and also Wagner, who is a visitor on my list, doesn't even command a permanent seat at The Royal Table.

In fact I have Pettersson and Schnittke seated at the sides of King Mozart.
I mean where you guys do not even list either, both reign next to Mozart.
i have my reasons tis so.

That Royal Table is pretty much cast in stone. I'm approacking....1956....51 in Feburary...and frankly I pretty much have passed most of my midlife crisis and know what I like, and what not, though obviously there are slight shifts, nothing major.

I'm happy and I know you are too.
This is the most important thing, that our music reflects our souls.

Thankful there is enough music for everyone to find his special composers.

last point.
Though my list is 'cast in stone", really thats not a sign of closed mindedness. Consider the list, every era is represented.
From Vivaldi, Bach, to Grieg, Albeniz, all the way to Pettersson, Schnittke and Elliot Carter.
My list spans the entire classical era.
Which in my opinion will end at the death of Elliot Carter. He closes out this grand expression of musical art. And what a spectatular fireworks show he has proven to be.

Nice day.
Psalm 118:22 The Stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.
23 This is the Lord's doing , it is marvelous in our sight.

Dalibor
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Post by Dalibor » Thu Nov 09, 2006 8:57 pm

Jack Kelso wrote:
BWV 1080 wrote:
Jack Kelso wrote: I've read a lot of musicology, but I've never read anyone who would rank Liszt with Handel, Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann, Wagner or Brahms
ouch!

Brahms and Haydn should be excluded from any list of top ten composers

Haydn's records should have "60+" etiquete on them (not for younger then 60 years)

Dalibor
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Post by Dalibor » Thu Nov 09, 2006 9:04 pm

It just came to my mind that Brahms wrote those famous "Haydn variations"... how apropriate.

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Post by jbuck919 » Fri Nov 10, 2006 4:12 am

BWV 1080 wrote:True, Berlioz is to the 19th century symphony what Mahler is to the 20th
I can't argue with that. :roll:

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Sapphire
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Post by Sapphire » Fri Nov 10, 2006 6:34 am

jbuck919 wrote:
BWV 1080 wrote:True, Berlioz is to the 19th century symphony what Mahler is to the 20th
I can't argue with that. :roll:
I'm not sure what I think, since I'm not clear what it means. Need more explanation. I quite like both, but I'm not clear what the supposed connection is.



Saphire

Harvested Sorrow
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Post by Harvested Sorrow » Fri Nov 10, 2006 7:44 am

He was insulting both composers in one stroke.



Also, whoever mentioned the Isserlis in this thread...thanks! It seems to be out of print and I got one of two copies available at Amazon. Then I ended up with even more Schumann in the form of lieder...(and yes, some Brahms, too!)

Opus132
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Post by Opus132 » Fri Nov 10, 2006 8:15 am

Saphire wrote: I'm not sure what I think, since I'm not clear what it means. Need more explanation. I quite like both, but I'm not clear what the supposed connection is.
They both couldn't write symphonies on a level with Haydn if their life depended on it. 8)

DavidRoss
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Post by DavidRoss » Fri Nov 10, 2006 8:47 am

BWV 1080 wrote:
Sergeant Rock wrote:
BWV 1080 wrote:An "objective" top ten take on innovation and influence would be:

Dunstable
Josquin
Monteverdi
Bach
Haydn
Beethoven
Wagner
Mahler
Schoenberg
Stravinsky
That's damn near perfect. There are several other major players though. Two composers that need to be squeezed in are Schubert (Gretchen am Spinnrade revolutionized Lieder, and hence changed the course of musical history) and Berlioz. Impossible to imagine what the 19th century would have sounded like had Berlioz not been around.

Sarge
True, Berlioz is to the 19th century symphony what Mahler is to the 20th. I have ignored vocal music after the Renaissance. If I had considered it, Mozart would displace Haydn, being that any opera is impossible to conceive without Mozart's influence.
I understand the Berlioz reference, but am scratching my head about the notion of Mahler's influence on the 20th Century. Even if one considers him the apotheosis of Romantic symphonists, he still seems more like the end of the line rather than the beginning of a new one. So please help me out and tell me what you have in mind.
"Most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives." ~Leo Tolstoy

"It is the highest form of self-respect to admit our errors and mistakes and make amends for them. To make a mistake is only an error in judgment, but to adhere to it when it is discovered shows infirmity of character." ~Dale Turner

"Anyone who doesn't take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either." ~Albert Einstein
"Truth is incontrovertible; malice may attack it and ignorance may deride it; but, in the end, there it is." ~Winston Churchill

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Post by BWV 1080 » Fri Nov 10, 2006 10:02 am

DavidRoss wrote:
BWV 1080 wrote:
Sergeant Rock wrote:
BWV 1080 wrote:An "objective" top ten take on innovation and influence would be:

Dunstable
Josquin
Monteverdi
Bach
Haydn
Beethoven
Wagner
Mahler
Schoenberg
Stravinsky
That's damn near perfect. There are several other major players though. Two composers that need to be squeezed in are Schubert (Gretchen am Spinnrade revolutionized Lieder, and hence changed the course of musical history) and Berlioz. Impossible to imagine what the 19th century would have sounded like had Berlioz not been around.

Sarge
True, Berlioz is to the 19th century symphony what Mahler is to the 20th. I have ignored vocal music after the Renaissance. If I had considered it, Mozart would displace Haydn, being that any opera is impossible to conceive without Mozart's influence.
I understand the Berlioz reference, but am scratching my head about the notion of Mahler's influence on the 20th Century. Even if one considers him the apotheosis of Romantic symphonists, he still seems more like the end of the line rather than the beginning of a new one. So please help me out and tell me what you have in mind.
Mahler's 6th has been called the first modern symphony. He was a primary influence on Shostakovich, Schnittke, Schoenberg and Berg.
His penchant for parody and irony has been widely adopted by later composers.

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