Author Topic: Your Top 10 Favorite Composers  (Read 52941 times)

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Ken B

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Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Composers
« Reply #40 on: May 17, 2014, 08:07:50 AM »
New top 10:
1) Bartok*
2) Ligeti**
3) Ravel**
4) Debussy
5) Messiaen
6) Gershwin
7) Haydn***
8) Feldman
9) Mendelssohn
10) Schumann

*Never changes, though I haven't been listening to his music so much recently (because I pretty much know it all inside-out).
**2 and 3 are equal -- I just put them in alphabetical order to avoid bias.
***I've been discovering his symphonies and never cease to be impressed (far be it from me to say ;)).
A relief. I feared we were losing you to the Boulhausen crowd.
I really think you'd like medieval stuff, Leonin, Machaut, or some of the dissonant renaissance folks like Gombert or Richafort. I might start a thread on this ...

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Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Composers
« Reply #41 on: May 17, 2014, 10:29:56 AM »
Lol, I just realized that the combination of characters '8' + ')' = '8)' . So apparently Feldman is cooler than the others. 8).

I really think you'd like medieval stuff, Leonin, Machaut, or some of the dissonant renaissance folks like Gombert or Richafort. I might start a thread on this ...
I'll check it out. I've always found the idea of medieval music interesting for historical reasons, but I haven't really heard anything I've enjoyed.

A relief. I feared we were losing you to the Boulhausen crowd.
I've come to realize how important these guys were in music history. Furthermore, it isn't so much the music I enjoy as it is the ideas and the development. Plus, I always want to keep my ears open just in case there is something there for me. I can't ever imagine Stockhausen or even Boulez showing up on any finite-numbered list of favorite composers (I could be wrong), but it is fun to discover new things. There is also enough stuff going on in that music so that I don't get bored while exploring (even if there is stuff that I don't think sounds particularly good to me, either).
Beethoven's Op. 133 -- A fugue so bad that even Beethoven himself called it "Grosse".

Ken B

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Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Composers
« Reply #42 on: May 17, 2014, 10:45:34 AM »
Lol, I just realized that the combination of characters '8' + ')' = '8)' . So apparently Feldman is cooler than the others. 8).
I'll check it out. I've always found the idea of medieval music interesting for historical reasons, but I haven't really heard anything I've enjoyed.
I've come to realize how important these guys were in music history. Furthermore, it isn't so much the music I enjoy as it is the ideas and the development. Plus, I always want to keep my ears open just in case there is something there for me. I can't ever imagine Stockhausen or even Boulez showing up on any finite-numbered list of favorite composers (I could be wrong), but it is fun to discover new things. There is also enough stuff going on in that music so that I don't get bored while exploring (even if there is stuff that I don't think sounds particularly good to me, either).
Well I am all for exploration. When I was in radio I was a bit notorious for avoiding standard repertoire. (I even programmed Le Marteau sans  Maitre). (And lots of Debussy piano.)

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Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Composers
« Reply #43 on: May 17, 2014, 10:58:14 AM »
Well I am all for exploration. When I was in radio I was a bit notorious for avoiding standard repertoire. (I even programmed Le Marteau sans  Maitre). (And lots of Debussy piano.)
I wish stations would play stuff like this! Not only does it do harm to this music (because it goes unheard by most), but it also is bad for what they do play because gives the false impression that the only thing useful in 'classical' era music is for background music. Especially now that I am exploring Haydn, I think that this might be why I was reluctant to do so in the first place.

Like Ives said, people have sissy-ears. Would the world really come to an end if, for once, the DC-area classical station aired "Lontano"? The most daring thing I've heard them play was the waltz from one of Shostakovich's jazz suites.

On the other hand, the radio station at my university had an hour (around 10AM) where they would play the most grating, jarring, and dissonant music known (usually string quartets -- probably Penderecki, Holliger, Kagel, etc.). This station was always playing in the machine shop all day, so whenever I was working during the "modern" hour this music was always accompanied by the sound of aluminum being milled and lathed. Often, the sounds were indistinguishable :).
Beethoven's Op. 133 -- A fugue so bad that even Beethoven himself called it "Grosse".

Ken B

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Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Composers
« Reply #44 on: May 17, 2014, 11:56:42 AM »
I wish stations would play stuff like this! Not only does it do harm to this music (because it goes unheard by most), but it also is bad for what they do play because gives the false impression that the only thing useful in 'classical' era music is for background music. Especially now that I am exploring Haydn, I think that this might be why I was reluctant to do so in the first place.

Like Ives said, people have sissy-ears. Would the world really come to an end if, for once, the DC-area classical station aired "Lontano"? The most daring thing I've heard them play was the waltz from one of Shostakovich's jazz suites.

On the other hand, the radio station at my university had an hour (around 10AM) where they would play the most grating, jarring, and dissonant music known (usually string quartets -- probably Penderecki, Holliger, Kagel, etc.). This station was always playing in the machine shop all day, so whenever I was working during the "modern" hour this music was always accompanied by the sound of aluminum being milled and lathed. Often, the sounds were indistinguishable :).
I am a big believer in getting past the standard repertoire. There is great music over a span of more than 800 years. I sympathize with cautious concert goers. Concerts are expensive what with babysitting etc. But radio is free: the place to experiment and explore.
I was classical director of two radio stations, one the university and one commercial. For about a year, before the CBC was available in town, I semi controlled 100% of the classical radio. The U station had several people who did their own programming but would ask me for suggestions. Over 52 hours air time a week. I even played Stimmung. Twice. When I lived in Cincinnati the local classical station was all Mozart, and Appalachian Spring.  >:(

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Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Composers
« Reply #45 on: May 17, 2014, 12:57:58 PM »
I am a big believer in getting past the standard repertoire. There is great music over a span of more than 800 years. I sympathize with cautious concert goers. Concerts are expensive what with babysitting etc. But radio is free: the place to experiment and explore.
I was classical director of two radio stations, one the university and one commercial. For about a year, before the CBC was available in town, I semi controlled 100% of the classical radio. The U station had several people who did their own programming but would ask me for suggestions. Over 52 hours air time a week. I even played Stimmung. Twice. When I lived in Cincinnati the local classical station was all Mozart, and Appalachian Spring.  >:(
That's awesome. Imagine turning on the classical station and getting a group of people singing AYE-EE-EYE-OO-AA-EE-AYE-YOU-EE-OH...

Concerts really irritate me, too, and the NSO has really suck-y repertoire. I love how they advertise an "all-Mozart concert" as if it is some huge feat that has never been done before. My ideal concert would be something traditional (i.e. a Haydn symphony), something perplexing (i.e. Ligeti), and something mildly-modern that most people will still enjoy (i.e. Bartok's CFO, or a PC).
Beethoven's Op. 133 -- A fugue so bad that even Beethoven himself called it "Grosse".

Ken B

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Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Composers
« Reply #46 on: May 17, 2014, 01:04:35 PM »
That's awesome. Imagine turning on the classical station and getting a group of people singing AYE-EE-EYE-OO-AA-EE-AYE-YOU-EE-OH...

Concerts really irritate me, too, and the NSO has really suck-y repertoire. I love how they advertise an "all-Mozart concert" as if it is some huge feat that has never been done before. My ideal concert would be something traditional (i.e. a Haydn symphony), something perplexing (i.e. Ligeti), and something mildly-modern that most people will still enjoy (i.e. Bartok's CFO, or a PC).
Yes. And if you look at what major American concerts where like before the Boulez Stockhausen crowd got into positions of cultural influence that's what a lot of them were.
It's also what a lot of Berlin Phil concerts look like these days, if you check their schedule.
You may thank the minimalists for making modern music saleable again.

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Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Composers
« Reply #47 on: May 17, 2014, 01:18:27 PM »
Yes. And if you look at what major American concerts where like before the Boulez Stockhausen crowd got into positions of cultural influence that's what a lot of them were.
It's also what a lot of Berlin Phil concerts look like these days, if you check their schedule.
You may thank the minimalists for making modern music saleable again.
I think that any kind of group that goes far out (i.e. serialists) gives the need for another polar-opposite group (minimalists, in that case) to ensure that there is something for everything. One can only hope that most composers will find their niche somewhere in between, and at a healthy distance from each. It doesn't mean that each end of the spectrum is bad at all -- just that it's nice to have variety. This is one thing I love about Ligeti -- he wrote whatever the hell he wanted to. He didn't let himself get labeled (at least, not easily) and he had control over his style -- not the other way around.
Beethoven's Op. 133 -- A fugue so bad that even Beethoven himself called it "Grosse".

Offline Alberich

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Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Composers
« Reply #48 on: May 20, 2014, 08:33:37 AM »
1. Richard Wagner (what a surprise!)
2. Ludvig van Beethoven
3. Johannes Brahms
4. Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
5. Jean Sibelius
6. Giuseppe Verdi
7. Richard Strauss
8. Anton Bruckner
9. Franz Schubert
10. Claude Debussy

In short: I'm a big romantic fan. Not that I don't enjoy modernism, classicism, baroque (although that was unfortunately a blind spot for me yet few years back) but romanticism just blows my mind. And like with many composers, I believe my favorites can change a lot although top 3 usually stays the same.
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Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Composers
« Reply #49 on: June 22, 2014, 03:06:48 PM »
New top 10:
1) Bartok*
2) Ligeti**
3) Ravel**
4) Debussy
5) Messiaen
6) Gershwin
7) Haydn***
8) Feldman
9) Mendelssohn
10) Schumann

*Never changes, though I haven't been listening to his music so much recently (because I pretty much know it all inside-out).
**2 and 3 are equal -- I just put them in alphabetical order to avoid bias.
***I've been discovering his symphonies and never cease to be impressed (far be it from me to say ;)).
It has changed!
1) Bartok*
2) Ligeti**
3) Ravel**
4) Debussy
5) Messiaen
6) Gershwin
7) Haydn***
8) Mendelssohn
9) Schumann
10) Mahler (!)

 :'( :'( :'(

Sorry Morty (you're 11, if that makes you feel better)!

I would bump Gershwin considering his small (yet amazing) classical output, but I'd feel too guilty since his life was cut short at 38.
Beethoven's Op. 133 -- A fugue so bad that even Beethoven himself called it "Grosse".

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Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Composers
« Reply #50 on: June 22, 2014, 03:42:13 PM »
It has changed!
1) Bartok*
2) Ligeti**
3) Ravel**
4) Debussy
5) Messiaen
6) Gershwin
7) Haydn***
8) Mendelssohn
9) Schumann
10) Mahler (!)

 :'( :'( :'(

Sorry Morty (you're 11, if that makes you feel better)!

I would bump Gershwin considering his small (yet amazing) classical output, but I'd feel too guilty since his life was cut short at 38.

Don't worry mine changes almost every week. :) It's no surprise to see yours change.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2014, 04:05:06 PM by Mirror Image »
"In the next world, I shan't be doing music, with all the striving and disappointments. I shall be being it.” - Ralph Vaughan Williams

Ken B

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Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Composers
« Reply #51 on: June 22, 2014, 03:43:41 PM »
Don't worry mine changes almost every week. :) It's not surprise to see yours change.
I was gonna say "a new John is born" but restrained myself!

Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Composers
« Reply #52 on: June 22, 2014, 04:04:21 PM »
the phone rings and somebody says,
"hey, they made a movie about
Mahler, you ought to go see it.
he was as f*cked-up as you are."
                               --Charles Bukowski, "Mahler"

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Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Composers
« Reply #53 on: June 22, 2014, 04:05:52 PM »
I was gonna say "a new John is born" but restrained myself!

It's okay I'll say it: A NEW JOHN IS BORN!!!! :P
"In the next world, I shan't be doing music, with all the striving and disappointments. I shall be being it.” - Ralph Vaughan Williams

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Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Composers
« Reply #54 on: June 22, 2014, 06:14:43 PM »

Yes. I caved. I really like Mahler now. I just wish everything he wrote wasn't so long. It makes me less inclined to want to listen on an impulse. I was blown away by the 7th, though. Totally blown away. The 1st, too.

I am going on a long car trip (Northern Virginia to central Maine) for July 4th so I need listening material. If you had to recommend one (1!) Mahler box (1-9) that is relatively inexpensive, what would it be? I'd like it to include "Das Lied van der Erde" and possibly "Das Knaben Wunderhorn", though the latter isn't so important.
Beethoven's Op. 133 -- A fugue so bad that even Beethoven himself called it "Grosse".

Offline Brian

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Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Composers
« Reply #55 on: June 22, 2014, 06:35:39 PM »
I am going on a long car trip (Northern Virginia to central Maine) for July 4th so I need listening material. If you had to recommend one (1!) Mahler box (1-9) that is relatively inexpensive, what would it be? I'd like it to include "Das Lied van der Erde" and possibly "Das Knaben Wunderhorn", though the latter isn't so important.

I'm no Mahler expert, but will guess the answer turns out to be Bertini.

Ken B

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Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Composers
« Reply #56 on: June 22, 2014, 07:15:22 PM »
Yes. I caved. I really like Mahler now. I just wish everything he wrote wasn't so long. It makes me less inclined to want to listen on an impulse. I was blown away by the 7th, though. Totally blown away. The 1st, too.

I am going on a long car trip (Northern Virginia to central Maine) for July 4th so I need listening material. If you had to recommend one (1!) Mahler box (1-9) that is relatively inexpensive, what would it be? I'd like it to include "Das Lied van der Erde" and possibly "Das Knaben Wunderhorn", though the latter isn't so important.
Chailly.
It was absurdly cheap in Canada. Try amazon ca or grigorian com

The old abravanel set is downloadable for about a buck.

Levine has all but 2 and 8 plus 10, for $20 delivered at amazon.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2014, 07:17:20 PM by Ken B »

Offline Moonfish

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Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Composers
« Reply #57 on: June 22, 2014, 10:01:13 PM »
Yes. I caved. I really like Mahler now. I just wish everything he wrote wasn't so long. It makes me less inclined to want to listen on an impulse. I was blown away by the 7th, though. Totally blown away. The 1st, too.

I am going on a long car trip (Northern Virginia to central Maine) for July 4th so I need listening material. If you had to recommend one (1!) Mahler box (1-9) that is relatively inexpensive, what would it be? I'd like it to include "Das Lied van der Erde" and possibly "Das Knaben Wunderhorn", though the latter isn't so important.

If I were you I would pick up Bernstein's first cycle. I think it is a good baseline (and pretty well renowned as far as I can recall), but you will definitely take off in many different directions as you dig deeper into the Mahler abyss. I would have skipped the cycle approach if I could start over (perhaps with exception for Bernstein and Kubelik)

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Offline Jo498

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Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Composers
« Reply #58 on: June 24, 2014, 03:19:23 AM »
Rather boring list of mine:
Beethoven
J. Haydn
W.A. Mozart
J.S. Bach
Brahms
Schubert
Handel
Schumann
Bartok
Mahler
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline EigenUser

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Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Composers
« Reply #59 on: June 24, 2014, 06:08:30 AM »
Rather boring list of mine:
Beethoven
J. Haydn
W.A. Mozart
J.S. Bach
Brahms
Schubert
Handel
Schumann
Bartok
Mahler
That better not be boring! Four out of ten are on my list ;D.
Beethoven's Op. 133 -- A fugue so bad that even Beethoven himself called it "Grosse".

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