Author Topic: Your Top 10 Favorite Composers  (Read 128754 times)

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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Composers
« Reply #1020 on: January 29, 2020, 09:49:23 AM »
I suppose it’s time for a bit of an update:

’Top 3’ - Debussy, Ravel, and Bartók



The other 7 -

First row: Sibelius, Stravinsky, Enescu
Second row: Fauré, Poulenc, Britten
Third row: Takemitsu





This is still a damn fine list and, if any changes I had in mind, I might substitute Poulenc for Schoenberg (or Berg).
“Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.” - Claude Debussy

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Composers
« Reply #1021 on: February 03, 2020, 07:19:43 PM »
Time for an update:

’Top 3’ - Debussy, Ravel, and Bartók



The other 7 (in no particular order) -

First row: Ives, Stravinsky, Enescu
Second row: Fauré, Schoenberg, Szymanowski
Third row: Britten



« Last Edit: February 03, 2020, 07:22:30 PM by Mirror Image »
“Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.” - Claude Debussy

Offline Christo

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Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Composers
« Reply #1022 on: February 05, 2020, 12:18:25 AM »
I think I gave my Eternal List once or twice already and considering my age I guess it won't change that much anymore, except for one or two names still entering my repertoire. That said, I realized that in reality we often listen to completely other lists, more actual, less eternal. Since December the composers I played most often include mostly names never found on it, yet 'the right music' to listen to now:

Pēteris Vasks
Hendrik Andriessen
Eugene Goossens
Ēriks Ešenvalds
Olav Kielland
Ola Gjeilo
Joseph Jongen
Johann Sebastian Bach
Joseph Reinberger

(And, as always, RVW, the 'eternally No. 1' on most of my lists and only one I cannot live without  8))
… music is not only an 'entertainment’, nor a mere luxury, but a necessity of the spiritual if not of the physical life, an opening of those magic casements through which we can catch a glimpse of that country where ultimate reality will be found.    RVW, 1948

Offline Symphonic Addict

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Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Composers
« Reply #1023 on: February 05, 2020, 07:25:15 AM »
I think I gave my Eternal List once or twice already and considering my age I guess it won't change that much anymore, except for one or two names still entering my repertoire. That said, I realized that in reality we often listen to completely other lists, more actual, less eternal. Since December the composers I played most often include mostly names never found on it, yet 'the right music' to listen to now:

Pēteris Vasks
Hendrik Andriessen
Eugene Goossens
Ēriks Ešenvalds
Olav Kielland
Ola Gjeilo
Joseph Jongen
Johann Sebastian Bach
Joseph Reinberger

(And, as always, RVW, the 'eternally No. 1' on most of my lists and only one I cannot live without  8))

I thought Rheinberger was too conservative for your taste. Not bad.  ;)
And glad to see Kielland on your actual list. The Sinfonia I is a great score.

Offline San Antone

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Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Composers
« Reply #1024 on: March 23, 2020, 08:11:40 PM »
I think I have finally cracked this test, i.e. coming up with my favorite 10 composers.  My choices are often based on a single work, which I dearly love, but there will always be other works by these composers which speak to me in a major way. 

J.S. Bach - WTC, GV, Cello  Suite, Solo violin sonatas & partitas
Johannes Brahms - the late chamber works, the clarinet works especially
Igor Stravinsky - Symphony of Psalms, Symphonies of Wind Instruments, Violin Concerto, L'Histoire du soldat
Claude Debussy - Pelleas et Melisande, solo piano music
Leonard Bernstein - Mass, West Side Story, Age of Anxiety
George Gershwin - Porgy & Bess, Rhapsody in Blue, Concerto in F
Maurice Durufle - Requiem, Quatre Motets sur des thèmes grégoriens 
Maurice Ravel - Concerto in G, solo piano music
Osvadlo Golijov - The Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind, La Pasión según San Marcos, Ainadamar
Kurt Weill - Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, Three Penny Opera

One aspect more than any other which catapults a composer into my highest tier is the tendency to cross stylistic borders. Gershwin, Bernstein, Golijov, Weill, and to a lesser extent, Ravel and Stravinsky, all exhibit this trait. 

Offline vers la flamme

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Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Composers
« Reply #1025 on: March 24, 2020, 12:21:59 PM »
I think I have finally cracked this test, i.e. coming up with my favorite 10 composers.  My choices are often based on a single work, which I dearly love, but there will always be other works by these composers which speak to me in a major way. 

J.S. Bach - WTC, GV, Cello  Suite, Solo violin sonatas & partitas
Johannes Brahms - the late chamber works, the clarinet works especially
Igor Stravinsky - Symphony of Psalms, Symphonies of Wind Instruments, Violin Concerto, L'Histoire du soldat
Claude Debussy - Pelleas et Melisande, solo piano music
Leonard Bernstein - Mass, West Side Story, Age of Anxiety
George Gershwin - Porgy & Bess, Rhapsody in Blue, Concerto in F
Maurice Durufle - Requiem, Quatre Motets sur des thèmes grégoriens 
Maurice Ravel - Concerto in G, solo piano music
Osvadlo Golijov - The Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind, La Pasión según San Marcos, Ainadamar
Kurt Weill - Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, Three Penny Opera

One aspect more than any other which catapults a composer into my highest tier is the tendency to cross stylistic borders. Gershwin, Bernstein, Golijov, Weill, and to a lesser extent, Ravel and Stravinsky, all exhibit this trait.

Wow, I don't think I've ever seen Golijov or Duruflé in anyone's top 10. It's a good list, though. The Atlanta Symphony has recorded some of Golijov's music. I have Ainadamar on a DG CD. I listened once and did not enjoy it, so I put it away. I'll have to bust it out one of these days. I'm not really an opera guy, but what the hey. I have been meaning to explore more living composers' music. Is there a specific trait or group of traits in his music that especially draws you in?

As for Duruflé, I definitely should get the Requiem. Do you have a favorite recording? I understand there are like three or four different versions of it, a full orchestral version, a version with just organ, cello and choir, etc etc...

Offline San Antone

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Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Composers
« Reply #1026 on: March 24, 2020, 01:02:49 PM »
Wow, I don't think I've ever seen Golijov or Duruflé in anyone's top 10. It's a good list, though. The Atlanta Symphony has recorded some of Golijov's music. I have Ainadamar on a DG CD. I listened once and did not enjoy it, so I put it away. I'll have to bust it out one of these days. I'm not really an opera guy, but what the hey. I have been meaning to explore more living composers' music. Is there a specific trait or group of traits in his music that especially draws you in?

As for Duruflé, I definitely should get the Requiem. Do you have a favorite recording? I understand there are like three or four different versions of it, a full orchestral version, a version with just organ, cello and choir, etc etc...

Regarding Golijov, I like his mixing of genres (as I do with several other composers). E.G. in Ainadamar he incorporates Arab and Jewish idioms, as well as Spanish flamenco sounds.  I am drawn to composers who combine so-called  "low" art with "high" art, like Gershwin, Bernstein and Golijov. 

There are three versions of the Durufle Requiem:

The original was written for full orchestra, choir and organ and that version is well represented with Durufle conducting, but Robert Shaw's recording is also very good and has more recent sound. 

He then made a complete revision for choir, organ and cello.  The recording led by Sir Phillip Ledger and featuring Janet Baker is my favorite (although there are several other very good recordings). 

The last version he did was for a chamber orchestra and the Matthew Best version is often cited as very good.

I started a thread on the work where I list short reviews of many other recordings.  It is my favorite choral work and I have tried to hear all of the recordings.  It is often coupled with the Faure Requiem, but I prefer recordings that fill out the disc with other works by Durufle, e.g. the Four Motets or the Messe Cum jubilo.

This set of all the choral works is excellent, containing another of my favorite performances of the Requiem with Clare Wilkinson singing the "Pie Jesu":

« Last Edit: March 24, 2020, 01:06:31 PM by San Antone »

Offline vers la flamme

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Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Composers
« Reply #1027 on: March 25, 2020, 10:21:21 AM »
Regarding Golijov, I like his mixing of genres (as I do with several other composers). E.G. in Ainadamar he incorporates Arab and Jewish idioms, as well as Spanish flamenco sounds.  I am drawn to composers who combine so-called  "low" art with "high" art, like Gershwin, Bernstein and Golijov. 

There are three versions of the Durufle Requiem:

The original was written for full orchestra, choir and organ and that version is well represented with Durufle conducting, but Robert Shaw's recording is also very good and has more recent sound. 

He then made a complete revision for choir, organ and cello.  The recording led by Sir Phillip Ledger and featuring Janet Baker is my favorite (although there are several other very good recordings). 

The last version he did was for a chamber orchestra and the Matthew Best version is often cited as very good.

I started a thread on the work where I list short reviews of many other recordings.  It is my favorite choral work and I have tried to hear all of the recordings.  It is often coupled with the Faure Requiem, but I prefer recordings that fill out the disc with other works by Durufle, e.g. the Four Motets or the Messe Cum jubilo.

This set of all the choral works is excellent, containing another of my favorite performances of the Requiem with Clare Wilkinson singing the "Pie Jesu":



Nice. And which version is represented on that Richard Marlow disc?

I have a Naxos disc with the Messe Cum Jubilo and other works. I like it a lot but I have to be in the mood.

I think I ought to check out the Shaw/Atlanta disc with the Duruflé and Fauré requiems. I don't actually have the full orchestral Fauré, just the chamber orchestra version, with John Rutter et al.

Offline San Antone

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Re: Your Top 10 Favorite Composers
« Reply #1028 on: March 25, 2020, 11:30:41 AM »
Nice. And which version is represented on that Richard Marlow disc?

It is the organ/cello version, which is the one I prefer.  The choir and singing of soloists is excellent for all the works.