GMG Classical Music Forum

The Music Room => General Classical Music Discussion => The Polling Station => Topic started by: Christo on January 24, 2018, 11:27:43 PM

Title: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: Christo on January 24, 2018, 11:27:43 PM
THE solution for ALL YOUR DILEMMAS with the 'Your Top 10 Favorites' thread: :laugh:
I thought Jeux would have (or actually had)  tipped the balance in Claude de France's favour...but no  :(. Still, you give perfectly legitimate reasons to prefer one composer over the other (even if I do  not share them   ;) ).
G’day to you, Rafael. I hope everything is well with you. Yeah, you know I do love Claude, but the balance was tipped in Ravel’s favor for the afore mentioned reasons. But, you know, we certainly can’t control what we like --- we just have to accept what are ears happen to be drawn to. :)
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: Christo on January 24, 2018, 11:30:49 PM
First attempt:
Bizet
Saint-Saëns
Debussy
Pierné
Ravel
Roussel
Koechlin
Tournemire
Sauguet
Dutilleux
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: ComposerOfAvantGarde on January 25, 2018, 12:04:44 AM
Boulez
Machaut
Radigue
Dhomont
Perotin
Risset
Messiaen
Murail
Manoury
Grisey
Mantovani

I guess Mantovani can drop off if I really really really must limit it to 10
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: GioCar on January 25, 2018, 12:40:47 AM
Ok let's play again

Berlioz
Bizet
Boulez
F Couperin
Debussy
Dutilleux
Grisey
Messiaen
Rameau
Ravel

Excluding the Franco-Flemish composers, otherwise Josquin would in in the list, replacing Ravel


Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: ritter on January 25, 2018, 01:13:18 AM
Voyons...

I'll exclude French composers who were not French born (e.g., Lully, Hahn)..I know, this is "cheating by rigouristy", but OTOH  I am not applying GMG's peculiar arithmetic rules, according to which 12 or 15 names fit in a list of 10  :D

Par date de naissance:

Rameau
Berlioz
Chabrier
Debussy
Dukas
Roussel
Schmitt
Ravel
Milhaud
Messiaen
Boulez


(It's curious to see that the chien flasque has not yet appeared on any list)
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: amw on January 25, 2018, 01:28:44 AM
Berlioz
Fauré
Ferrari
Grisey
Poulenc
Couperin (Louis)
Machaut
Bizet
Ravel
Dhomont

Probably
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: Jo498 on January 25, 2018, 02:03:37 AM
in no particular order and while I like several composers and pieces a lot I generally do not seem to be in harmony with the French aesthetic (normal for a German, I guess... we always preferred Italy and ocassionally Greece). I'll skip the Franco-Flemish and Medieval composers.

Fauré
Ravel
Rameau
Berlioz
Debussy
Couperin (Francois)
Bizet
Roussel
Saint-Saens
Chausson
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: GioCar on January 25, 2018, 02:25:11 AM

(It's curious to see that the chien flasque has not yet appeared on any list)

Personally I know very little by him  (I had to google that :-[) but what I know doesn't appeal to me... ;)
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: ComposerOfAvantGarde on January 25, 2018, 03:39:08 AM
I love the music of Satie but unfortunately there are too many French composers I enjoy more than can fit on a top 10 list. I can't even happily narrow it down to 10, unfortunately.
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: mc ukrneal on January 25, 2018, 05:35:50 AM
I don't generally like lists, but since mine will probably be different, I thought it might be more interesting (it leans more towards opera and ballet):
Jacques Offenbach
Adolphe Adam
Daniel Auber
Georges Bizet
Louise Farrenc
Louis Theodore Gouvy
Camille Saint-Saens
Maurice Ravel
Jules Massenet
Leo Delibes
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: Sergeant Rock on January 25, 2018, 06:09:29 AM
Magnard
Milhaud
Saint-Saens
Satie
Tournemire
Cras
Debussy
Ravel
Varèse
Poulenc
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: Wanderer on January 25, 2018, 08:12:33 AM
Charpentier
Lully
Alkan
Berlioz
Ravel
Debussy
Saint-Saëns
Messiaen
Poulenc
Offenbach
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: Cato on January 25, 2018, 09:12:27 AM
My list will be heavy with the organists:  0:)

Louis Vierne

Cesar Franck
(Belgian-French)  ;)

Alexandre Guilmant

Charles-Marie Widor

Ernst Chausson

Theodor Dubois

Francis Poulenc

Arthur Honnegger
  (Swiss-French)  0:)

Olivier Messiaen

Pierre Boulez
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: springrite on January 25, 2018, 09:14:02 AM
Alkan
Debussy
Faure
Machaut
Dutilleux
Boulez
Ravel
Francaix
Cras
Berlioz

PS: Kimi asked me to add Francaix. (He took the place I had originally given to Chausson)
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: SymphonicAddict on January 25, 2018, 11:59:23 AM
In alphabetical order:

Berlioz
Chausson
Cras
Debussy
Fauré
Magnard
Poulenc
Ravel
Ropartz
Saint-Saëns
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: The One on January 25, 2018, 01:54:52 PM
Berlioz
Bizet
Couperin f
Charpentier
Desprez
Dufay
La Rue
Leonin
Machaut
Perotin
Saint-Saens
What were the French composers doing during the Classical Era?  ::)



Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: Mahlerian on January 25, 2018, 02:18:45 PM
In alphabetical order, again:

Berlioz
Boulez
Debussy
Fauré
Josquin des Prez
Machaut
Messiaen
Rameau
Ravel
Varèse
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: North Star on January 25, 2018, 03:19:01 PM
What were the French composers doing during the Classical Era?  ::)
Worrying about shaving their necks?

Sticking to post-Renaissance composers..

Dutilleux
Ravel
Debussy
Fauré
Saint-Saëns
Alkan
Berlioz
Rameau
Fr. Couperin
L. Couperin
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: André on January 25, 2018, 04:07:42 PM
Berlioz
Bizet
Koechlin
Milhaud
Pierné
Ravel
Ropartz
Schmitt
Tournemire
Vierne

Man, this is difficult...
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: Baron Scarpia on January 25, 2018, 04:12:07 PM
Ravel
Debussy
Faure
Roussel
Messiaen
Milhaud
Poulenc
Saint-Saens
Magnard
d'Indy
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on January 25, 2018, 04:27:16 PM
Berlioz
Ravel
Debussy
Messiaen
Rameau
Lully
Dutilleux
Saint-Saens
Charpentier
Poulenc
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: Daverz on January 25, 2018, 04:41:31 PM
Roussel
Berlioz
Dutilleux
Milhaud
Debussy
Saint-Saëns
Ravel
Dukas
Franck
Poulenc
Honegger





Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: Baron Scarpia on January 25, 2018, 04:44:02 PM
I would have put Honegger, but I didn't think that Suisse Romande counts as French.  (Not sure who I would have taken out.)
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: amw on January 25, 2018, 05:08:26 PM
What were the French composers doing during the Classical Era?  ::)

This kind of thing (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxWByfy58p4)
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: Cato on January 25, 2018, 05:16:36 PM
I would have put Honegger, but I didn't think that Suisse Romande counts as French.  (Not sure who I would have taken out.)

I think being born in France, living many years in Paris, and being part of Les Six should make Honegger just a little French!  ;)

But...I am not in charge of the rules!  $:)   0:)
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: André on January 25, 2018, 06:54:21 PM
There are no « hard » rules  ;). Some have mentioned Franck (a belgian), others Honegger, Gouvy (born in Germany), Hahn (foreign born). What’s important is that they all had a very important french connection, mainly through citizenship and the use of the French language.
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: Baron Scarpia on January 25, 2018, 09:30:36 PM
I think being born in France, living many years in Paris, and being part of Les Six should make Honegger just a little French!  ;)

But...I am not in charge of the rules!  $:)   0:)

That's good enough for me. By knowledge of his biographical data came from CD booklets, which always seemed to describe him as Swiss.

There are no « hard » rules  ;). Some have mentioned Franck (a belgian), others Honegger, Gouvy (born in Germany), Hahn (foreign born). What’s important is that they all had a very important french connection, mainly through citizenship and the use of the French language.

In view of that, Honegger is restored to my list.
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: Undersea on January 25, 2018, 11:35:30 PM
I don't know if I can make 10 but I'll give it a shot:

Debussy
Ravel
Messiaen
Poulenc
Faure
Saint-Saens
Berlioz


Nope... that's it - only 7. :)
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: some guy on January 26, 2018, 12:31:48 PM
Bokanowski
Ferreyra
Groult
Radigue
Ferrari
Dhomont
Gobeil
André
Gibello
Berlioz
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: ComposerOfAvantGarde on January 26, 2018, 02:34:14 PM
Damn, I forgot Ferrari..........who is not Italian like I sometimes forget!!!!!!
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: some guy on January 27, 2018, 07:01:37 AM
Well, be fair, his name is Italian (because his ancestry is Italian), and he did die in Italy....

Bokanowski isn't Polish, either.

And Ferreyra was born in Argentina.

The whole "nationality" thing is as fraught with peril as race and gender are.
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: Christo on January 27, 2018, 07:53:26 AM
The whole "nationality" thing is as fraught with peril as race and gender are.
No, it isn't at all - or rather: only for those who hold nationality to be something sacred, or who think that there's something wrong with people with multiple or ambiguous nationalities. But just like with racism, antisemitism or anti-muslim hatred, the only real problem are these resentful persons themselves.  ::)
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: The One on January 27, 2018, 08:21:36 AM
No, it isn't at all - or rather: only for those who hold nationality to be something sacred, or who think that there's something wrong with people with multiple or ambiguous nationalities. But just like with racism, antisemitism or anti-muslim hatred, the only real problem are these resentful persons themselves.  ::)

There is Chopin under French composers on wikipedia  ;)
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: Christo on January 27, 2018, 08:34:55 AM
There is Chopin under French composers on wikipedia  ;)
Both Polish and French - as indeed he was.  :)
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: The One on January 27, 2018, 09:03:58 AM
Both Polish and French - as indeed he was.  :)
Yes, but despite his long period there, could you call him a French composer?  ::)
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on January 27, 2018, 09:25:06 PM
Yes, but despite his long period there, could you call him a French composer?  ::)

Chopin was neither French, nor Polish, nor Turkish, nor Icelander...nor whatever. He was one of the greatest "island" composers of all time. He shot out of nowhere, had no obvious antecedents, and carved his own path relying solely on his own instincts. He's as unclassifiable as it gets.

I like calling him French because he rose to fame there. I want to say he could've rose to fame almost anywhere where his talents would've been nurtured. But France it is. :)
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: Spineur on January 27, 2018, 11:56:21 PM
Reynaldo Hahn should be considered as French as his family settled in France when he was only 3.  Except for his baby life, everything about him is french.

This is not the case of Eugene Ysaye (great composer !) who never took the french nationality.

The case of Meyerbeer is sort of in between.
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: 71 dB on January 28, 2018, 02:01:15 AM
Rameau
Fauré
Charpentier, M.-A.
Saint-Saëns
Clérambault
Couperin, F.
Lully
Debussy
Berlioz
Ravel
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: André on January 28, 2018, 08:44:19 AM
Reynaldo Hahn should be considered as French as his family settled in France when he was only 3.  Except for his baby life, everything about him is french.

This is not the case of Eugene Ysaye (great composer !) who never took the french nationality.

The case of Meyerbeer is sort of in between.

Jacques Offenbach, that quintessential french composer, was born Jacob Eberst in Cologne, Germany, where his father was the synagogue’s cantor. He came to Paris at the age of 14. According to Wikipedia, Paris was the only place where a jewish musician could develop a career at the time (1833). The author of La vie parisienne and countless can-cans seems to have been French almost by accident. No problem, we’ll gladly take him !
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: Mahlerian on January 28, 2018, 09:02:38 AM
Jacques Offenbach, that quintessential french composer, was born Jacob Eberst in Cologne, Germany, where his father was the synagogue’s cantor. He came to Paris at the age of 14. According to Wikipedia, Paris was the only place where a jewish musician could develop a career at the time (1833). The author of La vie parisienne and countless can-cans seems to have been French almost by accident. No problem, we’ll gladly take him !

Wasn't Mendelssohn in the middle of his career around that time, though?  Perhaps his case is different because of his family's conversion.
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: Draško on January 28, 2018, 09:04:58 AM
Des Prez
Lully
L.Couperin
F.Couperin
Delalande
Rameau
Alkan
Debussy
Ravel
Poulenc
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: Mirror Image on January 28, 2018, 09:08:27 AM
I suppose I’ll give my list now:

Ravel
Debussy
Dutilleux
Poulenc
Honegger (yes, he’s French despite what the music historians say!)
Saint-Saëns
Koechlin
Duruflé
Pierné
Varèse
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: GioCar on January 28, 2018, 09:34:00 AM
This is the Swiss 20-franc banknote

(http://currencyguide.eu/chf-en/Switzerland-20-Francs-obverse.jpg)

 ???! You are selling one of the Swiss national heroes to France. Maybe king ubu has something to say... ;D
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: springrite on January 28, 2018, 09:37:18 AM
This is the Swiss 20-franc banknote

(http://currencyguide.eu/chf-en/Switzerland-20-Francs-obverse.jpg)

 ???! You are selling one of the Swiss national heroes to France. Maybe king ubu has something to say... ;D

Well, it's not like a knife-wielding Swiss Army platoon is gonna come across the border...
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: Mirror Image on January 28, 2018, 09:46:11 AM
Let’s see Honegger was born in France. He spent most of his life there and is recognized as a Swiss composer just because his parents were from Switzerland? That’s like saying I’m actually Irish because most of my ancestors came from there and totally ignoring the fact that I was born and raised in the US. I don’t buy it at all. Honegger’s as French as Béchamel sauce.
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: Jo498 on January 28, 2018, 09:56:02 AM
Wasn't Mendelssohn in the middle of his career around that time, though?  Perhaps his case is different because of his family's conversion.
Mendelssohn was a different case because his parents had already converted and he was raised protestant christian.
But Meyerbeer (born Jakob Liebmann Meyer Beer) did not convert as far as I know and he had a regular musical education and career in Germany and Austria. Meyerbeer's father was an important figure in the ca. 1800 Berlin Jewish community and when his wife Amalia (the composer's mother) received an order from the Queen of Prussia the design of the medal was changed for her and the  usual cross replaced by a portrait of the queen.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giacomo_Meyerbeer#Early_years

I am not an expert on European antisemitism but it seems that the first half of the 19th century was not a particularly bad time. Moscheles also had already a successful career as a Jew but converted in his 30s to the Church of England.
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: André on January 28, 2018, 12:40:12 PM
Let’s see Honegger was born in France. He spent most of his life there and is recognized as a Swiss composer just because his parents were from Switzerland? That’s like saying I’m actually Irish because most of my ancestors came from there and totally ignoring the fact that I was born and raised in the US. I don’t buy it at all. Honegger’s as French as Béchamel sauce.

My cd collection is arranged by nationalities/country of origin or of settlement. I have put Honegger, Martin, Lekeu and Franck with the French. I do have a belgian section, which covers both french and flemish-speaking composers (Ysaÿe, Vieuxtemps, van Poot, Gilson, Jongen, Devreese, Meulemans, etc). Why, then, assign Franck and Lekeu (both belgian born) to France? Simply because they were francophones who settled in the Hexagon for the rest of their life (although Lekeu’s was very short). And also because I had a certain number of recordings (let’s say a critical mass, however small) from a lot of belgian composers.

In the case of Frank Martin, he is a pure swiss product, bicultural and bilingual (German-French). So, why not have a swiss section ? Simply because there’s so little composers hailing from there (Huber and Raff are others, and I put them among the austro-german composers). It’s an editorial/executive decision, then, not based strictly on facts such as what passport they held  :D.

In the case of Honegger, it’s not as clear cut as you say. He always kept ties to Switzerland, having started his musical studies at the Zürich Conservatory. He was 17, so presumably he had been sent to live there with a relative (I’m makin an educated guess here). He continued his studies, had most of his career and died in Paris. His 4th symphony is an homage to Basel, a swiss city at the border of both France and Germany. It contains musical references to geggenkusik, traditional carnival tunes from alemanic Switzerland. And it should not be forgotten that the name Honegger is strongly Swiss, not French-based. The Swiss central bank must have had good reasons to consider him one of their illustrious sons. You don’t bestow that kind of recognition on someone whose story, credentials or attachment to the mère-patrie could be questioned.

But, all things considered, the balance of elements plus the absence of a strong swiss musical tradition tipped the scale towards France, but strictly for the purpose of making a practical decision. I might have decided otherwise if I had, say, 20+ recordings of other swiss composers  :D.
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: Mirror Image on January 28, 2018, 12:47:25 PM
My cd collection is arranged by nationalities/country of origin or of settlement. I have put Honegger, Martin, Lekeu and Franck with the French. I do have a belgian section, which covers both french and flemish-speaking composers (Ysaÿe, Vieuxtemps, van Poot, Gilson, Jongen, Devreese, Meulemans, etc). Why, then, assign Franck and Lekeu (both belgian born) to France? Simply because they were francophones who settled in the Hexagon for the rest of their life (although Lekeu’s was very short). And also because I had a certain number of recordings (let’s say a critical mass, however small) from a lot of belgian composers.

In the case of Frank Martin, he is a pure swiss product, bicultural and bilingual (German-French). So, why not have a swiss section ? Simply because there’s so little composers hailing from there (Huber and Raff are others, and I put them among the austro-german composers). It’s an editorial/executive decision, then, not based strictly on facts such as what passport they held  :D.

In the case of Honegger, it’s not as clear cut as you say. He always kept ties to Switzerland, having started his musical studies at the Zürich Conservatory. He was 17, so presumably he had been sent to live there with a relative (I’m making an educated guess here). He continued his studies, had most of his career and died in Paris. His 4th symphony is an homage to Basel, a swiss city at the border of both France and Germany. It contains musical references to geggenkusik, traditional carnival tunes from alemanic Switzerland. And it should not be forgotten that the name Honegger is strongly Swiss, not French-based. The Swiss central bank must have had good reasons to consider him one of their illustrious sons. You don’t bestow that kind of recognition on someone whose story, credentials or attachment to the mère-patrie could be questioned.

But, all things considered, the balance of elements plus the absence of a strong swiss musical tradition tipped the scale towards France. I might have decided otherwise if I had, say, 20+ recordings of other swiss composers  :D.

Certainly food for thought here, Andre.
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: ComposerOfAvantGarde on January 28, 2018, 02:55:34 PM
Yes, but despite his long period there, could you call him a French composer?  ::)

I think he was a composer who primarily benefitted from other pioneers of Polish miniature genres, particularly Szymanowska. That kind of influence made him a national Polish icon, surely.
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: Christo on January 28, 2018, 11:10:40 PM
My cd collection is arranged by nationalities/country of origin or of settlement. I have put Honegger, Martin, Lekeu and Franck with the French.
Nice to learn; my cd collection is arranged the same way. But with Honegger in the Swiss section (mainly Martin, Schoeck, Honegger and Wissmer, no Raff) and Franck in the Belgian (a bit larger because of all the Flemish nationalists). Even have a three cd Liechtenstein section (all three by Joseph Rheinberger  :D) and made a completely arbitrary - seperating Mozart from Beethoven - divide between 'Austria' and 'Germany' because an Austro-German section (I had one, at first) became too big. Also convenient are 'culturally autonomous' sections like Euskadi, Scotland, Wales, the Faroer, the Volga Republics - but not Quebec, I must confess  ;D)
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: Spineur on January 29, 2018, 04:30:49 AM
I use the composer first name by alphabetical order.  Although M is the middle of the alphabet, the section A-M has more than 2/3 of the recordings and the N-Z section only 1/3 despite the very thick W (Wolfgang  :-*) section.
Except that there are so many first name that begin with an A in most languages, I really do not know why the imbalance is so large...
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: NikF on January 29, 2018, 07:58:43 AM
Chopin was neither French, nor Polish, nor Turkish, nor Icelander...nor whatever. He was one of the greatest "island" composers of all time. He shot out of nowhere, had no obvious antecedents, and carved his own path relying solely on his own instincts. He's as unclassifiable as it gets.

I like calling him French because he rose to fame there. I want to say he could've rose to fame almost anywhere where his talents would've been nurtured. But France it is. :)

I think this is a really cool and insightful post. Good stuff.
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: Christo on January 29, 2018, 08:28:10 AM
Chopin was neither French, nor Polish, nor Turkish, nor Icelander...nor whatever. He was one of the greatest "island" composers of all time. He shot out of nowhere, had no obvious antecedents, and carved his own path relying solely on his own instincts. He's as unclassifiable as it gets.

I like calling him French because he rose to fame there. I want to say he could've rose to fame almost anywhere where his talents would've been nurtured. But France it is. :)
I'm afraid we're confusing nationality with nationalism, then. But nationalism was not a real concern to his generation of European composers/musicians, who normally held a more cosmopolitan/Europena outlook, the same applies to e.g. Rubinstein, or John Field, Liszt, Schumann. In other words: nationalism and national styles came one or two generations later, but that doesn't deny Chopin's Polish nationality as well as him being also French. (We even call John Field an "Irish" composer for good reasons, though there was no Irish nationality in his age, nor an Irish 'national' let alone musical tradition, nor did he live in Ireland or even identify with Ireland.)
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: bwv 1080 on January 29, 2018, 08:35:15 AM
Solage
Grimace
Josquin
Rameau
Debussy
Messiaen
Dutilleux
Boulez
Dusapin
Murail
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: Mirror Image on January 29, 2018, 12:58:16 PM
I suppose I’ll give my list now:

Ravel
Debussy
Dutilleux
Poulenc
Honegger (yes, he’s French despite what the music historians say!) Boulanger
Saint-Saëns
Koechlin
Duruflé
Pierné
Varèse

Since I can’t have Honegger, and since his Swiss-ness has been heavily debated, I'll substitute Lili Boulanger.
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: vandermolen on January 29, 2018, 01:09:51 PM
Sauguet
Tournemire
Debussy
Ravel
Koechlin
Magnard
Durufle
Damase
Jean Cras
Honegger (if allowed) otherwise Poulenc for the Organ Concerto.
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: bwv 1080 on January 29, 2018, 02:37:57 PM
On second thought, I will be more inclusive and include composers at one time under French rule

Haydn
Beethoven
Schubert
Rossini
Chopin
Schumann
etc.
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: Baron Scarpia on January 29, 2018, 02:48:09 PM
Since there doesn't seem to be a hard and fast rule, the rule is apparently that if you put a composer on the list you are asserting that you personally perceive the composer as French. Presumably their cultural influences (both ways) have more to do with it than their passport. I originally left Honegger off (I don't remember if I put him back) because he struck me as Swiss rather than French (which implies a somewhat more eclectic set of influences). I did not make that choice based on a detailed knowledge of his background or biography.
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on January 29, 2018, 05:49:16 PM
I think this is a really cool and insightful post. Good stuff.

Thanks, Nik! Chopin could be from Saturn and I'd be happy.
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: Trout on January 29, 2018, 05:55:08 PM
Boulez
Debussy
Dhomont
Fauré
Josquin
Magnard
Messiaen
Murail
Parmegiani
Poulenc
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: vandermolen on January 29, 2018, 11:17:29 PM
I tend to think of Honegger as Swiss. 'Symphony 4: The Delights of Basel' etc although I know that he spent much time in France.
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: Christo on January 29, 2018, 11:38:21 PM
Total vote now, with a new runner up:
Debussy (21x)
Ravel (21x)
Berlioz (14x)
Poulenc (13x)
Saint-Saens (13x)
Messiaen (12x)
Fauré (10x)
Boulez (9x)
Rameau (9x)
Dutilleux (8x)
Bizet (6x)
Des Prez, Josquin (6x)
Couperin, F. (5x)
Dhomont (5x)
Machaut (5x)
Milhaud (5x)
Roussel (5x)
Tournemire (5x)
Alkan (4x)
Cras (4x)
Honegger* (4x)
Koechlin (4x)
Lully (4x)
Murail (4x)
Pierné (4x)
Charpentier (3x)
Chausson (3x)
Couperin, L.  (3x)
Duruflé (3x)
Magnard (3x)
Varèse (3x)
Dukas (2x)
Ferrari (2x)
Franck* (2x)
Grisey (2x)
Offenbach (2x)
Parmegiani (2x)
Radigue (2x)
Ropartz (2x)
Sauguet (2x)
Schmitt (2x)
Vierne (2x)
Adam
Andre (André)
Auber
Bokanowski
Boulanger, Lili
Chabrier
Clérambault
Damase
Delalande
Delibes
Dubois
Dusapin
Farrenc
Ferreyra
Francaix
Gibello
Gobeil
Gouvy
Grimace
Groult
Guilmant
d'Indy
Manoury
Mantovani
Massenet
Perotin
Risset
Satie
Solage
Widor
           *) Possibly received less votes because of their mixed nationalities
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: Baron Scarpia on January 30, 2018, 12:14:18 AM
Total vote now, with a new runner up:*) Possibly received less votes because of their mixed nationalities

After deciding that Honegger did not feel French to me I substituted d'Indy. If my change is allowed, you should subtract one Honegger and add d'Indy, picking up the rear.

Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: mc ukrneal on January 30, 2018, 12:16:56 AM
I don't generally like lists, but since mine will probably be different, I thought it might be more interesting (it leans more towards opera and ballet):
Jacques Offenbach
Adolphe Adam
Daniel Auber
Georges Bizet
Louise Farrenc
Louis Theodore Gouvy
Camille Saint-Saens
Maurice Ravel
Jules Massenet
Leo Delibes
As I predicted, not much love for my guys and gals!!! Six of them have not received any additional votes!!  Still happy with my choices though...
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: Christo on January 30, 2018, 12:32:08 AM
After deciding that Honegger did not feel French to me I substituted d'Indy. If my change is allowed, you should subtract one Honegger and add d'Indy, picking up the rear.
Okay, will oblige with the next count.  ;)
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: Christo on January 30, 2018, 12:38:36 AM
Total vote now, with a new runner up:
André
BTW: not sure who proposed a composer supposedly named "André" - if I don't know him, who does?  ::)
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: vandermolen on January 30, 2018, 01:33:29 AM
Sauguet x 2. Now, I wonder who they could be?
 8)

You lot should listed to the Symphonie by Damase.
A most life-affirming, charming and inspiriting work with a redemptive conclusion. The whole disc is good.

Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: Draško on January 30, 2018, 01:58:26 AM
Total vote now, with a new runner up:

Lully (3x)

Lully

Misplaced one vote for Lully. Should be four in total.  :)
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: Christo on January 30, 2018, 01:59:16 AM
Misplaced one vote for Lully. Should be four in total.  :)
Thanks! #willdo  :)
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: ComposerOfAvantGarde on January 30, 2018, 04:31:25 AM
I would have included Boulanger, Debussy and Ravel but unfortunately 10 just isn't a big enough list. Or if we could confine the list only to composers from before 1950 it would be much easier to include them...............
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: ComposerOfAvantGarde on January 30, 2018, 04:44:35 AM
Boulez
Debussy
Dhomont
Fauré
Josquin
Magnard
Messiaen
Murail
Parmegiani
Poulenc

I like your taste in French music 8)
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: Christo on January 30, 2018, 05:08:06 AM
Not mentioned, thus far, AFAIK (just a few names I'm thinking of):
Ibert
Lalo
Messager
Caplet
Barraqué
Langlais
Alain
Dupré
Gossec
Le Flem
Ohana
Tailleferre
Jolivet
Daniel-Lésur
Halévy


Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: amw on January 30, 2018, 05:14:43 AM
BTW: not sure who proposed a composer supposedly named "André" - if I don't know him, who does?  ::)
I assume that’s Mark Andre, who is pretty good at composing and being a nerd (maybe not in that order).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKJAUyI4aww&app=desktop

Not sure if the accent aigu is compulsory.
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: Crudblud on January 30, 2018, 05:18:13 AM
Unordered:

Ravel
Fauré
Varèse
Boulez
Couperin, F.
Messiaen

There are other French composers I like to an extent (Berlioz, Rameau, Poulenc, Grisey, Schaeffer, Barraqué, some others) but I would be hard pressed to call them favourites.
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 30, 2018, 05:32:47 AM
I guess this cannot be difficult . . . in alphabetical order:

Alkan
Berlioz
Couperin, François
Couperin, Louis
Debussy
Koechlin
Ravel
Roussel
Saint-Saëns
Satie


Honorable mention (i.e., wish I might have squeezed them in):

Boulez
Fauré
Messiaen
Varèse
(is he French?)

Not included, even though I love ’em, parce qu’ils ne sont pas vraiment français:

Chopin
Stravinsky
Tchaikovsky
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: Crudblud on January 30, 2018, 06:53:24 AM
Varèse (is he French?)

Could be argued either way. The overwhelming majority of his surviving works was produced in the United States. On the other hand, his music is steeped in Berlioz and the impressionists, he strikes me very much as someone who lived and breathed the music of France. The lone surviving early piece Un grand sommeil noir gives an indication of his roots, which I don't think he ever fully escaped, if indeed he wanted to.
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 30, 2018, 06:54:39 AM
Could be argued either way. The overwhelming majority of his surviving works was produced in the United States. On the other hand, his music is steeped in Berlioz and the impressionists, he strikes me very much as someone who lived and breathed the music of France. The lone surviving early piece Un grand sommeil noir gives an indication of his roots, which I don't think he ever fully escaped, if indeed he wanted to.

Verily.
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: Spineur on January 30, 2018, 08:02:18 AM
Not mentioned, thus far, AFAIK (just a few names I'm thinking of):
Daniel-Lésur
Daniel-Lesur (no accent).

Rodolphe Kreutzer
André Grétry (only french by adoption)
Philippe Hersant
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: André on January 30, 2018, 08:14:57 AM
Not mentioned, thus far, AFAIK (just a few names I'm thinking of):
Ibert
Lalo
Messager
Caplet
Barraqué
Langlais
Alain
Dupré
Gossec
Le Flem
Ohana
Tailleferre
Jolivet
Daniel-Lésur
Halévy

I’ve bolded those I might add if the list went up to 25. Think also of Auric, Canteloube, David ...
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: vandermolen on January 30, 2018, 11:29:30 AM
Not mentioned, thus far, AFAIK (just a few names I'm thinking of):
Ibert
Lalo
Messager
Caplet
Barraqué
Langlais
Alain
Dupré
Gossec
Le Flem
Ohana
Tailleferre
Jolivet
Daniel-Lésur
Halévy
Langlais, Alain, Canteloube and Le Flem could have been on my list and certainly Auric for his magical 'Beauty and the Beast' film score.
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: some guy on January 30, 2018, 01:16:54 PM
BTW: not sure who proposed a composer supposedly named "André" - if I don't know him, who does?  ::)
Not sure how you could be not sure. It's right there in my post. My post, with my handle on top and everything, just like this one.

And amw is correct, the accent apparently went when he changed from Marc to Mark. So not only not compulsory, compulsory to NOT have it.
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: Spineur on January 30, 2018, 02:17:22 PM
So I succomb to GMG list mania - by order of preference

Claude Debussy for Pelleas et Melisande
Francis Poulenc for Le dialogue des Carmelites
Maurice Ravel for Daphnis et Cloe
J-P Rameau for les indes galantes
Georges Bizet for Carmen
Jules Massenet for Werther
Hector Berlioz for les nuits d'été
Henri Dutilleux for Tout un monde Lointain
Charles Koechlin for The jungle book
César Franck for Les sept dernières paroles du Christ
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: ComposerOfAvantGarde on January 30, 2018, 02:23:04 PM
I assume that’s Mark Andre, who is pretty good at composing and being a nerd (maybe not in that order).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKJAUyI4aww&app=desktop

Not sure if the accent aigu is compulsory.

I would have put him on my list if it weren't for the complexities of things like nationality..........also I am pretty sure he officially changed his name from Marc André to Mark Andre as a German.
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: some guy on January 31, 2018, 02:43:13 PM
It's true.

I knew about the Marc to Mark part of things, but I completely missed the whole German thing.

So yeah. Mark Andre is officially NOT one of my favorite French composers.
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: ComposerOfAvantGarde on January 31, 2018, 02:52:35 PM
But he is one of my favourite European composers at any rate. ;D
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: Josquin13 on January 31, 2018, 04:25:57 PM
That's a particularly difficult question for me, since apart from Bach, Handel & Mozart, the music that I listen to and enjoy most is by the 19th & early 20th Century French 'impressionist' composers (& their progeny), and the early Burgundian and Franco-Flemish schools.  I'd have trouble choosing a top ten for either of those two periods, let alone a combined list.

To make it easier, I won't include the Belgian or Netherlandish composers of the Franco-Flemish School--sometimes known as the "Dutch School", though it did include parts of northern France.  Which means that I won't be considering Ciconia (Belgian), Ockeghem (Netherlands or Belgium), La Rue (Tournai, so Belgian), Isaac (Brabant, Flanders, or poss. German), Pipelare (Antwerp), Obrecht (Ghent), Orto (Tournai), De Monte (Mechelen, Flanders or Belgium), or Lassus (Mons--Habsburg Netherlands, or Belgium), but will include the French & Burgundian schools.  (Though among the Burgundian School, I'll leave out Dunstable and Morton, since they were both English.)
 
My top ten (or at least, the composers that I've listened to most over the past several years):

Josquin Desprez
Claude Debussy
Maurice Ravel
Guillaume Dufay
Guillaume de Machaut
Philippe De Vitry
Loyset Compere
Guillaume Faugues
Eustache Du Caurroy
Gabriel Faure

A bit easier--here are my favorite 10 pre-Baroque French composers:

Josquin Desprez
Guillaume Dufay
Guillaume Machaut
Philippe De Vitry
Loyset Compere
Gilles Binchois
Perotin
Guillaume Faugues
Jean Mouton
Eustache Du Caurroy

Other worthy mentions: Antoine Busnois, Antoine Brumel, Firminus Caron, Pierre La Rue, Jean Richafort, Leonin or Leoninus, etc..

And, here are my top 10 post-Renaissance French composers:

Claude Debussy
Maurice Ravel
Gabriel Faure
Marc-Antoine Charpentier
François Couperin
Jean-Philippe Rameau
Jean-Baptiste Lully
Albert Roussel
Charles Koechlin
Erik Satie

Other worthy mentions: L. Couperin, Ropartz, Franck, Magnard, Pierne, Saint-Saens, Duparc, Milhaud, Rebel, Chausson, etc.


Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: André on January 31, 2018, 06:36:37 PM
A very valid point, Josquin. Like other countries around it, particularly on its northern marches, France before the XVth century had shifting borders, vastly different musical/visual arts cultures (esp south of the Loire river) and also substantially different languages - nothing at all like today’s French language. Northern France was much closer in all respects to what eventually became Belgium than it was to, say, Aquitaine, Touraine, Languedoc, Savoie and Provence.

French became the language of the royal administration in 1539 only. The Grandfather of modern french literature, Michel Montaigne (1533-1592) was the first to use it (modern French) in his writings. He mentioned that he was writing for « few men, and a few years only ». « If my work had been planned for the long term, I would not have chosen French »,  and: « Since I was born, half of it has changed. Who knows what it will be like in 50 years? ».

With that in mind I hesitate to consider composers from the Middle Ages or Early Renaissance in the same light as those who came after Kings Charle VII up to François Ier had unified the kingdom in the 15th-16th centuries. France underwent dramatic changes during and following the 100 Years War (1337-1453). It is quite safe to say that it was not the same country before and after.
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: Spineur on February 02, 2018, 10:53:11 AM
The Grandfather of modern french literature, Michel Montaigne (1533-1592) was the first to use it (modern French) in his writings.
Michel Eyquem de Montaigne.  His Essais are in fact closer to a philosophy treatise.  I keep returning to this extraordinary book.

Quote
  France underwent dramatic changes during and following the 100 Years War (1337-1453). It is quite safe to say that it was not the same country before and after.
Certainly true of northern France.  Not really true of southern France which was affected by the 100 y war only through the food shortages.
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: mjmosca on May 26, 2018, 02:56:04 AM
Saint-Saens, Berlioz, Faure, Ravel, Rameau, Roussel, Schmitt, Poulenc, M-A Charpentier, Debussy.

There are others of course, but these are the French composers that I listen to most often. Indeed, I would say that Saint-Saens, along with Bruckner and Beethoven are among my top favorite composers. thanks! 
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: Symphonic Addict on August 26, 2020, 11:38:56 AM
I haven't participated here yet! Time to remedy that. In order of preference I guess:

Saint-Saëns
Roussel
Poulenc
Ravel
Magnard
Gouvy
Alkan
Dubois
Schmitt
Pierné

Honorable mentions: d'Indy, Fauré, Cras, Berlioz
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: vandermolen on August 26, 2020, 12:35:36 PM
I've just ordered a CD of music by Jean-Roger Ducasse - maybe that will join my list in due course!

Let's have another think:

Sauguet
Damase
Magnard
Debussy
Tournemire
Koechlin
Durufle
Alain
Cras
Poulenc (for the Organ Concerto)
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: Brian on August 26, 2020, 12:56:50 PM
Berlioz
Debussy
Escaich
Faure
Ibert
Pierne
Poulenc
Ravel
Roussel
Widor

Tough to eliminate: Francaix, F. Couperin, Rameau, Saint-Saens
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: Symphonic Addict on August 26, 2020, 02:43:56 PM
I forgot Koechlin and Ropartz. Two composers who deserve to be mentioned.
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: kyjo on August 27, 2020, 06:16:52 AM
Poulenc
Saint-Saëns
Damase
Ravel
Roussel
Fauré
Magnard
Cras
Dutilleux
Schmitt

Honorable mentions: Canteloube, Berlioz, Chausson

I’m woefully under-familiar with Koechlin’s music for some odd reason. I need to rectify that...
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: Biffo on August 27, 2020, 06:27:32 AM
Here's my 10, aprt from the first two, in no particular order -

Berlioz
Ravel
Roussel
Debussy
Faure
Koechlin
Alkan
Saint-Saens
Cras
Scratching around for a 10th - several one-hit wonders. Also left out Baroque and Early Music where I have no clear-cut favourites
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: vandermolen on August 27, 2020, 06:52:58 AM
Poulenc
Saint-Saëns
Damase
Ravel
Roussel
Fauré
Magnard
Cras
Dutilleux
Schmitt

Honorable mentions: Canteloube, Berlioz, Chausson

I’m woefully under-familiar with Koechlin’s music for some odd reason. I need to rectify that...
No surprise to see Damase there  ;D

For Koechlin I'd recommend 'Le buisson ardent' Kyle:
(http://)
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: Total Rafa on September 02, 2020, 03:27:11 AM
Loosely organised into tiers:

Messiaen
Poulenc
Fauré

Saint-Saëns
Berlioz
Ravel
Debussy
Satie

Duruflé
Franck or Bizet
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: MusicTurner on September 02, 2020, 09:39:10 AM
Debussy
Ravel
Messiaen
S-Saens
Faure
Rameau
Poulenc
Franck

and probably

Murail
Dutilleux,

so pretty familiar names; I might exchange one with Schmitt though.


Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: Maestro267 on September 03, 2020, 04:49:52 AM
Messiaen
Ravel
Poulenc
Roussel
Saint-Saens
Dutilleux
Berlioz
Franck
Duruflé
Debussy

Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: Symphonic Addict on January 30, 2021, 07:34:52 PM
Another go:

Saint-Saëns
Poulenc
Ravel
Roussel
Magnard
Milhaud
Schmitt
Fauré
Ropartz
Pierné

I think it sums up my tastes quite well.

Runner-ups: Cras, d'Indy, Gouvy, Dubois, Berlioz.
Title: Re: Your Top 10 Favorite French Composers
Post by: Ganondorf on April 30, 2021, 04:46:27 AM
Berlioz
Debussy
Saint-Saëns
Ravel
Bizet