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Thread: Our Top Ten Favorite Composers

          
   
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  1. #16
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    These are some of my favorite composers -
    Beethoven
    Chopin
    Verdi
    Puccini
    Mozart
    Tchaikovsky
    Bach
    Schubert
    Brahms
    Rachmaninov
    I play piano in spare time so this list is probably weighted towards piano, although these composers are also orchestral (and opera). Hard to make a list like this, since on a different day, might prefer some other composers on the list.

  2. #17
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BandoRGCG View Post
    These are some of my favorite composers -
    Beethoven
    Chopin
    Verdi
    Puccini
    Mozart
    Tchaikovsky
    Bach
    Schubert
    Brahms
    Rachmaninov
    I play piano in spare time so this list is probably weighted towards piano, although these composers are also orchestral (and opera). Hard to make a list like this, since on a different day, might prefer some other composers on the list.
    Welcome to Opera Lively, BandoRGCG.

    My interest for non-operatic classical music, although existing, is greatly dwarfed by my interest for opera, so, I'd tend to only quote opera composers in my list.

    It would be something like this (the order matters):

    1. Wagner
    2. Verdi
    3. Mozart
    4. Handel
    5. Berlioz
    6. Beethoven
    7. Rossini
    8. Richard Strauss
    9. Puccini
    10. Donizetti

    I'd have to say that the only exception to the "opera composer" rule in my top 10 list is Beethoven, because I'm not listing him as my 6th favorite composer for the sake of his only opera Fidelio (which I like a lot, but is only one), but rather because of his symphonies, sonatas, etc. Even if he hadn't composed Fidelio I'd still list him there. No other non-operatic composer, however, would be able to break into my top 10. Bach, for instance, is really not for me. I know it may sound like heresy, and it is weird because I profoundly love Baroque opera - but I actually can barely stand non-operatic Baroque music. People like Chopin and Mahler would get close to breaking into the top ten but not quite (probably more like top 20), and if I allowed Vivaldi there, although I do like his non-operatic output, his getting in would have to include his operatic output which I'm getting to know and liking more and more, so, he wouldn't be a true breaker of the rule. Tchaikovsky is the same case - I do like his non-operatic works but equally value his operas. So, only Beethoven for non-operatic music... and the other spots, for me, are opera - opera - opera.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  3. #18
    Senior Member Involved Member Tardis's Avatar
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    I completely agree with you. I don't know why. I respect Bach but his music doesn't really strike an emotional chord with me like the later Classical and Romantic composers do. I will keep trying.
    I think if Bach was born in a later time period, and had the opportunity to really express himself more without the musical conventions at the time, my own views on him would be much different.

    It probably has more to do with personal sensibilities than anything else.
    It's kind of like Feynman vs. Schwinger. They are both geniuses but with very different approaches.
    I appreciate Schwinger's mathematical precision but I love Feynman's intuition more.




    Quote Originally Posted by Almaviva View Post
    Welcome to Opera Lively, BandoRGCG.

    I'd have to say that the only exception to the "opera composer" rule in my top 10 list is Beethoven, because I'm not listing him as my 6th favorite composer for the sake of his only opera Fidelio (which I like a lot, but is only one), but rather because of his symphonies, sonatas, etc. Even if he hadn't composed Fidelio I'd still list him there. No other non-operatic composer, however, would be able to break into my top 10. Bach, for instance, is really not for me. I know it may sound like heresy, and it is weird because I profoundly love Baroque opera - but I actually can barely stand non-operatic Baroque music. People like Chopin and Mahler would get close to breaking into the top ten but not quite (probably more like top 20), and if I allowed Vivaldi there, although I do like his non-operatic output, his getting in would have to include his operatic output which I'm getting to know and liking more and more, so, he wouldn't be a true breaker of the rule. Tchaikovsky is the same case - I do like his non-operatic works but equally value his operas. So, only Beethoven for non-operatic music... and the other spots, for me, are opera - opera - opera.

  4. #19
    Schigolch
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    The "musical conventions" of the 18th century didn't prevent Bach from fully "expressing" in his music wathever was in his mind.

    Sometimes (well, quite a few times, really) I keep being surprised by how alive and kicking is still Romanticism after so many, many years.

    Baroque music, or Classical music afterwards, was not limited in any way by any kind of musical 'blocks' that needed other techniques to liberate torrents of passion and the capacity to pour emotion into the scores. It's really a question of mindset.

    For sure, one can enjoy or not Bach's music, like that of any other composer. But there were not real technical limitations to constraint his genius.

  5. #20
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    I have been extremely impressed by the genius of Bach in being able to place voices next to each other, especially in fugues. Although my knowledge of theory is very lacking, I can hear that the music to me is pretty unbelievable. I had a conversation the other day with a musician (composer) who indicated that in his musical training that a major assignment was to separate each voice from the Preludes & Fugues into separate pieces (so four voices would be four musical compositions) and then memorize them. ( I can't even imagine). I sometimes wonder if Bach were alive today, would he be a mathematician or an astrophysicist. Even though I don't know the theory, I find that there is much emotion there, which reminds me of a popular album I think from the 1970's, "Switched on Bach" which was played on radio quite often. Last thought on this is that Romantic composers could be quite contrapuntal. I play piano in spare time and there is so much Chopin where he is constantly putting themes within chords seemingly out of nowhere (one reason I always loved Vladimir Horowitz who was ingenious at bringing out these melodies. Anyway, just some random thoughts and enjoyed the above posts.

  6. #21
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Amfortas's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum, BandoRGCG!

  7. #22
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    Thanks, for welcome

  8. #23
    Senior Member Involved Member StLukesGuildOhio's Avatar
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    1. J.S. Bach
    2. W.A. Mozart
    3. L.v. Beethoven
    4. Joseph Haydn
    5. Franz Schubert
    6. Richard Wagner
    7. Richard Strauss
    8. Gustav Mahler
    9. Johannes Brahms
    10. Gabriel Faure (one non-German!)

    11. G.F. Handel (probably should be no. 10... but then...)
    12. Piotr Tchaikovsky
    13. Claude Debussy
    14. Maurice Ravel
    15. Hector Berlioz
    16. Robert Schumann
    17. Antonio Vivaldi
    18. Franz Liszt
    19. Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber
    20. Frederic Chopin

    21. Giacomo Puccini
    22. Christoph Willibald Gluck
    23. Gioachino Rossini
    24. Jules Massenet
    25. Jacques Offenbach
    26. Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
    27. Giuseppe Verdi
    28. Gaetano Donizetti
    29. Guillaume Dufay
    30. Claudio Monteverdi/Jean-Philippe Rameau/Carlo Gesualdo/Johann Strauss II

    The first 15 are pretty much set in stone... although those lower down may shift up or down one or two places depending on when I am asked. The remaining 15 would always remain in my top 50... but may shift around quite a bit.
    "Suppose you were an idiot ... And suppose you were a member of
    Congress .. But I repeat myself." -Mark Twain

  9. #24
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    No particular order:

    Beethoven
    Mendelssohn
    Mahler
    Rachmaninoff
    Saint-Saens
    Handel
    Wagner
    Donizetti
    Bellini
    Rossini
    Since that night at the Polka, I don't understand you, Sheriff.
    --Ashby, La Fanciulla del West

  10. #25
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Handel
    Britten
    Tchaikovsky
    Monteverdi
    Wagner
    Mozart
    Rossini
    Vivaldi
    Rameau
    Rachmaninov… or Rimsky Korsakov…. or just Russians. I love Russian opera.

    I also like Verdi and Puccini but don’t listen much to their operas these days.
    Natalie

  11. #26
    Senior Member Involved Member Nemorino's Avatar
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    Beethoven
    Stravinsky
    Prokofiev
    Britten
    Shostakovich
    Wagner
    Verdi
    Adams
    Handel
    Tchaikovsky

    In my pre-opera symphony-crazed days, Dvorak and Mahler would have been on there, but Verdi and Handel have taken their place (and Rossini is probably #11).

  12. #27
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    1) Verdi
    2) Brahms
    3) Mozart
    4) Dvorak
    5) Mendelssohn
    6) Chopin
    7) Ravel
    8) Charpentier
    9) Haydn
    10) R.Strauss

    Mahler is hard to leave out, the fact is I love his music but don't listen to him much. I treat listening as a special occasion that I sometimes forget to have that occasion. I could see him taking Haydn or Strauss' spot if I get into my next Mahler kick

  13. #28
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonata View Post
    1) Verdi
    2) Brahms
    3) Mozart
    4) Dvorak
    5) Mendelssohn
    6) Chopin
    7) Ravel
    8) Charpentier
    9) Haydn
    10) R.Strauss

    Mahler is hard to leave out, the fact is I love his music but don't listen to him much. I treat listening as a special occasion that I sometimes forget to have that occasion. I could see him taking Haydn or Strauss' spot if I get into my next Mahler kick
    Mahler was my favourite composer before I started getting obsessed with opera. I still listen sometimes to the vocal parts of his symphonies, and his songs.
    Natalie

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  15. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonata View Post
    1) Verdi
    2) Brahms
    3) Mozart
    4) Dvorak
    5) Mendelssohn
    6) Chopin
    7) Ravel
    8) Charpentier
    9) Haydn
    10) R.Strauss

    Mahler is hard to leave out, the fact is I love his music but don't listen to him much. I treat listening as a special occasion that I sometimes forget to have that occasion. I could see him taking Haydn or Strauss' spot if I get into my next Mahler kick
    I'm on a Bruckner kick right now and this man's music is really speaking to me. I love the grandeur, I can happily lose myself in a Bruckner symphony. Almost meditative.

    I think he would take Haydn's place much as I'd hate to bump him out

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  17. #30
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    1) Verdi
    2) Brahms
    3) Mozart
    4) Dvorak
    5) Chopin
    6)Ravel
    7) Bruckner
    8) Mendellsohn
    9)Charpentier
    10) R.Strauss

    Here is my updated list with Bruckner

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