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Thread: The Most Overrated and Underrated Composers in History - According to You

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    Senior Member peeyaj's Avatar
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    Smile The Most Overrated and Underrated Composers in History - According to You

    I can't believe that we don't have a specific thread regarding this subject. So, I'll post this. Feel free to argue the merits of your lists, and some of us we'll be compelled to defend ours.

    Here are my guilty suspects.

    Most Overrated

    a. Mozart

    b. Tchaikovsky

    c. Mahler

    d. Liszt

    e. Philip Glass

    f. John Cage

    g. Stravinsky

    Most Underrated

    a. Monteverdi

    b. Schubert

    c. Handel

    d. Schoenberg

    e. Debussy


    Mozart created some of the most beautiful and memorable music in Classical era. I just don't understand the adulation he received today. Tchaikovsky, in my opinion, is very competent composer, but his music doesn't ''do'' me. Same to Mahler' symphonies.


    On, the other hand, we can argue that Schubert is as popular as ever, but there are some, who think that he's only a ''gifted amatuer'' (that's bs, btw). Monteverdi's contribution to opera was often overlooked, while Schoenberg's twelve-tone system continues to baffle listeners..

    I am tempted to include LvB in the overrated, but I don't wanna die..

    It's important to distinguish between ''overrated'' and ''underappreciated''.

    What's in your list?

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    Senior Member emiellucifuge's Avatar
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    Under-appreciated:

    Boulez
    Varese
    Stockhausen
    Xenakis
    Ligeti
    The 2nd Viennese school
    Wagner (!)

    Overrated:

    Tchaikovsky
    Brahms

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    Quote Originally Posted by peeyaj View Post
    I am tempted to include LvB in the overrated, but I don't wanna die..
    I'll take the chance

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    Quote Originally Posted by emiellucifuge View Post
    Overrated:
    Tchaikovsky
    Brahms
    Oh, man

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    Quote Originally Posted by peeyaj View Post
    there are some, who think that he's only a ''gifted amatuer'' (that's bs, btw).
    Who?!

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    Senior Member Art Rock's Avatar
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    Most overrated: Verdi, Handel, Monteverdi, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky
    Most underrated: Bax, Suk, Takemitsu, Barber, Respighi
    Und Morgen wird die Sonne wieder scheinen.....

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    Perhaps somebody would be kind enough to let me know which list of composers I should be looking at as providing some kind of definitive list of ranks, before I decide which members on that list I consider to be overrated and underrated.
    Last edited by Toccata; Feb-27-2011 at 18:14. Reason: typo

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    Senior Member emiellucifuge's Avatar
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    Were just speculating on what we perceive to be public opinion

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    Quote Originally Posted by emiellucifuge View Post
    Were just speculating on what we perceive to be public opinion
    Ok then, please tell me how you perceive public opinion ranks the top 25 composers.

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    Most Overrated: John Cage

    Most Underrated: Pretty much all of the living composers... Except John Adams.

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    Senior Member emiellucifuge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toccata View Post
    Ok then, please tell me how you perceive public opinion ranks the top 25 composers.
    No thank you,
    In my previous post I gave an idea of who I believe the public values too highly and too lowly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by peeyaj View Post
    Mozart created some of the most beautiful and memorable music in Classical era. I just don't understand the adulation he received today.
    If the first statement is correct, why do you reckon Mozart is overrated today? People obviously like music from the Classical era. That's your answer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by emiellucifuge View Post
    No thank you,
    In my previous post I gave an idea of who I believe the public values too highly and too lowly.
    I’m truly disappointed that you can’t point to anything specific when you refer to “public opinion” about the rank order of the top classical composers.

    I rather fear that this limits the usefulness of exercises like this insofar that we all have different perceptions of what we think other people think about they they think they like, as opposed to what we think they ought to like if they have the same musical prejudices as we have.

    Don’t you think?

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    The most overrated composer of all times has to be Dmitri Shostakovich. His music is imitative to the point of fabrication & simple-minded imitations at that, yet he is placed (by some) on a foot of equality with the original, Gustav Mahler.

    Tchaikovsky is a good choice, though at least (unlike Shostakovich) he is authentic - same with Sibelius, who could also have been cited here.

    Compared with Schubert or Chopin Brahms is heavy-handed, needing an hour and countless instruments to say less than Chopin and Schubert can say in less than a minute, using one pair of hands only. But perhaps the one who is most overrated there is Brahms' second-fiddle Dvorak, because he is Brahms' second-fiddle.

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    Senior Member emiellucifuge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toccata View Post
    Iím truly disappointed that you canít point to anything specific when you refer to ďpublic opinionĒ about the rank order of the top classical composers.

    I rather fear that this limits the usefulness of exercises like this insofar that we all have different perceptions of what we think other people think about they they think they like, as opposed to what we think they ought to like if they have the same musical prejudices as we have.

    Donít you think?
    I am sorry to dissapoint you. Perhaps you are right, though I wasnt planning to use the responses in this thread for anything in particular, so it doesnt really bother me.

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