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Thread: Top 25 Composers (Please, Everyone Take Part!)

  1. #121
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huilunsoittaja View Post
    Can you guys explain to me why you like Beethoven so much? Like, putting him in the top 3 or 5?

    (I duck my head)
    Fantastic range of symphonies. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9 are all very different and all wonderful works of music which I can listen to again and again and enjoy.

    Beethoven's music covers every emotion, every state - There is melancholy, powerful, spiritually uplifting, calming, stoical, bold, even revelatory. Beethoven was brilliantly good at expressing his own feelings and emotions in his music.

    I see his symphonies as his greatest works, but in addition to this he wrote many great pieces - Fantastic piano output.. Fur Elise, Moonlight Sonata, other sonatas, piano concertos including The Emperor.

    An excellent violin concerto.

    Brilliant overtures (The Coriolan being my favourite)..

    And quite a lot more.

  2. #122
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    Right, I've compiled the first 4 pages so far, which is 26 entries. Still a long, long way to go, but at that point, the top ten are/were:

    1. Beethoven
    2. Bach
    3. Schubert
    4. Mozart
    5. Brahms
    6. Wagner
    7. Mahler
    8. Sibelius
    9. Haydn
    10. Tchaikovsky

    Sibelius is the main surprise. He certainly makes my top 10, but I wasn't expecting him to be this high-ranked. Wagner was doing really well, coming in third for a while, though has since gone through a barren spell. Schumann has indeed broken into the top 25, currently in 23rd. There are no huge surprises in the top 25, other than Bruckner being 19th which is perhaps surprising. But, there's no real point in me telling you all this, because it's probably less than halfway through and things could change dramatically.

    Here is the scoring system I'm using:

    1st. 30 points
    2nd. 29 points
    3rd. 28 points
    4th. 27 points

    etc etc

    24th. 7 points
    25th. 6 points

    A completely linear scale. I was thinking of doing 25 down to 1 at first, but then I thought that 1 is too measly amount for the 25th placed person. For example, suppose someone comes in at 25th 10 times, and one obscure composer ranks 14th once (or a multiple of this situation). The latter would have more points, 12 to 10.

    I was seeking to keep the points as low as possible, though, so that rank is still more important than number of inclusions (example, if I'd done 100 down to 76, then each extra inclusion gets a whopping 75 points or more, so rank is almost insignificant). 30 down to 6 seems a good scoring system, as it balances rank and number of inclusions, but with the emphasis on rank.

  3. #123
    Senior Member Webernite's Avatar
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    Interesting.

  4. #124
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    Oh and to add: The differences in the scoring systems (whether 25-1, 30-6, etc) is unlikely to have any effect on the outcome, because the ones who make the most lists will tend to rank higher on average anyway. It only really makes a difference in the lower reaches, with obscurer composers and small numbers, which is irrelevant as we're only concentrating on the overall top 25 (counted 155 composers so far).

  5. #125
    Senior Member Argus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew_MBB View Post
    Why is Wagner so low?
    He mainly composed opera, and as everyone knows opera is rubbish. Mystery solved.

    Quote Originally Posted by RBrittain
    Right, I've compiled the first 4 pages so far, which is 26 entries. Still a long, long way to go, but at that point, the top ten are/were:

    1. Beethoven
    2. Bach
    3. Schubert
    4. Mozart
    5. Brahms
    6. Wagner
    7. Mahler
    8. Sibelius
    9. Haydn
    10. Tchaikovsky
    This thread is more sexist than Messrs Gray and Keys on a night out with the VPO, and more ageist than a BBC-helmed dystopian future a la Logan's Run.

    All the 'greatest' composers are old dead dudes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Webernite
    Interesting.
    If that's sarcasm: bravo. If not:.

  6. #126
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    Compiled all of the first 6 pages now, as 4 through to 6 was mostly arguing and few lists.

    Mozart has gone top! 2 points ahead of Beethoven. I'm still confident Ludwig will win though. This is how tight it is at the top, after 31 lists compiled:

    Mozart 664
    Beethoven 662
    Bach 655

    Schubert looks comfortable to make 4th, with 611 points to Brahms in 5th with 503. Wagner is right behind him with 499, then there is another big drop to Mahler with 411, whose position doesn't look too stable. I can't see anyone else breaking into the top 6.

  7. #127
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    First 7 pages done!

    Beethoven is back at the top. Sibelius has dropped out of the top 10. Haydn and Tchaikovsky have moved ahead of Mahler. Schumann is hanging in there at 23rd. Schoenberg has been hanging in at around 22nd for a while but I'm willing him to drop out and be overtaken by either Liszt, Verdi, Grieg, Rachmaninov or Vivaldi, who are all making strong cases just outside the top 25.

    Gonna take a break now!

  8. #128
    Senior Member Webernite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Argus View Post
    If that's sarcasm: bravo. If not:.
    It's not. Sibelius being in 8th place is interesting.

  9. #129
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    Quote Originally Posted by Webernite View Post
    It's not. Sibelius being in 8th place is interesting.
    I think it demonstrates the good taste of people on this forum. Sibelius is oft underrated, and I talk to a lot of classical music fans who haven't even heard his stuff. I think he's probably generally under-listened and under-publicised, but that's just my personal opinion. 8th is higher than one would expect, but he has since dropped down 3 or 4 places and I think it is probably unlikely that he will break back in to the top 10.

    Schoenberg being in 22nd is probably more 'interesting', I suppose. It wouldn't be note-worthy if he failed to make a Top 50, for example (Goulding's and DDD's lists seem to be the ones we refer to most, and he doesn't make Goulding's 50, while he is ranked 46th on DDD's).

    Otherwise, Ravel is fairly surprising. Good composer, no doubt, but he's been lurking in 9th-12th place for most of the proceedings so far, when I thought he might struggle to make a top 25.

    Anyway, still plenty of time to go. I've only compiled the first 7 pages thus far (about 40 lists).

  10. #130
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    IMO Schoenberg should make the top 15.

    Possibly in the top 10 most influential. And for me at least in top 20 musically. That averages to 15!

  11. #131
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    Quote Originally Posted by emiellucifuge View Post
    IMO Schoenberg should make the top 15.

    Possibly in the top 10 most influential.
    I has doubts. He is often considered to be culmination of freeing music from tonal system but at the other hand what he did was throwing it into another system, sometimes even more limiting than previous one. Non-tonal music would continiue even without him (Scriabin and others). And composers for which he was main mentor are limited mostly to his closer students and great composers influenced by Schoenberg the most are limited to Berg and Webern.

  12. #132
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    Oh, to add, Ravel is in 16th so far, actually, though he was around 9th-12th for quite a long time. Recent surges by Handel, Stravinsky and Chopin displaced him.

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    Yeah but which composers took up serialism later?

    Boulez
    Stockhausen
    Milton Babbit
    Nono
    Barraqué
    Stravinsky
    Henze
    Dallapiccola

    Serialism further inspired other styles which included:
    Lutoslawski
    Xenakis
    Carter

    His other students were:
    Gerhard
    Eisler
    Wellesz
    Skalkottas


    A very very significant chunk of post war music

  14. #134
    Senior Member Webernite's Avatar
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    If I remember right, Charles Rosen makes the argument that Schoenberg's enormous influence lies not primarily in his having invented serialism, but in his freeing composers from basically all restraints on dissonance and intellectuality. I think I agree with that.

  15. #135
    Senior Member Jacob Singer's Avatar
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    1. Beethoven
    2. Tchaikovsky
    3. Chopin
    4. Brahms
    5. Schubert
    6. Mendelssohn
    7. Schumann
    8. Liszt
    9. Dvořák
    10. Prokofiev
    11. Grieg
    12. Debussy
    13. Ravel
    14. Satie
    15. Barber
    16. Verdi
    17. Stravinsky
    18. Machaut
    19. Dufay
    20. Ockeghem
    21. des Prez
    22. Palestrina
    23. Monteverdi
    24. La Rue
    25. Tallis
    The Three B's: Beethoven, Brahms, & Belushi

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