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Thread: Hostile territory?

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    Unhappy Hostile territory?

    hello,
    I've noticed that there seems to be a dinstinct hostility to music of the last 200 years here... I was quite suprised by the "worst composers" thread. I expected to find Schoenberg there, but Strauss? Stravinsky? I love baroque music, but I love later musical styles too. I think people should seperate personal taste from over all quality. I don't like Mahler, in fact I'd rather staple my toes to a cat than attend a Mahler symphony, but I can still see the greatness in his music.
    Anyone here like music by people who didn't wear powdered wigs?
    godzilla

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    Senior Member Daniel's Avatar
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    I think, it was clear in this thread, that it WAS personal taste not quality?

    Greetings,
    Daniel

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    Question Worst?

    But the WORST somehow implies that they had no talent, could not compose. I can see someone thinking a composer had less talent than imagined, but saying people like Stravinsky had NO talent or even ability is pushing it. All truly awfull composers disappear quickly after their lifetime. Composers remain popular only if there is some quality in their music, whether the individual appreciates it or not.

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    Senior Member Daniel's Avatar
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    True, the title might be confusing! Anyway I respect them, they just don't to have to tell ME something.

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    I can't stand Webern's music but I love Shoenberg and Berg. The fact that some people say that Mahler is the worst composer comes to me as intriguing. Either they've never heard any music later than Mahler or they are just plain naive.

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    Webern, Schoenberg, Stravinsky etc. DON'T belong on any ones Worst list! They are GIANTS!
    Maybe it should be "who is your LEAST FAVORITE Wellknown composer"! If one is making a list of worst and the criteria is quality, HOW ON EARTH does Stravinsky, Webern,Berg make the LIST! Ludicrous!
    godzillaviolist brings up a good point. Classical has been dying for years. Most classical radio plays the same top 100 pieces that show up in every poll and every year, as if most people who claim to love music actually hate it! I mean, COME ON, how many times is one supposed to hear Vivaldi sawing through a circle of fifths? How many timeas does one have to hear DADADA-DADADA-DADADA-DAAA- DADADA_DADADA_DADADA DAAAA(Mozart)! Haydn is great and all, but this stuff is JUST THE BEGINNING OF A FANTASTIC EXPLORATION OF MUSIC! The folks that are supporting the last vestiges of the classical business are the folks that think the Brandenburgs are the only piece of music ever written! How about some Bartok, Veress, Webern, Walton, Barber, Nielsen.......

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    least-loved personally?
    schubert and schuman... sorry...

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    Well I for one like Modern composers more than the old greats
    "Everyone is born with genius, but most people only keep it a few minutes"

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    When I want what only Pergolesi can give me, I listen to Pergolesi. I certainly don't whinge about how he never did this or that cool thing that Vivaldi always did. If I want what only Vivaldi can give me, I listen to Vivaldi. It's easy.

    What maybe is slightly more difficult (by all reports, impossible for some people) is letting each composer, each piece say to you whatever it is that it has to say. Accepting that. Letting that be the thing that you want. Not wanting it ahead of time, but wanting whatever you get when you get it.

    I cannot do that, myself, for every piece I hear. But going into each audition of each piece with that attitude does mean that I end up, as a practical matter, enjoying quite a lot more different things than I would if I had expectations, if I had strict ideas as to what music should do, if, encountering piece that didn't do that, I would then reject them. It is difficult to enjoy a piece that you've already rejected.

    Nor would I, once I had failed to like something, expend any energy at all trying to convince people that my failure meant that the music itself is crap or that people who like it are deluded or that the person who wrote it is trying to destroy art music or that it would be better if no one listened to it again, ever--all of which are familiar and oft-repeated responses to music that people have disliked.

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    Quote Originally Posted by godzillaviolist View Post
    hello,
    I've noticed that there seems to be a dinstinct hostility to music of the last 200 years here... I was quite suprised by the "worst composers" thread. I expected to find Schoenberg there, but Strauss? Stravinsky? I love baroque music, but I love later musical styles too. I think people should seperate personal taste from over all quality. I don't like Mahler, in fact I'd rather staple my toes to a cat than attend a Mahler symphony, but I can still see the greatness in his music.
    Anyone here like music by people who didn't wear powdered wigs?
    godzilla
    In fact, many folks here at TC avoid music written by folks who wore powdered wigs.
    Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach: "According to my principles, every master has his true and certain value. Praise and criticism cannot change any of that. Only the work itself praises and criticizes the master, and therefore I leave to everyone his own value."

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    Major necro alert! This thread goes back to 2005. That was last decade guys! Almost as long as going back to the era of bewigged composers. Well, not quite.

    But I think this topic is still of some relevance here now. A perennial issue that seems to pop up often.

    I personally don't dislike wigs, or Renaissance or early music for that matter. Eg. I've been listening to Haydn lately. However I listen to more music coming after late Mozart, late Haydn, and Beethoven than that of before. I acknowledge the likes of J.S. Bach as great even though I don't like everything by him. But I got much less time for some composers who weren't wigs than those who where. Eg. Wagner or some other things that are beyond my threshold of enjoyment (incl. some contemporary stuff - its got nothing to do with era in that case, just personal taste, perception, all that).

    But people are free to enjoy or not enjoy whatever music they want. I see it as a smorgasbord or menu from which you chose what you want. There are no 'shoulds' in music imo. The big thing I've learnt over the years on this forum is to not be too hard on peope for expressing their tastes. Even if they go overboard a bit. If I criticise them for that, I may as well criticise my own limitations as a listener. Its a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

    But judging from recent controversies, these thread topics proved 'hostile territory' so to speak:
    - John Cage
    - The atonalists and serialists
    - Contemporary classical music
    - The who is greater type threads, eg. Beethoven versus Mozart
    ...I'm sure there is more but I forget...
    Genuine ersatz classical listener since 1981.

    Winner: TC Provider of Extraneous Information Award, 2012.

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    The thread is indeed still relevant. Unfortunately, there are a few outspoken members who find it necessary to ventilate their negative opinions on selected composers (or even complete genres) continuously, often repeatedly in the same thread. Note that there is an important difference between statements like "I do not care for the works of composer X" (which is fine), and "Composer X is total rubbish" or even "Composer X is a fraud" (which will draw heated reactions from people who do like X).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Art Rock View Post
    The thread is indeed still relevant. Unfortunately, there are a few outspoken members who find it necessary to ventilate their negative opinions on selected composers (or even complete genres) continuously, often repeatedly in the same thread. Note that there is an important difference between statements like "I do not care for the works of composer X" (which is fine), and "Composer X is total rubbish" or even "Composer X is a fraud" (which will draw heated reactions from people who do like X).
    Agreed (and rubbish is an underused word here in America).

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    Senior Member arpeggio's Avatar
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    Cool TC is Cool

    I know this is a delicate subject, but there is another forum where the situation is much worse. There is a group of refugees who have gathered here and we have formed our own little group. The latest is really cool. He is a music history prof who really knows his stuff.

    The situation has gotten so toxic over there that in the past month there have been only two threads about modernistic music and one of them was trashing Xenakis. It has been months since anyone has mentioned Cage or Schoenberg.

    This is one of the reasons that some of the proponants of modernistic music get so defensive. We do not want the same thing to occur here.
    It is impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious. And I am a very ingenious fellow

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    Senior Member Sid James's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Art Rock View Post
    ... Note that there is an important difference between statements like "I do not care for the works of composer X" (which is fine), and "Composer X is total rubbish" or even "Composer X is a fraud" (which will draw heated reactions from people who do like X).
    I can see the distinction but ultimately I cannot control others, I can only control myself, my own reactions. So if I reply to that sort of extreme statement, I try do it calmly and as objectively as possible, not shoot the messenger, not bring other things into the conversation (eg. blaming the person or making accusations about them etc.). I don't preach here, I say this to myself all the time and I have failed to do this myself a good few times.

    Quote Originally Posted by arpeggio View Post
    I know this is a delicate subject, but there is another forum where the situation is much worse. There is a group of refugees who have gathered here and we have formed our own little group. The latest is really cool. He is a music history prof who really knows his stuff.

    The situation has gotten so toxic over there that in the past month there have been only two threads about modernistic music and one of them was trashing Xenakis. It has been months since anyone has mentioned Cage or Schoenberg.

    This is one of the reasons that some of the proponants of modernistic music get so defensive. We do not want the same thing to occur here.
    Well I know what you mean but its the way one delivers a message, or counters an opinion one doesn't agree with, its less about the content. I mean I can say that those people saying Xenakis is rubbish, I can say what they're talking is rubbish. But that's likely to garner a 'toxic' vibe, a negative reaction, then others may join in the fracas. Far better to say why I don't agree with that assessment of Xenakis and say give examples of his music that I think proves he's a great composer etc. Conversation is a two way street, its a meeting of ideas, its a dialogue. Its seeing what the other person thinks. Its for me about being able to speak my mind without being howled down. But again, ultimately if I want to stop a bad vibe with some member, I put them on my ignore list. This I have done recently and its the best way to deal with things that repeatedly annoy me. So again, I can only control what I do, not others.

    & who had that idea? Which great man I admire? The author of the quote of my signature, M.K. Gandhi!
    Genuine ersatz classical listener since 1981.

    Winner: TC Provider of Extraneous Information Award, 2012.

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