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Thread: My definitive ranking of the major composers

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    Senior Member Couchie's Avatar
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    Default My definitive ranking of the major composers

    Due to discussion below I decided to delete this and create a new thread: Talk Classical's Most Recommended Composers
    Last edited by Couchie; Aug-31-2019 at 19:13.
    Doch dieses Wörtlein: und, -wär' es zerstört,
    wie anders als mit Isoldes eignem Leben wär' Tristan der Tod gegeben?

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    Senior Member Couchie's Avatar
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    Rankings by Country:

    Rank Country Points
    1 France 18.16
    2. Germany 16.47
    3. United Kingdom 13.93
    4. Russian Federation 12.25
    5. Italy 11.21
    6. United States 11.02
    7. Austria 10.39
    8. Czech Republic 5.32
    9. Hungary 3.67
    10. Poland 3.61
    11. Spain 2.67
    12. Belgium 2.60
    13. Finland 2.20
    14. Sweden 1.93
    15. Denmark 1.92
    16. Switzerland 1.16
    17. Norway 1.15
    18. Argentina 0.92
    19. Brazil 0.81
    20. Japan 0.76
    21. Romania 0.76
    22. Estonia 0.73
    23. Greece 0.72
    24. Armenia 0.55
    25. Ukraine 0.51
    26. Korea, Republic of 0.49
    27. Netherlands 0.37
    Last edited by Couchie; Aug-31-2019 at 17:46.
    Doch dieses Wörtlein: und, -wär' es zerstört,
    wie anders als mit Isoldes eignem Leben wär' Tristan der Tod gegeben?

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    Senior Member Red Terror's Avatar
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    Kurtág, a high modernist is there! I can now die in peace.
    Last edited by Red Terror; Aug-31-2019 at 17:30.

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    Senior Member Couchie's Avatar
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    The best centuries for composer births:

    Rank Birth century Composers Points
    1. 1800-1899 99 65.48
    2. 1900-2000 56 33.64
    3. 1700-1799 16 9.46
    4. 1600-1699 13 8.60
    5. 1500-1599 10 5.72
    6. 1400-1499 4 2.37
    7. 1300-1399 1 0.55
    8. 1000-1099 1 0.47
    Last edited by Couchie; Aug-31-2019 at 17:45.
    Doch dieses Wörtlein: und, -wär' es zerstört,
    wie anders als mit Isoldes eignem Leben wär' Tristan der Tod gegeben?

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    Did you actually look at the Wikipedia page lengths for even half of these composers? I assume you didn't bother to do the other calculation.

    If you did the Wikipedia page lengths, that metric gets 6 of the top 10 correct to within 2 places.

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    Senior Member BrahmsWasAGreatMelodist's Avatar
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    No offense, but out of all the criteria I've seen used to determine the greatest composers, word count of the Wikipedia page must be one of the most ridiculous.
    Last edited by BrahmsWasAGreatMelodist; Aug-31-2019 at 18:05.
    Casual composer, pianist, music enthusiast

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    Senior Member Couchie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmsbls View Post
    Did you actually look at the Wikipedia page lengths for even half of these composers? I assume you didn't bother to do the other calculation.

    If you did the Wikipedia page lengths, that metric gets 6 of the top 10 correct to within 2 places.
    I bothered, my good sir. All page word counts for every composer were pulled using the MediaWiki API.

    The top 10 composers by wordcount are:

    Rank Composer Wordcount
    1 Stockhausen 16710
    2 Bellini 16315
    3 Boulez 16271
    4 Bach 15773
    5 Britten 15714
    6 Elgar 14314
    7 Sullivan 14253
    8 Wagner 13412
    9 Verdi 13299
    10 Berlioz 13076
    Doch dieses Wörtlein: und, -wär' es zerstört,
    wie anders als mit Isoldes eignem Leben wär' Tristan der Tod gegeben?

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    Senior Member Couchie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrahmsWasAGreatMelodist View Post
    No offense, but out of all the criteria I've seen used to determine the greatest composers, word count of the Wikipedia page must be one of the most ridiculous.
    Almost as ridiculous as your username.
    Doch dieses Wörtlein: und, -wär' es zerstört,
    wie anders als mit Isoldes eignem Leben wär' Tristan der Tod gegeben?

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    Senior Member Becca's Avatar
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    The fact that it puts UK composers 4 steps ahead of Austrian tells me that the something is amiss with the methodology.

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    Senior Member Couchie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Becca View Post
    The fact that it puts UK composers 4 steps ahead of Austrian tells me that the something is amiss with the methodology.
    Possibly a bias in part to using the English-language Wikipedia.
    Last edited by Couchie; Aug-31-2019 at 18:07.
    Doch dieses Wörtlein: und, -wär' es zerstört,
    wie anders als mit Isoldes eignem Leben wär' Tristan der Tod gegeben?

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    Stockhausen certainly deserves the largest Wikipedia page (Are there any other extraterrestrial composers?), but Bellini at No. 2? Does he have many relatives that are Wikipedia editors, or was his life much more interesting than I thought?

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    Senior Member Couchie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmsbls View Post
    Stockhausen certainly deserves the largest Wikipedia page (Are there any other extraterrestrial composers?), but Bellini at No. 2? Does he have many relatives that are Wikipedia editors, or was his life much more interesting than I thought?
    It seems Stockhausen's page is absurdly well-sourced whereas Bellini's life is recounted in excruciating detail.
    Doch dieses Wörtlein: und, -wär' es zerstört,
    wie anders als mit Isoldes eignem Leben wär' Tristan der Tod gegeben?

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    Senior Member BrahmsWasAGreatMelodist's Avatar
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    Appearances on The Talk Classical Community’s Favorite and Most Highly Recommended Works. Works were assigned a score of 1/n where n is the tier of the work. The total points for each composer were then summed and ranked.
    Could you provide this list please?
    Casual composer, pianist, music enthusiast

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    Senior Member Becca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Couchie View Post
    Possibly a bias in part to using the English-language Wikipedia.
    More likely biased by the TC membership and therefore the references to works by English composers.

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    Senior Member Couchie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrahmsWasAGreatMelodist View Post
    Could you provide this list please?
    I can't provide the full list due to post length restrictions, but here is a sample:


    Tier Composer Work
    Year
    Points
    1 Bach Das wohltemperierte Klavier 1742 1.000
    2 Bach Mass in B minor 1749 0.500
    2 Beethoven Symphony #9 in D minor 1824 0.500
    2 Wagner Der Ring des Nibelungen 1874 0.500
    3 Beethoven Symphony #5 in C minor 1808 0.333
    3 Brahms Piano Concerto #2 in B-flat 1881 0.333
    3 Brahms Symphony #4 in E minor 1885 0.333
    3 Mahler Symphony #2 "Resurrection" 1894 0.333
    3 Stravinsky Le Sacre du printemps (The Rite of Spring) 1913 0.333
    3 Wagner Tristan und Isolde 1859 0.333
    4 Bach Die Kunst der Fuge 1750 0.250
    4 Beethoven Symphony #3 in E-flat 1803 0.250
    4 Beethoven Symphony #6 "Pastoral" in F 1808 0.250
    4 Brahms Clarinet Quintet in B minor 1891 0.250
    4 Brahms Violin Concerto in D 1878 0.250
    4 Mozart Piano Concerto #20 in D minor 1785 0.250
    5 Bach Goldberg Variations 1741 0.200
    5 Brahms Symphony #3 in F 1883 0.200
    5 Dvořák Cello Concerto in B minor 1895 0.200
    5 Dvořák Symphony #9 in E minor 1893 0.200
    5 Mozart Requiem Mass in D minor 1791 0.200
    5 Schubert Piano Sonata #21 in B-flat 1828 0.200
    5 Schubert String Quintet in C 1828 0.200
    6 Bach Cello Suites 1720 0.167
    6 Bach Matthäus-Passion (“St. Matthew Passion”) 1746 0.167
    6 Beethoven Piano Concerto #4 in G 1807 0.167
    6 Beethoven Piano Sonata #32 in C minor 1822 0.167
    6 Brahms Piano Quintet in F minor 1864 0.167
    6 Brahms Symphony #1 in C minor 1876 0.167
    6 Mahler Symphony #9 1909 0.167
    6 Mozart Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro) 1786 0.167
    6 Mozart Symphony #41 in C 1788 0.167
    6 Mussorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition 1874 0.167
    6 Schubert Symphony #8 in B minor 1822 0.167
    6 Sibelius Violin Concerto in D minor 1905 0.167
    7 Bach Concerto for 2 Violins in D minor 1731 0.143
    7 Beethoven Piano Sonata #29 in B-flat 1818 0.143
    7 Beethoven Symphony #7 in A 1812 0.143
    7 Mahler Das Lied von der Erde 1909 0.143
    7 Mahler Symphony #4 in G 1901 0.143
    7 Mahler Symphony #5 1902 0.143
    7 Mahler Symphony #6 in A minor 1904 0.143
    7 Schubert String Quartet #14 in D minor 1824 0.143
    7 Schubert Winterreise 1827 0.143
    7 Tchaikovsky Symphony #6 "Pathétique" in B minor 1893 0.143
    8 Bach Brandenburg Concertos 1721 0.125
    8 Beethoven String Quartet #13 in B-flat 1827 0.125
    8 Beethoven String Quartet #14 in C-sharp minor 1826 0.125
    8 Berlioz Symphonie fantastique 1830 0.125
    8 Brahms Piano Trio #1 in B 1891 0.125
    8 Debussy Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune 1894 0.125
    8 Fauré Requiem in D minor 1890 0.125
    8 Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in E minor 1844 0.125
    8 Mozart Clarinet Concerto in A 1791 0.125
    8 Mozart Clarinet Quintet in A 1789 0.125
    8 Mozart Don Giovanni 1787 0.125
    8 Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto #2 in C minor 1901 0.125
    9 Bach Musikalisches Opfer (A Musical Offering) 1747 0.111
    9 Bach Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin 1720 0.111
    9 Bartók Concerto for Orchestra 1943 0.111
    9 Beethoven Piano Sonata #21 in C 1804 0.111
    9 Beethoven Piano Sonata #23 in F minor 1805 0.111
    9 Brahms Cello Sonata #1 in E minor 1865 0.111
    9 Brahms Ein deutsches Requiem 1868 0.111
    9 Brahms Piano Concerto #1 in D minor 1858 0.111
    9 Brahms String Sextet #1 in B-flat 1860 0.111
    9 Brahms Symphony #2 in D 1877 0.111
    9 Dvořák Symphony #8 in G 1889 0.111
    9 Mozart Piano Concerto #21 in C 1785 0.111
    9 Mozart Piano Concerto #23 in A 1786 0.111
    9 Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto #3 in D minor 1909 0.111
    9 Shostakovich String Quartet #8 in C minor 1960 0.111
    9 Sibelius Symphony #2 in D 1902 0.111
    9 Sibelius Symphony #5 in E-flat 1919 0.111
    9 Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto in D 1878 0.111
    9 Vivaldi Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione 1725 0.111
    10 Beethoven Piano Sonata #30 in E 1820 0.100
    10 Debussy La Mer 1905 0.100
    10 Haydn String Quartets 1797 0.100
    10 Liszt Piano Sonata in B minor 1854 0.100
    10 Mahler Symphony #1 in D "Titan" 1896 0.100
    10 Mozart Symphony #40 in G minor 1788 0.100
    10 Prokofiev Piano Concerto #3 in C 1921 0.100
    10 Rimsky-Korsakov Scheherazade 1888 0.100
    10 Schubert Symphony #9 in C 1827 0.100
    10 Tallis Spem in alium 1570 0.100
    11 Bach Cantata #140 "Wachet auf 1731 0.091
    11 Bartók String Quartet #4 1928 0.091
    11 Beethoven Violin Concerto in D 1806 0.091
    11 Debussy Préludes for piano 1913 0.091
    11 Dvořák String Quartet #12 in F 1893 0.091
    11 Mahler Symphony #3 1896 0.091
    11 Mendelssohn Symphony #3 in A minor 1842 0.091
    11 Mendelssohn Symphony #4 in A 1834 0.091
    11 Prokofiev Symphony #5 in B-flat 1944 0.091
    11 Ravel Daphnis et Chloé (ballet and orchestral suites) 1912 0.091
    11 Ravel Gaspard de la nuit 1908 0.091
    11 Saint-Saëns Symphony #3 in C minor 1886 0.091
    11 Schumann Piano Concerto in A minor 1845 0.091
    11 Shostakovich Cello Concerto #1 in E-flat 1959 0.091
    11 Shostakovich Symphony #5 in D minor 1937 0.091
    11 Shostakovich Symphony #10 in E minor 1953 0.091
    12 Bach Cantata #82 "Ich habe genug" 1731 0.083
    12 Beethoven Missa Solemnis in D 1823 0.083
    12 Berg Violin Concerto 1935 0.083
    12 Brahms "Double" Concerto for Violin and Cello in A minor 1887 0.083
    12 Bruch Violin Concerto #1 in G minor 1866 0.083
    12 Debussy String Quartet in G minor 1893 0.083
    12 Dvořák Piano Quintet #2 in A 1887 0.083
    12 Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue 1924 0.083
    12 Grieg Piano Concerto in A minor 1868 0.083
    12 Handel Messiah 1741 0.083
    12 Holst The Planets 1916 0.083
    12 Mozart Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute) 1791 0.083
    12 Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet 1936 0.083
    12 Ravel String Quartet in F 1903 0.083
    12 Ravel Pavane pour une infante défunte 1899 0.083
    12 Schubert Piano Sonata #20 in A 1828 0.083
    12 Schumann Piano Quintet in E-flat 1842 0.083
    13 Borodin String Quartet #2 in D 1881 0.077
    13 Brahms Clarinet Trio in A minor 1891 0.077
    13 Brahms String Sextet #2 in G 1865 0.077
    13 Bruckner Symphony #8 in C minor 1890 0.077
    13 Debussy Suite Bergamasque 1905 0.077
    13 Elgar Cello Concerto in E minor 1919 0.077
    13 Haydn Symphony #104 in D "London" 1795 0.077
    13 Mendelssohn Octet for Strings in E-flat 1825 0.077
    13 Mozart "Great" Mass in C minor 1782 0.077
    13 Mozart Sinfonia concertante in E-flat 1779 0.077
    13 Ravel Piano Concerto in G 1931 0.077
    13 Shostakovich Preludes and Fugues (24) 1951 0.077
    13 Shostakovich Symphony #7 in C 1941 0.077
    13 Stravinsky Petrushka 1946 0.077
    Doch dieses Wörtlein: und, -wär' es zerstört,
    wie anders als mit Isoldes eignem Leben wär' Tristan der Tod gegeben?

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