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Thread: The Top 10 Greatest American Composer

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    Senior Member Red Terror's Avatar
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    Default The Top 10 Greatest American Composer

    According to you, who are America's top 10 greatest composers? Gramophone's top 10 is thus:

    1. John Adams
    2. Samuel Barber
    3. Leonard Bernstein
    4. John Cage
    5. Aaron Copland
    6. George Gershwin
    7. Philip Glass
    8. Charles Ives
    9. Steve Reich
    10. Eric Whitacre(!)


    WTF is Whitacre doing there? The list is laughable, so let us try to come up with a BETTER one.

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    Senior Member Bwv 1080's Avatar
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    1. Carter

    I leave you to argue among yourselves for 2-10

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    Senior Member Bulldog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Terror View Post
    According to you, who are America's top 10 greatest composers? Gramophone's top 10 is thus:

    1. John Adams
    2. Samuel Barber
    3. Leonard Bernstein
    4. John Cage
    5. Aaron Copland
    6. George Gershwin
    7. Philip Glass
    8. Charles Ives
    9. Steve Reich
    10. Eric Whitacre(!)


    WTF is Whitacre doing there? The list is laughable, so let us try to come up with a BETTER one.
    Whitacre is very popular, and the list is not surprising.

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    My list (not necessarily the greatest ones):

    Copland
    W. Schuman
    Hanson
    Ives
    Barber
    Diamond
    Bernstein
    J. Adams
    Glass
    Daugherty

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    Senior Member Red Terror's Avatar
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    My own list:

    1. Morton Feldman
    2. Harry Partch
    3. Elliott Carter
    4. Charles Ives
    5. Ben Johnston
    6. Milton Babbitt
    7. Wadada Leo Smith
    8. Lou Harrison
    9. La Monte Young
    10. Terry Riley
    Last edited by Red Terror; Sep-19-2019 at 01:18.

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    Senior Member Fabulin's Avatar
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    1. Johnny Williams
    2. Bennie Herrmann
    3. Jerry Goldsmith
    ...
    4. Copland
    5. Ives
    6. Piston
    7. Adams
    8. Glass
    9. Ellington
    10. maybe L. or E. Bernstein, but I'm not convinced

    Of course I did not count first generation immigrants. The list would look completely different if those did count.
    Last edited by Fabulin; Sep-18-2019 at 19:59.

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    Senior Member Phil loves classical's Avatar
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    Barber
    Piston
    Ives
    Gershwin
    Hovhannes
    Diamond
    Schuman
    Babbitt
    Harris
    Copland
    "Forgive me, Majesty. I'm a vulgar man. But I assure you, my music is not.“ Mozart

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    Senior Member Bulldog's Avatar
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    1. Copland
    2. Schuman
    3. Barber
    4. Piston
    5. Diamond
    6. Glass
    7. Reich
    8. Beach
    9. Ives
    10. Hovhaness

    Changed my list a little. I had forgotten about Amy Beach.
    Last edited by Bulldog; Sep-18-2019 at 20:28.

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    Eric Whitacre is a very fine choral composer. He has developed a style that is very moving and beautiful. Try "Sleep". Just because he's popular doesn't mean he's bad. Some people like to think it's his good looks that propelled him to the top. Nope - there's a genuine talent.

    Now, as to that list. All of these kinds of things are silly. What's American? Do Stravinsky, Korngold or Rachmaninoff count? They were, after all, US citizens.

    My list

    1) John Philip Sousa
    2) George Chadwick
    3) Frederick Converse
    4) Louis Moreau Gottschalk
    5) Henry Fillmore
    6) Meredith Willson
    7) Bernard Herrmann
    8) Amy Beach
    9) Morton Gould
    10) Scott Joplin

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    Senior Member Bulldog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbhaub View Post
    Eric Whitacre is a very fine choral composer. He has developed a style that is very moving and beautiful.
    About a year ago, I spent a couple of hours listening to Whitacre's music. He's very good at writing appealing melodies, and I enjoyed the experience. Yet, I haven't gone back to Whitacre since that day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bulldog View Post
    About a year ago, I spent a couple of hours listening to Whitacre's music. He's very good at writing appealing melodies, and I enjoyed the experience. Yet, I haven't gone back to Whitacre since that day.
    If the opportunity ever arises that you can go to a live concert in a smaller venue where his music is performed, get there! Recordings are fine, but hearing his music in a darkened, reverberant church can be astonishingly moving. Words like transfixed, enraptured, enthralled would describe my own experience.

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    Senior Member chu42's Avatar
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    1. Charles Ives
    2. Samuel Barber
    3. George Crumb
    4. Ben Johnston
    5. Elliot Carter
    6. Frank Zappa
    7. Scott Joplin
    8. Jerry Goldsmith
    9. John Adams
    10. George Gershwin

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    Senior Member Red Terror's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bulldog View Post
    About a year ago, I spent a couple of hours listening to Whitacre's music. He's very good at writing appealing melodies, and I enjoyed the experience. Yet, I haven't gone back to Whitacre since that day.
    With so many exceptionally talented American composers, I can't imagine why one would include Whitacre in a top 10 list—just doesn't make sense to me. But hey, it's your list.

    Am I the only one who likes the microtonal composers? Also, there's no mention of Feldman, which leads me to believe that you're all insane.
    Last edited by Red Terror; Sep-18-2019 at 22:51.

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    Senior Member Red Terror's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbhaub View Post
    What's American? Do Stravinsky, Korngold or Rachmaninoff count? They were, after all, US citizens.

    My list

    1) John Philip Sousa
    2) George Chadwick
    3) Frederick Converse
    4) Louis Moreau Gottschalk
    5) Henry Fillmore
    6) Meredith Willson
    7) Bernard Herrmann
    8) Amy Beach
    9) Morton Gould
    10) Scott Joplin
    No, they don't count as they are only American on paper. Their work is much too informed by the European Milieu.

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    Senior Member Bwv 1080's Avatar
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    How about top 10 'Murican composers?

    Lee Greenwood
    John Philip Sousa
    ...

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