View Poll Results: Who is your favorite of the big 3 composers?

Voters
164. You may not vote on this poll
  • Bach

    54 32.93%
  • Mozart

    37 22.56%
  • Beethoven

    73 44.51%
Page 33 of 44 FirstFirst ... 2329303132333435363743 ... LastLast
Results 481 to 495 of 651

Thread: Favorite of the Big Three (poll)

  1. #481
    Senior Member Strange Magic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Nova Caesarea
    Posts
    5,059
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Luchesi View Post
    You learn from the teachers who have the knowledge and experience. In addition to all the education, it saves you a lot of time, instead of starting from zero on your own.. and maybe never getting anywhere..

    Is music different to you than other forms of art which have a long and honed history? What about other subjects of study? You separate out music? Amazing. ----This is about you and many folks like you.
    I like learning about things. That's how I got to be so opinionated!

  2. #482
    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Ashland, OR
    Posts
    16,079
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by janxharris View Post
    We've seen examples of experienced listeners seemingly unable to appreciate works (or even whole eras) that many consider masterpieces - does such a consensus trump the individuals experience? If the work is determined to be objectively good - perhaps even a work of the 'big' three - then aren't we de facto telling the individual that their cognition of the work is inferior - that their reasons given for why they consider the work poor are just wrong?
    I think it helps to be concrete in discussing art, so I'll give an example. I'm not particularly a lover of Mozart, yet I have no doubt whatsoever, listening to his huge output of brilliantly composed music, that he is one of our greatest composers. His ability to create musical structures full of fresh, varied, memorable material that unfolds, develops and resolves with a sense of absolute ease and spontaneity simply amazes me, despite my lack of close identification with the Classical sensibility with respect to qualities I do and don't find in it. I never think in terms of any "consensus" of opinion, or of anything "trumping" anything else. I rely on my own artistic sensitivity and knowledge, I respond to Mozart on two planes simultaneously - which I'll call "appraisal" and "taste" - and the two don't set up any inner conflict in me, or suggest a need to set one kind of response against the other.

    Anyone who would judge Mozart's work to be "poor" does indeed have a limitation on their cognition of music. Mozart is not a poor composer. Not in any way. His music may be poor in elements that a particular listener personally values, but that's a different meaning of "poor" and is inevitable among composers and listeners. We might have all sorts of reasons for liking or disliking things, but not all reasons are of equal value in exhibiting an understanding of what we're criticizing. Part of deepening our experience of art is learning to discriminate between actual artistic virtues/defects and our own subjective reactions and tastes. I don't think our ability to to do that is ever perfect, because, first, the spectrum of qualities art exhibits is virtually infinite in variety, breadth and subtlety; second, because art is experienced differently, however slightly, by each of us despite our common human nature; and third, because artistic values, though real and significant, don't exist on any precisely calibrated scale of best to worst. But then, worrying about what's "best" and "worst" is an idle game. Who cares?

    Liking/disliking music is a glorious free-for-all. Understanding/appraising it is a serious responsibility, which, of course, no one is obligated to take on. But if we do take it on, to whatever extent, we have to realize that understanding and evaluating our own subjective responses in order to see beyond them is part of the process.

  3. #483
    Senior Member EdwardBast's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    4,883
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Strange Magic View Post
    Why cannot Hamlet's formulation be taken as Shakespeare's? Why should it not?
    You're joking right? In case you're not: For the same reason one doesn't invoke Dostoyevsky to justify murder just because Raskolnikov thought it was an acceptable action for the truly superior man. For the same reason one can't cite Hugo to advocate law and order over justice just because Javert made statements to that effect. Authors often create characters who express opinions they abhor. Consequently: One can never assume the statements of fictional characters express the views of their creators. This principle is basic in reading any form of fiction!
    Last edited by EdwardBast; Apr-15-2020 at 17:37.

    What greater comfort does time afford than the objects of terror re-encountered and their fraudulence exposed in the flash of reason?
    — William Gaddis, The Recognitions

    Originality is a device untalented people use to impress other untalented people and to protect themselves from talented people.
    Basil Valentine

  4. Likes Kieran liked this post
  5. #484
    Senior Member Strange Magic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Nova Caesarea
    Posts
    5,059
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by EdwardBast View Post
    You're joking right? In case you're not: For the same reason one doesn't invoke Dostoyevsky to justify murder just because Raskolnikov thought it was an acceptable action for the truly superior man. For the same reason one can't cite Hugo to advocate law and order over justice just because Javert made statements to that effect. Authors often create characters who express opinions they abhor. Consequently: One can never assume the statements of fictional characters express the views of their creators. This principle is basic in reading any form of fiction!
    See my Post #479.
    Last edited by Strange Magic; Apr-15-2020 at 18:08.

  6. #485
    Senior Member Radames's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    640
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I like romantic music best, especially when it's Sturm und Drang That made me vote for Beethoven. If Mozart had lived long into the romantic era it probably would be a contest. Mozart's 50 Symphony with Chorus and Cannon!

  7. Likes Kieran liked this post
  8. #486
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    773
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I think my feelings on Mozart are similar to Woodduck's, if I might be a little presumptuous to piggyback on his opinion. There is something about Mozart's music with which I don't relate. Some of his pieces obviously I relate to more than others. I am not wedded to opera as much as other genres, and in opera I consider Mozart to have the supreme place. Mozart's music is always skillfully constructed and full of good ideas. I don't relate well to galanterie, and there is no doubt that galanterie is a common feature (albeit far from a universal one) in his music. The blood and thunder of Beethoven, and ferocious intellectual rigour of Bach, are more appealing to my nature (and obviously the chimerical kaleidoscopicity of Schumann). But Mozart's oeuvre, appraised honestly, in terms of its real artistic virtues, stands comparison with anyone's.

  9. Likes Kieran liked this post
  10. #487
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    2,781
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    I think it helps to be concrete in discussing art, so I'll give an example. I'm not particularly a lover of Mozart, yet I have no doubt whatsoever, listening to his huge output of brilliantly composed music, that he is one of our greatest composers. His ability to create musical structures full of fresh, varied, memorable material that unfolds, develops and resolves with a sense of absolute ease and spontaneity simply amazes me, despite my lack of close identification with the Classical sensibility with respect to qualities I do and don't find in it. I never think in terms of any "consensus" of opinion, or of anything "trumping" anything else. I rely on my own artistic sensitivity and knowledge, I respond to Mozart on two planes simultaneously - which I'll call "appraisal" and "taste" - and the two don't set up any inner conflict in me, or suggest a need to set one kind of response against the other.

    Anyone who would judge Mozart's work to be "poor" does indeed have a limitation on their cognition of music. Mozart is not a poor composer. Not in any way. His music may be poor in elements that a particular listener personally values, but that's a different meaning of "poor" and is inevitable among composers and listeners. We might have all sorts of reasons for liking or disliking things, but not all reasons are of equal value in exhibiting an understanding of what we're criticizing....
    Thanks for this.

    Without details of why you lack, 'close identification with the Classical sensibility,' it's difficult to respond further. I don't know if you would like to do so?

    Part of deepening our experience of art is learning to discriminate between actual artistic virtues/defects and our own subjective reactions and tastes. I don't think our ability to to do that is ever perfect, because, first, the spectrum of qualities art exhibits is virtually infinite in variety, breadth and subtlety; second, because art is experienced differently, however slightly, by each of us despite our common human nature; and third, because artistic values, though real and significant, don't exist on any precisely calibrated scale of best to worst. But then, worrying about what's "best" and "worst" is an idle game. Who cares?
    I would emphasize this and say that it appears to contradict the objective stance and your initial paragraph. Yes, let's not worry about what's best and worst...because we are unable to do so objectively.
    Last edited by janxharris; Apr-16-2020 at 13:55.

  11. #488
    Senior Member hammeredklavier's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Posts
    1,918
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Eusebius12 View Post
    I think my feelings on Mozart are similar to Woodduck's, if I might be a little presumptuous to piggyback on his opinion. Mozart's music is always skillfully constructed and full of good ideas. I don't relate well to galanterie, and there is no doubt that galanterie is a common feature (albeit far from a universal one) in his music. The blood and thunder of Beethoven, and ferocious intellectual rigour of Bach, are more appealing to my nature (and obviously the chimerical kaleidoscopicity of Schumann).
    By "galanterie", you mean the popular style of the late 18th century. But then all composers wrote a ton of music in the popular style of their own time. There aren't that many works in Schubert's 600+ lieder that I find interesting, for example. And I hear a different kind of passion and struggle (from Beethoven) in the Credo of Missa brevis in F major K192, or Confitebor tibi of Vesperae de dominica K321, for example. I feel that the depth of passion and struggle isn't any less, but a different kind, from Beethoven.
    As I said before, in the slow movement of Beethoven's 7th symphony: I feel that the tension and drama are mainly created through rhythm and dynamics. When it gets to the A major sections ( 2:56 , 6:27 ), things are just plainly calm in a Beethovenian manner. An excellent use of contrast by Beethoven, but not necessarily the kind I fully resonate with. I feel that Mozart searches unexplored regions of mood in Maurerische Trauermusik, ( 0:37 , 4:38 ) for example, where tension and drama are built through chromatic excursions of 'strangeness'. This might be the reason why Brahms said that Beethoven's 3rd piano concerto isn't quite up to level with Mozart's 24th. In fact, I find the image constantly attributed to Beethoven, "blood and thunder" a bit of a cliche now. I think a reasonably fine argument can be made that Beethoven is the greatest composer who ever lived in terms of emotion depth. What disturbs me is that the argument is often used by some people to imply other composers like Mozart lack a sense of passion and struggle. Perhaps Beethoven does have his own version of "Classical sensibility" (or whatever it is) in works like the 7th symphony but people just find it too sacrilegious to talk about it.
    There are sublime moments in piano sonata Op.101 and string quartets Op.131, Op.132 that are absolutely praiseworthy, but there are also moments that come off as a little 'ridiculous', as in Op.106 or Op.135, that often put me off, and come off as a child 'bitching' cause he can't express himself. (Maybe Beethoven's deafness really did affect him to some degree. I don't know. I don't get this feeling with the ending of Mozart Fantasie K608, for example, where the chromaticism conveys a strong sense of operatic drama). Call them "blood and thunder" whatever you like. But don't expect other people to resonate with the music the same way as you all the time.

    Quite a number of diehard Beethoven enthusiasts I have encountered have these ideas:
    1. It's sacrilegious to dislike Beethoven's works like the 9th symphony finale for the "Beethovenian silliness" (or whatever it is).
    2. When people don't like other composers, they're just not liking the composers. But when they don't like Beethoven, they're not "understanding" Beethoven.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eusebius12 View Post
    I think the problem is more you than them.
    Last edited by hammeredklavier; Apr-16-2020 at 16:04.

  12. Likes Kieran, Rex1 liked this post
  13. #489
    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Ashland, OR
    Posts
    16,079
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by janxharris View Post
    Without details of why you lack, 'close identification with the Classical sensibility,' it's difficult to respond further. I don't know if you would like to do so?

    I would emphasize this and say that it appears to contradict the objective stance and your initial paragraph. Yes, let's not worry about what's best and worst...because we are unable to do so objectively.
    The question is whether human beings are capable of distinguishing levels of excellence in art. If you think that an answer in the affirmative requires some sort of quantitative unit of measurement which can be applied to every aesthetic characteristic, you will not be persuaded. I think that such a requirement is an inappropriate limitation on what can be considered knowledge, and imposes a condition which invalidates all value judgments - in art, morality, and all other areas of life not describable in mechanistic, quantitative terms - and turns them into nothing but expressions of preference or inclination. It's a position which some people hold. I don't. I believe that excellence and, yes, greatness, is real, both in art and in life, and that the better developed we are in our various faculties, the more clearly we can perceive and understand how it manifests. That people lack perceptiveness and understanding of art is of no concern to me except when they tell me that my perceptions and understanding are as meaningless as a preference for chocolate over vanilla.

    Distinctions between levels of quality in art do not have to be minutely detailed and precise to be meaningful. I don't see why that's even a controversial statement. Can you tell me exactly how much you love someone? Do you need to be able to measure love by some quantitative unit to distinguish degrees of affection and devotion, or to understand the reasons for your feelings and commitments toward others, or theirs toward you? Again, you're assuming that all knowledge needs to be held in terms of quantitative measurement appropriate to physical reality. I think that's a false standard, inapplicable to psychic (mental, emotional, moral, spiritual, aesthetic) phenomena.

    I don't think about whether the musical genius Bach is "better" than the musical genius Mozart. I don't think about it because their work is very different, with a limited number of parameters on which their work can be compared, and also because I see no value in ranking them. I don't take part in the "ranking" games popular with many here - the assigning of composers to tiers or whatever - because it tells me absolutely nothing of value about music. Like most of us, I have my own hierarchies of favorites, which doesn't have to correspond to my judgments of quality, judgments I would make, if I felt a need to make them at all, by a variety of criteria. It can be fun to know what composers people like and don't like, but the conversation only gets interesting when people show that they actually understand something about the music.

    As for why I'm not more fond of Mozart (or most of the music of his time), that is purely a matter of chocolate versus vanilla, and has nothing to do with my assessment of the quality of his work.

  14. Likes Byron, Kieran, BachIsBest and 3 others liked this post
  15. #490
    Senior Member Kieran's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Dublin, Ireland
    Posts
    2,937
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Strange Magic View Post
    Finally, in response to EdwardBast on the degree to which Hamlet can be considered Shakespeare himself speaking, I recommend Kenneth Clark's short take on Shakespeare on pp.163-165 in his book Civilization. Clark (I will use a Scholastic argument, summoning forth an Expert) believes so and would have us believe so also.
    Now, I wouldn't dispute this, but I'd love to know how it works. For instance, how many characters in his plays can Shakespeare be? Ophelia also? Recently I read James Shapiro's excellent book on the year 1599, from how it affected Shakespeare's art. He states that Shakespeare (like Mozart) was essentially a gun for hire, churning out plays for consumption, and not in any real sense (that we can know of) expressing his inner life. Hamlet was the 4th major play he wrote that year (Henry V, Julius Caesar, As You Like it, Hamlet), so it was a busy one, what with him also being an investor in the theatre, and an actor.

    I just don't see how anyone can say that a particular character in any of Shakespeare's plays is "him."

    And by the way, to stay on topic, as I said, Mozart too was a working stiff (as Neal Zaslaw's has him, in his excellent essay, Mozart as a Working Stiff - you can find it online) and this affected what and how he would compose. His work was almost always composed for specific public performance, and not to exhume ghosts or dispel personal tragedy, and rarely can we say we peek a glimpse of the man directly, through his music...
    The Brain - is wider than the Sky

  16. Likes MaxKellerman, Woodduck, WildThing liked this post
  17. #491
    Senior Member Room2201974's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    More Souther Than J.D.
    Posts
    1,384
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    William Shakespeare never believed any of the following as it contains nary a word he would have lived:

    Hamlet
    "Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced
    it to you, trippingly on the tongue; but if you mouth
    it, as many of our players do, I had as lief the
    town-crier spoke my lines. Nor do not saw the air
    too much with your hand, thus, but use all gently;
    for in the very torrent, tempest, and, as I may say,
    whirlwind of your passion, you must acquire and
    beget a temperance that may give it smoothness. O,
    it offends me to the soul to hear a robustious,
    periwig-pated fellow tear a passion to tatters, to very
    rags, to split the ears of the groundlings, who for the
    most part are capable of nothing but inexplicable
    dumb shows and noise. I would have such a fellow
    whipped for o’erdoing Termagant. It out-Herods
    Herod. Pray you, avoid it.

    Player
    I warrant your Honor.


    Hamlet
    Be not too tame neither, but let your own
    discretion be your tutor. Suit the action to the
    word, the word to the action, with this special
    observance, that you o’erstep not the modesty of
    nature. For anything so o’erdone is from the purpose
    of playing, whose end, both at the first and
    now, was and is to hold, as ’twere, the mirror up to
    nature, to show virtue her own feature, scorn her
    own image, and the very age and body of the time
    his form and pressure. Now this overdone or come
    tardy off, though it makes the unskillful laugh,
    cannot but make the judicious grieve, the censure
    of the which one must in your allowance o’erweigh
    a whole theater of others. O, there be players that I
    have seen play and heard others praise (and that
    highly), not to speak it profanely, that, neither
    having th’ accent of Christians nor the gait of
    Christian, pagan, nor man, have so strutted and
    bellowed that I have thought some of nature’s
    journeymen had made men, and not made them
    well, they imitated humanity so abominably.

    Player
    I hope we have reformed that indifferently
    with us, sir.

    Hamlet
    O, reform it altogether. And let those that play
    your clowns speak no more than is set down for
    them, for there be of them that will themselves
    laugh, to set on some quantity of barren spectators
    to laugh too, though in the meantime some necessary
    question of the play be then to be considered.
    That’s villainous and shows a most pitiful ambition
    in the fool that uses it. Go make you ready. "

    Players exit.
    Last edited by Room2201974; Apr-16-2020 at 19:14.
    I wrote a song about dental floss. Did anyone's teeth get cleaner? ~ Frank Zappa

  18. #492
    Senior Member Strange Magic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Nova Caesarea
    Posts
    5,059
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    EdwardBast's Never! injunction regarding whether we can or should attempt to read the author's mind and character into any of said author's characters of course rings the death knell for much of the biography or even understanding of authors, and we surely don't want that! What would we make of Leo Tolstoy? Melville? But of course Sir Kenneth's opinion that Shakepeare himself spoke through Hamlet is based on a life of study of Art and artists. Here is some of Clark's observation: after noting the impression that Montaigne made on Shakespeare, Clark writes: "Pure Montaigne--with a difference. And Shakespeare must be the first and may be the last supremely great poet to have been without a religious belief, even without the humanist's belief in man." Clark then offers one of several quotes of Hamlet's Hamlet, then goes on to say, "There have been great pessimists since his time--Leopardi, Baudelaire--but who else has felt so strongly the absolute meaninglessness of human life?" This is followed by another excerpt from the Prince of Denmark. Case closed (for me anyway).

    Edit: Clark perhaps forgets Lucretius, himself a fabulous poet writing 1500 years earlier, and also without a trace of religious belief.
    Last edited by Strange Magic; Apr-16-2020 at 19:40.

  19. #493
    Senior Member Luchesi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    1,365
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    When you read this many posts you begin to see both sides of the argument, close to your own thinking, and you see how the arguments come mysteriously from individual experience and life path.

    If you've been let down by subjectivity many times, you want something logical to pursue and digest.
    Tradition is not the worship of ashes - but the preservation of fire!
    Gustav Mahler

  20. #494
    Senior Member Kieran's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Dublin, Ireland
    Posts
    2,937
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Strange Magic View Post
    EdwardBast's Never! injunction regarding whether we can or should attempt to read the author's mind and character into any of said author's characters of course rings the death knell for much of the biography or even understanding of authors, and we surely don't want that! What would we make of Leo Tolstoy? Melville? But of course Sir Kenneth's opinion that Shakepeare himself spoke through Hamlet is based on a life of study of Art and artists. Here is some of Clark's observation: after noting the impression that Montaigne made on Shakespeare, Clark writes: "Pure Montaigne--with a difference. And Shakespeare must be the first and may be the last supremely great poet to have been without a religious belief, even without the humanist's belief in man." Clark then offers one of several quotes of Hamlet's Hamlet, then goes on to say, "There have been great pessimists since his time--Leopardi, Baudelaire--but who else has felt so strongly the absolute meaninglessness of human life?" This is followed by another excerpt from the Prince of Denmark. Case closed (for me anyway).

    Edit: Clark perhaps forgets Lucretius, himself a fabulous poet writing 1500 years earlier, and also without a trace of religious belief.
    You see the highlighted words? We just don't know enough of Shakespeare's biography to to be able to assume too much about his motives. What we do know is that his plays differ wonderfully from each other, and though Hamlet maybe the "deepest", this isn't necessarily because Shakespeare was getting stuff off his chest. It's a lousy presumption on anyone's part to reduce art this way, to presume to know what a man as creative as Shakespeare was thinking. As for the influence of Montaigne, that's a given. It gave Shakespeare the tools to deepen the soliloquy, and therefore expose and express the character, and deepen the tragedy.

    But nothing of it suggests that he was personally expressing himself through the character of Hamlet. I would echo EdwardBasts's Never, and further add that I think to presume to read the artists mind only shows a failing of imagination in the reader's mind, and maybe an actual lack of appreciation for the great writer, which defeats the critic's purpose. If that rings a death knell for our "understanding" of authors, then perhaps it's not a bad thing, if the "understanding" is based upon a false premise...
    The Brain - is wider than the Sky

  21. Likes WildThing, Woodduck liked this post
  22. #495
    Senior Member Strange Magic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Nova Caesarea
    Posts
    5,059
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Comedians talk about a Tough Room. I'll have to instruct any would-be biographers of authors: novelists, poets to veer away before they "assume too much" about motives, philosophy, etc. based on the biographers' perhaps lifetime study, love, and analyses of their chosen subjects. Better to have such remain a tabula rasa than to fall off the cliff and into the abyss of Error that Kieran asserts lies before them. But I do like the part where we are told by K that the influence of Montaigne upon Shakespeare is "a given"--Clark will be relieved to hear that. Mind you, as K has informed us to our shock and dismay, Clark's notion is an opinion. But given the choice of Kieran/Bast versus keeping alive the enterprise of attempting to prise out the inner mental workings of authors through informed inspection of the characters in their works (among other evidence), I'll choose the latter. I found the post above quite remarkable in its dismissal of such attempts.
    Last edited by Strange Magic; Apr-16-2020 at 21:12.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •