View Poll Results: Did the common practice era peak with Brahms or Rachmaninov?

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  • Common practice peaked with Brahms

    13 39.39%
  • Common practice ended with Rachmaninov

    7 21.21%
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    13 39.39%
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Thread: The Common Practice Era: Did it peak with Brahms, or Rachmaninov?

  1. #76
    Senior Member chu42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by janxharris View Post
    Thanks. I should have been clearer. Did you mean:

    I don't think this can be said for Beethoven

    Rather than

    I don't think this cannot be said for Beethoven

    ?

    Rachmaninov and Sibelius are such different composers - so I'm curious about what you think Sergei achieved. I understand Sibelius's contribution.
    Yes, edited.

    As for Rachmaninov, I think his significance lies mostly in his oeuvre in the piano, where he refined and wrung out every last bit of compositional technique from Romantic-era piano writing.

  2. #77
    Senior Member chu42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by consuono View Post
    The "peak" implies as near to perfection in a genre as you can get, whatever is meant by "perfection". I don't think any composer post-Beethoven ever equaled him, much less surpassed his achievements. Not Brahms, not Sibelius and certainly not Rachmaninov the symphonist. They would probably agree.
    Maybe I should be more specific. When saying "peak", I meant in terms of innovation rather than refinement.

  3. #78
    Senior Member hammeredklavier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chu42 View Post
    Note: Common practice era =/= tonal music. I would consider Wagner and late-Liszt to already being stepping foot outside common practice, even though their music is completely tonal.
    I remember a certain member expressing their view that Rachmaninoff's Op.39 set represents his "move" away from the common practice.
    Last edited by hammeredklavier; Apr-19-2021 at 00:01.

  4. #79
    Senior Member chu42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hammeredklavier View Post
    I remember a certain member expressing their view that Rachmaninoff's Op.39 set represents his "move" away from the common practice.
    No, that would be his Piano Concerto No.4. Rachmaninov's etudes-tableaux are very chromatic but still firmly within CPT in my opinion.
    Last edited by chu42; Apr-19-2021 at 00:34.

  5. #80
    Senior Member arpeggio's Avatar
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    Just because I have not heard of a composer does it mean that they are not well known.
    It is impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious. And I am a very ingenious fellow

  6. #81
    Senior Member Fabulin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chu42 View Post
    Maybe I should be more specific. When saying "peak", I meant in terms of innovation rather than refinement.
    What makes you consider Rachmaninoff so innovative, if I may ask?
    Last edited by Fabulin; Apr-19-2021 at 01:40.

  7. #82
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    Brahms is considered by a lot of musicians to be the greatest romantic era composer, including Professor Robert Greenberg.

  8. #83
    Senior Member chu42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fabulin View Post
    What makes you consider Rachmaninoff so innovative, if I may ask?
    I believe he pushed Romanticism to its technical and harmonic limit

  9. #84
    Senior Member Fabulin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chu42 View Post
    I believe he pushed Romanticism to its technical and harmonic limit
    But what does that even mean? This phrase gets thrown around so much, from Wagner through Debussy, Schoenberg's romantic works, Richard Strauss, Reger, Scriabin... even Mahler...

    I am especially puzzled because to me Rachmaninoff's music (in the context of his times) sounds like a boring old hat compared to even some much earlier composers, such as Berlioz, Wagner, and Bruckner, not to mention wilder contemporaries like Bartok, Khachaturian, or Herrmann (or Messiaen or Scelsi), or Williams and Goldsmith later. I can't fathom Rach of all people being the innovative one. He seems more like Sergei Bortkiewicz - a syrrupy concoction of Chopin and the Russians. A perfector - maybe - but an innovator?
    Last edited by Fabulin; Apr-19-2021 at 05:01.

  10. #85
    Senior Member chu42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fabulin View Post
    But what does that even mean? This phrase gets thrown around so much, from Wagner through Debussy, Schoenberg's romantic works, Richard Strauss, Reger, Scriabin... even Mahler...

    I am especially puzzled because to me Rachmaninoff's music (in the context of his times) sounds like a boring old hat compared to even some much earlier composers, such as Berlioz, Wagner, and Bruckner, not to mention wilder contemporaries like Bartok, Khachaturian, or Herrmann (or Messiaen or Scelsi), or Williams and Goldsmith later. I can't fathom Rach of all people being the innovative one. He seems more like Sergei Bortkiewicz - a syrrupy concoction of Chopin and the Russians. A perfector - maybe - but an innovator?
    I enjoy Bortkiewicz, but his style comprises the worst of early Rachmaninov. Later Rachmaninov is much more unique and compelling—listen to the following works to break his stereotype as a "syrupy" composer.



    Last edited by chu42; Apr-19-2021 at 07:12.

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  12. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by consuono View Post
    You need only to look at their influences, and often in terms of reaction *away* from dominant influences in order to find some other path...which I think is what happened with modern music. Debussy was influenced by Chopin and Tchaikovsky who were influenced by Mozart. Debussy also adored Bach. In the case of influences on Sibelius, you have Beethoven>Wagner>Bruckner and also Bach>Beethoven>Busoni and also Mozart and Beethoven>Schumann>Tchaikovsky. Vaughan Williams is a little trickier given the place of English Renaissance music in his style, but he was also influenced by Ravel who was influenced by Mozart and Liszt (who was also influenced by Bach, Mozart and Beethoven) and on and on.
    And Buxtehude on Bach - Bach, Handel and Haydn on Mozart...so I'm not sure of your point.
    Early Sibelius is very redolent of Tchaikovsky - but it didn't last.

    How can you call these derivative when they were the among the first and most dominant exemplars of the styles in which they wrote?
    I referred specifically to their (we are talking about Haydn, Mozart and early Beethoven) harmony, which for me is akin to pastiche. I don't believe it is disputed that harmony in the 18th century was relatively simple and that composers were using progressions in common usage. I recognise this obviously isn't an issue for many listeners but there comes a point the closer you get to derivative when it does.

    I'd still be interested to see you cite some passages of Sibelius's symphonies (4-7) where he is riffing off of the big 3 or anyone else for that matter.
    Last edited by janxharris; Apr-19-2021 at 14:48.

  13. #87
    Senior Member Wilhelm Theophilus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allerius View Post
    Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Wagner and Brahms represent the highest peaks of the Himalayas that the classical music of the common practice are, in my humble opinion of course.
    Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Wagner and Brahms represent the highest peaks of...music.

  14. #88
    Senior Member hammeredklavier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by janxharris View Post
    And Buxtehude on Bach - Bach, Handel and Haydn on Mozart...so I'm not sure of your point.
    Early Sibelius is very redolent of Tchaikovsky - but it didn't last.
    I also don't get about some of these people constantly harping on the "absolute/objective greatness" of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven. Sometimes they're obsessed to indoctrinate other people about the composers' "absolute/objective greatness", but other times they pretend as if these composers wrote music that's just "obsolete" by the later composers' standards. At least I try to be consistent with my viewpoint by avoiding falling into that "paradox".

    Quote Originally Posted by consuono View Post
    I can see why the form.fell by the wayside in favor of cyclical themes or "thematic cells" and whatnot though. After a while it seems to me that sonata form would become like a straitjacket.
    Last edited by hammeredklavier; Apr-19-2021 at 14:46.

  15. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by janxharris View Post
    And Buxtehude on Bach - Bach, Handel and Haydn on Mozart...so I'm not sure of your point.
    Early Sibelius is very redolent of Tchaikovsky - but it didn't last.
    Of course they all had their influences. Nobody said they didn't. It's what's achieved in synthesizing influences. Buxtehude was a big influence on Bach. On Mozart or Beethoven or Stravinsky, not so much. Bach was, though.

    I referred specifically to their (we are talking about Haydn, Mozart and early Beethoven) harmony, which for me is akin to pastiche. I don't believe it is disputed that harmony in the 18th century was relatively simple and that composers were using progressions in common usage. I recognise this obviously isn't an issue for many listeners but there comes a point the closer you get to derivative when it does.
    Only you demonstrate absolutely nothing about "derivative".
    Quote Originally Posted by hammeredklavier
    I also don't get about some of these people constantly harping on the "absolute/objective greatness" of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven.
    Or harping on the objective wealth of ideas in Michael Haydn and the objective dearth of them in his brother Joseph. Get outta here.

  16. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by consuono View Post
    Only you demonstrate absolutely nothing about "derivative".
    I could do but, as I said, it isn't an issue for all listeners; in any case, you made the initial assertion and I asked you to show the derivation regarding Sibelius. Sibelius is often cited as someone with a totally unique voice...but Mozart not so much.

    Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy some of WAM's work and certainly would cite him as the best from his era.

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