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Because the rating of composers is so often done purely on the basis of their instrumental music, we end up with misleading information. If you don't know any opera, choral music, or songs by composers who wrote in those genres, how do you justify rating them, or indeed making general comments about them?

It's hardly a new observation. What do people who post in the Vocal Music forum think?
 

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Strong agreement from me. In my view, full-length operas & oratorios tend to be bigger, more wide-ranging, and more all-embracing than even the greatest symphonies & concertos. Moreover, sometimes (not always!) the words contribute an extra dimension, making the work more wide-ranging still, because they function in different ways from any instrument. Quite often, therefore, those are the works that seem to me most "special" of all in a great composer's output.

If some intelligent extraterrestrial--no, if some extraterrestrial unintelligent enough to comprehend human art--came to me and wanted to know what it feels like to be human, I could give them any one of Mozart's major operas and say "If you truly understand this one work, you'll know everything significant about what it means to be a human being on this planet." I couldn't do that with any one Mozart concerto or symphony.

Same with almost any one of Handel's oratorios or operas, compared to any one of his instrumental works. Same with Dvořák's Dimitrij or Rusalka, compared to any one of his great symphonies. Same, I think, with Bach's Matthew Passion or B minor Mass. Same, very definitely, with any one of Vivaldi's big choral works, compared to any one of his concertos: the former plumb breadths and depths and diversities of human experience far beyond the reach of the latter. How could it be otherwise?

I think contemporary composers tend to suffer most of all. The market for their music is so tiny that only their cheapest works to perform can be played in concert or recorded. Result, we sit in judgment on these composers knowing only a few of their least ambitious chamber music works or piano pieces, when in fact they may have done much greater work in other areas.

Take John Joubert. Until 2017 I knew of him only dimly, as a composer of a few little carols and instrumental pieces. Then his Jane Eyre was recorded, and suddenly one's notion of his career changed completely. Here was someone who had composed, reportedly, seven operas, at least one of which can stand shoulder to shoulder alongside Britten's very finest without any obvious inferiority in any department. Who could have deduced that, from anything we had previously heard from him? And how many undetected Jouberts could there be in the world today?
 

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For almost any somewhat established composer they are usually appreciated for their best works. Of course there are some exceptions and distortions, if a body of work in a genre is neglected for some reason. E.g. Baroque Opera was mostly ignored for 200+ years until the mid to late 20th century. Therefore composers like Handel, Vivaldi, Rameau were famous for a couple of works that were only partially representative of their oeuvres. Or someone like Reger is clearly an acquired taste in orchestral and chamber music but his choral and organ music is very highly regarded among cantors and organists.
 
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