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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How do you rate this piece?

By The Prague Baroque Orchestra
Conducted By Trevor Pinnock

The video says "Tomaso Albinoni", but it's wrong. The real author is Remo Giazotto, who took inspiration from a short score fragment of Albinoni.

 

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It's a musical hoax, but it's a masterpiece of modern classical music.
Frankly, I don't think it fits the label "modern" and it's hardly a masterpiece. I'd define a masterpiece as something that's of such tremendous quality and originality that it presents a milestone in the history of music. This clearly doesn't fit the criteria. Creating these kind of baroque pastiches isn't very hard, if you're well versed in the style and have some compositional skills.
Giazotto wasn't a great composer, he was hardly a composer at all. He was just lucky that his patchwork became an huge overnight success. One-hit wonders happen all the time, but we don't usually go around calling them geniuses just because there happens to be a certain degree of commercial success.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Frankly, I don't think it fits the label "modern" and it's hardly a masterpiece. I'd define a masterpiece as something that's of such tremendous quality and originality that it presents a milestone in the history of music.
No, as I've already written in an other discussion, sometimes you simply want to show how much good you are in writing a piece in a style that already exists. The idea that you have to create a new style everytime you compose a piece, otherwise your piece has no value, is a meaningless idea that I read only in classical music forums.
This idea drives to conclusion that the pieces of Mozart in the galant style have no value.

Even if you compose a piece in a style that already exists, there is still space for individual creativity, because the melody and all the rest don't write themselves.

This clearly doesn't fit the criteria. Creating these kind of baroque pastiches isn't very hard, if you're well versed in the style and have some compositional skills.
It's not very hard to write excellent melodies?? Really??

So, everyone can compose a piece that becomes a standard of classical music and that it's defined by many persons (see the comments under the video) as the most beatiful music they have ever heard. Where is yours?

but we don't usually go around calling them geniuses just because there happens to be a certain degree of commercial success.
In this case the "commercial success" is motivated, because it's not an overplayed summer hit, but a piece who gives strong emotions to many persons and it's still alive after decades.

In the comments "The first time I listened to this masterpiece, I was just five years old and I remember I burst into tears unable to stop. I am fifty now. I have listened to it hundreds of times but the feeling of its emotional power does not seem to diminish. For me, it is the most powerful composition ever created on this world. "


And you find many others comments like this one.
 

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No, as I've already written in an other discussion, sometimes you simply want to show how much good you are in writing a piece in a style that already exists. The idea that you have to create a new style everytime you compose a piece, otherwise your piece has no value, is a meaningless idea that I read only in classical music forums.
This idea drives to conclusion that the pieces of Mozart in the galant style have no value.
Being a 20th century composer and writing pieces in 18th century style is like re-inventing the hot air balloon or the steam engine. What's the point? Showing off your skills as an imitator doesn't make you a good composer, best case you're a good theorist, who's versed in a particular historical style. In that case, I'd say spend your talents more wisely and write essays and biographies instead of compositions.

Even if you compose a piece in a style that already exists, there is still space for individual creativity, because the melody and all the rest don't write themselves.
It means you limit your creativity to just one aspect of composition, while accepting that all other aspects are unoriginal and derivative. No composer with enough self-respect should go that route.

It's not very hard to write excellent melodies?? Really??
It's not hard to write a good melody. It's hard to write a good composition.

So, everyone can compose a piece that becomes a standard of classical music and that it's defined by many persons (see the comments under the video) as the most beatiful music they have ever heard.
I don't care about the communis opinio. Following your reasoning even the most appalling piece of kitsch would be worthy of praise, just because invariably there's someone somewhere who likes it and vents his opinion on social media.

Where is yours?
I shouldn't fall for ad hominems, but I can assure you I wrote a lot of music in historical styles, as a form of "musica usualis", to be used for specific purposes, like church services. Not bad music, but the lack of originality makes it fall below my usual standards. And asking me why any of those pieces hasn't be become a top hit yet is like asking why I'm not a lottery millionaire yet.

In this case the "commercial success" is motivated, because it's not an overplayed summer hit, but a piece who gives strong emotions to many persons and it's still alive after decades.
So is Sobra Las Olas. Everyone loves Sobra Las Olas. I haven't met a person yet who doesn't love it. And frankly, I love it too. Much more so than Remo's adagio.


In the comments "The first time I listened to this masterpiece, I was just five years old and I remember I burst into tears unable to stop. I am fifty now. I have listened to it hundreds of times but the feeling of its emotional power does not seem to diminish. For me, it is the most powerful composition ever created on this world. "
And you find many others comments like this one.
I heard there are even people who like Andre Rieu. Incredible, huh?
And don't you go telling me that Andre Rieu performs Sobra Las Olas too, because that would cause serious cognitive dissonance.
 

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There's no point in arguing taste, but I will go on record as the first person RobertJTh has (sort of) met who does not like, much less love, "Sobre las Olas." This may be noteworthy in that I like tuneful waltzes, and really do love several by the Strauss brothers, Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev, but "Sobre las Olas" strikes me as inferior and rather insipid. It seems to be in a style borrowed from Vienna and imported by way of France, and it's as second- (or third-) hand as the "Albinoni" Adagio, but less affecting.

I wouldn't call the Adagio a hoax any longer, since we've known for some time who didn't write it, but neither is it a "masterpiece of modern music" (pace HansZimmer). It's just a piece composed in a quasi-antique style that uses some heart-tugging elements of melody, harmony and rhythm which made it popular. It has gravity and dignity - the slow tread in 3/4 or 3/2 suggests a sarabande - and I find it evocative of temps perdu and a fine candidate for a soundtrack to a historical documentary, for which purpose it's probably been drafted more than once.

I'll rate it "good."
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Being a 20th century composer and writing pieces in 18th century style is like re-inventing the hot air balloon or the steam engine. What's the point? Showing off your skills as an imitator doesn't make you a good composer, best case you're a good theorist, who's versed in a particular historical style.
It means you limit your creativity to just one aspect of composition, while accepting that all other aspects are unoriginal and derivative. No composer with enough self-respect should go that route.
I don't see the difference between composing a piece in a style which is popular today and doing the same thing but in a style that was popular in the past.

To say that someone is a failed composer because he follows a determined style is ridiculous, to be honest, because this implies that Mozart was a failed composer because he was inserted in the rococo movement and he didn't invent a totally new stylistic school like for example Schoenberg.

In other words, according to your logic, every piece that doesn't launch a new school is a failed piece, so let's throw away all the violin concertos of Mozart.


That said, your strange idea of music is different than the one of most persons, including me. What we search in music is beauty, not originality. The former is the primary goal, while the latter is only a bonus.
In other words, we want music that it's beatiful & original or beatiful & unoriginal, but we don't want music that is boring & original.

However, don't use the word "pastiche". Composing a pastiche means to write a piece that sounds like an other determined piece and not writing a piece in a determined style, otherwise Mozart's music would be a pastiche, as well as the music of the many popular groups of today that follow a style.

It's not hard to write a good melody. It's hard to write a good composition.
If you wrote that it's not hard to compose a not bad melody I could believe you, but if you are speaking about excellent melodies... no, you are wrong.

Infact, it's so easy to write really good melodies that it's full of pieces of classical music with boring melodies.

When I wrote that the "Adagio in G minor" has an excellent melody I wanted to say that the piece sounds really good, which means that the piece is in general well composed.

I shouldn't fall for ad hominems, but I can assure you I wrote a lot of music in historical styles, as a form of "musica usualis", to be used for specific purposes, like church services. Not bad music, but the lack of originality makes it fall below my usual standards. And asking me why any of those pieces hasn't be become a top hit yet is like asking why I'm not a lottery millionaire yet.
It's not an ad hominem. If you write that it's easy to write a classical music piece which becomes a standard, it's perfectly logic to ask how many classical music pieces of great success have you composed.

Lottery? Do you really think that it's a matter of fortune and not a matter of talent? Really?

So, Mozart and Beethoven are famous only because they have won a lottery, not because they had talent.

I heard there are even people who like Andre Rieu. Incredible, huh?
Nothing strange in this. He composes and performs beatiful melodic music and, as explained above, the primary goal of music for most persons (including me) is beauty.

So, on one side you have many contemporary classical music composers who create horrible atonal/strange music, on the other side you have Andre Rieu and the soundtrack composers who write melodic classical-style music. It's not difficult to choose what is the kind of contemporary composers to follow: the ones who mantain the philosophy of the classical period and in particular of Mozart.
Infact, the classical period it's what holds the classical music community together, as written by @DaveM in an other discussion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
There's no point in arguing taste, but I will go on record as the first person RobertJTh has (sort of) met who does not like, much less love, "Sobre las Olas." This may be noteworthy in that I like tuneful waltzes, and really do love several by the Strauss brothers, Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev, but "Sobre las Olas" strikes me as inferior and rather insipid. It seems to be in a style borrowed from Vienna and imported by way of France, and it's as second- (or third-) hand as the "Albinoni" Adagio, but less affecting.

I wouldn't call the Adagio a hoax any longer, since we've known for some time who didn't write it, but neither is it a "masterpiece of modern music" (pace HansZimmer). It's just a piece composed in a quasi-antique style that uses some heart-tugging elements of melody, harmony and rhythm which made it popular. It has gravity and dignity - the slow tread in 3/4 or 3/2 suggests a sarabande - and I find it evocative of temps perdu and a fine candidate for a soundtrack to a historical documentary, for which purpose it's probably been drafted more than once.

I'll rate it "good."
See my previous post.
 

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I don't see the difference between composing a piece in a style which is popular today and doing the same thing but in a style that was popular in the past.
I explained the difference in my previous post.

To say that someone is a failed composer because he follows a determined style is ridiculous, to be honest, because this implies that Mozart was a failed composer because he was inserted in the rococo movement and he didn't invent a totally new stylistic school like for example Schoenberg.
Bad example. Mozart used the idiom of his day, he didn't compose in an antiquated style. He was even considered modern by his contemporaries.

In other words, according to your logic, every piece that doesn't launch a new school is a failed piece, so let's throw away all the violin concertos of Mozart.
That's not what I'm saying at all. Stop exaggerating and twisting my words.

That said, your strange idea of music is different than the one of most persons, including me. What we search in music is beauty, not originality. The former is the primary goal, while the latter is only a bonus.
In other words, we want music that it's beatiful & original or beatiful & unoriginal, but we don't want music that is boring & original.
Stop creating false dichotomies.

However, don't use the word "pastiche". Composing a pastiche means to write a piece that sounds like an other determined piece and not writing a piece in a determined style, otherwise Mozart's music would be a pastiche, as well as the music of the many popular groups of today that follow a style.
Mozart again. It would help making these kind of discussions less frustrating if you could broaden your horizon a bit.
Also, Giazotti claimed he cobbled his piece together using melodic fragments and a basso continuo line from Albinoni. Fits the definition of a pastiche perfectly. Problem is that there's no proof that the fragments even existed or that Albinoni had anything at all to do with the music, so maybe "falsification" is a better word to describe this particular piece.

If you wrote that it's not hard to compose a not bad melody I could believe you, but if you are speaking about excellent melodies... no, you are wrong.
I'll just repeat what I wrote, maybe you'll pick it up this time. It's not hard to write good melodies, it's hard to write good compositions.

Infact, it's so easy to write really good melodies that it's full of pieces of classical music with boring melodies.
Subjectivity. What you find boring another person could find beautiful and exciting. I suspect that your definition of a good melody is so narrow that melodies that don't strive for direct accessibility but rather serve as "building blocks" for the composition (like most of Beethoven's more rudimentary thematic material) won't get your stamp of approval.
But you're free to prove me wrong. Since you know so much music with bad melodies, name a few pieces?

When I wrote that the "Adagio in G minor" has an excellent melody I wanted to say that the piece sounds really good, which means that the piece is in general well composed.
Again, a subjective verdict presented as objective truth. What sounds good for you sounds like schwarmy, droopy kitsch for me. Who's right?

It's not an ad hominem. If you write that it's easy to write a classical music piece which becomes a standard, it's perfectly logic to ask how many classical music pieces of great success have you composed.
That's not what I wrote at all. I wish you could stop twisting my words.

Lottery? Do you really think that it's a matter of fortune and not a matter of talent? Really?
Let me put it this way: do you think a mediocre composer like Giazotti would have any success with a piece written in an imitation-baroque style if he didn't fraudulently stick the name "Albinoni" on it? Or, same kind of case, a Russian nobody named Vavilov writing a sappy Ave Maria that some shrewd con-men presented as written by Caccini. These people didn't deserve the money and fame they got from their fakeries, the deserved jail time.

So, Mozart and Beethoven are famous only because they have won a lottery, not because they had talent.
I don't know why I still bother replying to this nonsense.

Nothing strange in this. He composes and performs beatiful melodic music and, as explained above, the primary goal of music for most persons (including me) is beauty.
Which is in the eye of the beholder.

So, on one side you have many contemporary classical music composers who create horrible atonal/strange music, on the other side you have Andre Rieu and the soundtrack composers who write melodic classical-style music. It's not difficult to choose what is the kind of contemporary composers to follow: the ones who mantain the philosophy of the classical period and in particular of Mozart.
Infact, the classical period it's what holds the classical music community together, as written by @DaveM in an other discussion.
There are a lot of people here at TC who appreciate modern and contemporary music, including what you call "horrible atonal/strange" pieces. And they don't feel obliged to follow your doctrines and agree with you that every modern composer should be a Mozart-imitator. Like I said before, it appears to me that your musical taste is rather limited. That's perfectly fine, but it doesn't put you in a position where you can lecture people with a broader aesthetic range.

There's no point in arguing taste, but I will go on record as the first person RobertJTh has (sort of) met who does not like, much less love, "Sobre las Olas." This may be noteworthy in that I like tuneful waltzes, and really do love several by the Strauss brothers, Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev, but "Sobre las Olas" strikes me as inferior and rather insipid. It seems to be in a style borrowed from Vienna and imported by way of France, and it's as second- (or third-) hand as the "Albinoni" Adagio, but less affecting.
I just used it as an example of an obscure piece by an obscure Mexican composer that has not much going for it, but that still gained world-wide popularity. And pitting it against the "Albinoni" adagio seemed funny to me. Maybe it wasn't. :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Bad example. Mozart used the idiom of his day, he didn't compose in an antiquated style. He was even considered modern by his contemporaries.
The point is that he followed an existing style. If many composers of today compose "mozartic" music and not contemporary classical music while Mozart was confortable with the style of his time maybe there is a reason.

Subjectivity. What you find boring another person could find beautiful and exciting. I suspect that your definition of a good melody is so narrow that melodies that don't strive for direct accessibility but rather serve as "building blocks" for the composition (like most of Beethoven's more rudimentary thematic material) won't get your stamp of approval.
No, the melodies of Beethoven are good and not only in symphonies, but also in the chamber pieces.

I don't understand exactly the thing about small motifs. If there are many small motifs in the exposition which are then further developed in the development section, the complessive melody will be rich.

But you're free to prove me wrong. Since you know so much music with bad melodies, name a few pieces?
I prefer to say what I like instead of what I don't like, because to spread negative emotions in the field of music is not my goal and the persons who do so are quite irritating in my point of view.
It's a bit like the difference between saying "I like women" and "Homosexuality is disgusting".

I will only say that Mozart and Beethoven are two examples of good symphonists, while for my ears many other composers of classical music are failed symphonists because they composed a lot of long and boring symphonies (if you have not the talent of Beethoven you shouldn't compose symphonies of 1 hour).


Is my point of view subjective? Yes, but the point is that it's not so easy to satisfy the ears of an individual, so your argument that it's easy to compose a piece that sounds subjectively good for the ears of many individuals is wrong.

I perfectly know the subjectivity of tastes, and this is why I prefer to say what I like instead of saying what I don't like, because someone might confuse the latter as a delegitimation of his/her personal tastes, but it's not.

The point is that this principle must be also remembered from persons who are on the other side of the barricade.
Every time I post a modern piece with classical style which emphasizes melody-harmony, there are some users who say that it sucks. They don't say "this piece doesn't satisfy my tastes/expectations", but they portray the creator as a failed composer who makes music for idiots. Something that can not be respected from the point of view of the high classical music, whatever it means.

I used to think that I'm too much progressist while some persons in the classical music audience are conservatives, but then I realized that it's probably the opposite: I'm the conservative because I like the aesthetic of the classical period and I like modern music that it's similar or at least not so far away, while in the other side there are progressists who think that modern classical music must be consistently different from the one of the classical period.

Let me put it this way: do you think a mediocre composer like Giazotti would have any success with a piece written in an imitation-baroque style if he didn't fraudulently stick the name "Albinoni" on it?
Maybe it helped the name of Albinoni, but the piece wouldn't be so diffuse if it wasn't considered really good by many persons.

There are a lot of people here at TC who appreciate modern and contemporary music, including what you call "horrible atonal/strange" pieces. And they don't feel obliged to follow your doctrines and agree with you that every modern composer should be a Mozart-imitator.
Of course they are not obbliged to follow my doctrines, but viceversa is also true: the composers and the audience are not obliged to follow their strange ideas about modern classical music, which, according to them, must throw away the aesthetic principles of the classical period.
That's why there will always successful composers like André Rieu: they are an alternative for the conservatives.

Like I said before, it appears to me that your musical taste is rather limited. That's perfectly fine, but it doesn't put you in a position where you can lecture people with a broader aesthetic range.
No, I can appreciate everything from J.S. Bach to John Williams: my only limitation is tonality. Furthermore, the tonal music must contain memorable tunes... and there are many pieces in tonal music which don't satisfy my expectations.
 

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The point is that he followed an existing style. If many composers of today compose "mozartic" music and not contemporary classical music while Mozart was confortable with the style of his time maybe there is a reason.
There's a composer at IMSLP who wrote and published over 60 symphonies in a Mozartian style. Will there ever be an orchestra, conductor or concert promoter who thinks "Instead of Haydn's Farewell Symphony, I'll perform symphony #45 by this guy!"
I won't deny anyone his or hers favorite pastime, but the redundancy and superfluity of it all - it boggles the mind.

No, the melodies of Beethoven are good and not only in symphonies, but also in the chamber pieces.
At last something we can agree on. But are they merely "good" or "excellent", like Remo's Adagio?

I don't understand exactly the thing about small motifs. If there are many small motifs in the exposition which are then further developed in the development section, the complessive melody will be rich.
Hm, no. It usually works the other way around. Beethoven uses the fragments of his melody as building stones in the development sections of his works. A great example is the first movement of the Pastoral Symphony, where every small element of the opening melody is treated like an individual subject.

I prefer to say what I like instead of what I don't like, because to spread negative emotions in the field of music is not my goal and the persons who do so are quite irritating in my point of view.
It's a bit like the difference between saying "I like women" and "Homosexuality is disgusting".
That's praiseworthy, but I think many people will still perceive your opinions (like your hatred of contemporary music) as fairly negative.

I will only say that Mozart and Beethoven are two examples of good symphonists, while for my ears many other composers of classical music are failed symphonists because they composed a lot of long and boring symphonies (if you have not the talent of Beethoven you shouldn't compose symphonies of 1 hour).
Examples please!

Is my point of view subjective? Yes, but the point is that it's not so easy to satisfy the ears of an individual, so your argument that it's easy to compose a piece that sounds subjectively good for the ears of many individuals is wrong.
My point is that formulaic music that adheres to stylistic and formal conventions is rather easy to write, once one mastered those conventions. Commercial success is not a result of quality but depends on external factors. Like a pop music singer's hairdress or twitter popularity. Or in this case, like pasting the name "Albinoni" on one's fake baroque piece.

I perfectly know the subjectivity of tastes, and this is why I prefer to say what I like instead of saying what I don't like, because someone might confuse the latter as a delegitimation of his/her personal tastes, but it's not.
I used to think that I'm too much progressist while some persons in the classical music audience are conservatives, but then I realized that it's probably the opposite: I'm the conservative because I like the aesthetic of the classical period and I like modern music that it's similar or at least not so far away, while in the other side there are progressists who think that modern classical music must be consistently different from the one of the classical period.
But at least there should be a notion that originality isn't just a throwaway quality.
Again, quoting the case of that IMSLP guy with his 60+ symphonies - I'm sure he manged to pack some good melodies in some of these, maybe even some excellent ones. But what's the point? It isn't like we don't have enough classical repertoire and there's a need of contemporary imitations. If you like the classical style, there's so much more to explore from Mozart and Haydn's contemporaries: composers who wrote the modern and original music of their own time. How about appreciating these people instead of those modern copycats?

Maybe it helped the name of Albinoni, but the piece wouldn't be so diffuse if it wasn't considered really good by many persons.
See above, the (false or at least doubtful) connection to Albinoni was the key factor in the work's success.

Of course they are not obbliged to follow my doctrines, but viceversa is also true: the composers and the audience are not obliged to follow their strange ideas about modern classical music, which, according to them, must throw away the aesthetic principles of the classical period.
It isn't a matter of throwing things away. It's a matter of adding new, good things, being in touch with your own time and use the tools that are available to you in our modern time and age. Do you still commute to work in your horse-drawn carriage? Do you still use a wood stove to heat your house?
I see the IMSLP Mozartians still deliver their scores neatly typeset in Finale or Sibelius. Since when do computers fit the 18th century aesthetics? At least be consistent and write your scores with feather and ink, and have them copied by hand instead of laser printed.
Sorry for being jocular, but I just can't wrap my brain around this particular mindset.

That's why there will always successful composers like André Rieu: they are an alternative for the conservatives.
Rieu isn't a composer, at least I hope he isn't.

No, I can appreciate everything from J.S. Bach to John Williams: my only limitation is tonality. Furthermore, the tonal music must contain memorable tunes... and there are many pieces in tonal music which don't satisfy my expectations.
You keep saying that, but I have yet to see a single example.
 

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Excellent. Even if it's a pastiche and if Giazotto is an obscure composer, I think that he put his "soul" into this work, that I regard as being an extremely profound and meditative personal musical account of the horrors of the Second World War.

It's not a Baroque work, so it doesn't have to use instruments of the 18th century in my opinion. Therefore, to me it's Karajan, and not Pinnock, who best captures the mood of the piece and does justice to it:

 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Excellent. Even if it's a pastiche and if Giazotto is an obscure composer, I think that he put his "soul" into this work, that I regard as being an extremely profound and meditative personal musical account on the horrors of the Second World War.

It's not a Baroque piece, so it doesn't have to use instruments of the 18th century in my opinion. Therefore, to me it's Karajan, and not Pinnock, who best captures the mood of the piece and does justice to it:

Infact it sounds more like romantic music to my ears. Only because there is an organ as basso continuo doesn't mean that it's baroque.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
There's a composer at IMSLP who wrote and published over 60 symphonies in a Mozartian style.
Name?

At last something we can agree on. But are they merely "good" or "excellent", like Remo's Adagio?
For example in the second movement of "Eroica" there are some parts which are close to excellent. However my favourite melodies of Beethoven, in general, are in concertos and in romances. Maybe the symphonies enphasize rythm more than melodies.

That's praiseworthy, but I think many people will still perceive your opinions (like your hatred of contemporary music) as fairly negative.
Yes, but it's not a delegitimation of contemporary classical music. It's only my personal issue. I'm simply saying that if the contemporary classical music composers don't satisfy my tastes, then I will listen to film music or, in alternative, to popular composers like André Rieu.

Examples please!
For example, I wouldn't say that the first symphony of Shostakovich is horrible, but the right word is: BORING or EMOTIONLESS. Nothing to do with the brio transmitted by Mozart's and Beethoven's symphonies.

If you listen to three random minutes of this symphony, it's not so bad. But 40 minutes???

I think that some composers have transformed the term "symphony" into a synonym of "long and boring music", while with Mozart and Beethoven when you read "symphony" you know that fun is coming.


So, this is the point where film music (or André Rieu) joins the chat: film music is not boring, it has brio and emotions, as well as the "Adagio in G minor" of Giazotto.

Remember that I have never written that contemporary classical music composers are failed composers, while some persons in the classical music audience describe film music composers and contemporary conservative composers as failed composers with an audience of monkeys, which is arrogant and irritating.
 

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Nah, I still respect this composer and I don't think he deserves to be exposed in a negative way here at TC. If you want to find him youself, go to IMSLP and search for "symphony no.60". There aren't many composers on the site who wrote that many symphonies.

For example in the second movement of "Eroica" there are some parts which are close to excellent. However my favourite melodies of Beethoven, in general, are in concertos and in romances. Maybe the symphonies enphasize rythm more than melodies.
I still don't get how you can derive a satisfying listening experience out of exclusive focus on melodies alone - to a point that even a basic musical quality like rhythm becomes a distraction and a nuisance. But each to his own, I guess.

For example, I wouldn't say that the first symphony of Shostakovich is horrible, but the right word is: BORING or EMOTIONLESS. Nothing to do with the brio transmitted by Mozart's and Beethoven's symphonies.
If you listen to three random minutes of this symphony, it's not so bad. But 40 minutes???
I think Shostakovich' 1st is a masterpiece and one of the greatest pieces ever by a teenage composer.

So, this is the point where film music (or André Rieu) joins the chat: film music is not boring, it has brio and emotions, as well as the "Adagio in G minor" of Giazotto.
The logic of this eludes me completely. If there's one modern composer who combines "brio" and emotionality perfectly it must be Shostakovich. I'd suggest listening to his music more intensively - if you like Beethoven, you'll find a lot of similar techniques, for instance his use of thematic developments and classical structures like Sonata form. There are much more connection to the classical style that you'd expect.

Remember that I have never written that contemporary classical music composers are failed composers, while some persons in the classical music audience describe film music composers and contemporary conservative composers as failed composers with an audience of monkeys, which is arrogant and irritating.
You know, I consider myself a conservative composer too. In the sense that I did experiment a lot in my early days with avant-garde techniques, but found that they didn't fit my personality, so my present music is written in an extended tonal idiom.
But even present-day composers who wouldn't mind being called "conservative" would probably prefer not to be included in the ranks of imitators, copycats and frauds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
I still don't get how you can derive a satisfying listening experience out of exclusive focus on melodies alone - to a point that even a basic musical quality like rhythm becomes a distraction and a nuisance. But each to his own, I guess.
I have never written that I focus ONLY on melodies, but a piece which has both a good rythm and a good melody is better than a piece who has only a good rythm. It's not?

My approach is to give a score to each component of music with a table and sum each one for the total score. I would probably give the greatest ponderation to the score of the melody for the total score (which means that, for example, the score of the melody is moltiplicated by three, the score of the rythm is moltiplicated by 2, and the score of texture by 1,...).

How to evaluate texture? I think that a polyphonic piece is not better than a monophonic piece, but a piece which combines the three techniques (a bit of counterpoints here and there and a bit of monophony here and there in a piece that is in large part homophonic) is better because it offers more variety than a piece who is exclusively homophonic or poliphonic.

There is for example a videogame soundtrack which in the OST version is perfectly homophonic. For the concert version, however, they added a bit of counterpoints here and there and so I think that the concert version is better, but the OST version is still good because it has a melody that I like, which for me is the most important aspect of music (not that the others don't play any role).

I think Shostakovich' 1st is a masterpiece and one of the greatest pieces ever by a teenage composer.
It's fine, tastes are subjective. I only think that if in a large group of persons who disagree about the quality of some pieces, almost all individuals agree about the quality of a piece, it probably means that the latter is a masterpiece.
In order to become a standard, a classical music piece must be well regarded by many persons in the audience and I seriously doubt that it's easy to produce a piece which is well regarded by a statistically significant part of the audience.
 

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For example in the second movement of "Eroica" there are some parts which are close to excellent.
After listening to the "Eroica" for some sixty years I must confess to not having a clue as to which parts are almost excellent and which parts don't come close. Neither Berlioz nor Wagner nor anyone else I've read on the subject seems to know either.
 

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I will only say that Mozart and Beethoven are two examples of good symphonists, while for my ears many other composers of classical music are failed symphonists ..
The concept of "symphonist" (as a separate entity from "Kammerkomponist") didn't exist in Mozart's time. For him, writing a symphony didn't really require a totally different technique from writing a chamber work (and there was no distinction between "serious music" and "popular music"). Today, people like to think of things like symphonies, serenades, divertimentos, cassations, notturnos, string ensembles, etc, as completely separate genres, but Mozart would have said that's splitting hairs.
"In its original sense, “chamber music” simply meant music which belonged to the nobility at court as opposed to music of the church or theater. This is confirmed in the contemporary writings of Johann Walter (Musicalisches Lexikon, 1732), Meinrado Spiess (Tractatus Musicus Compositorio-Practicus, 1745), and Heinrich Koch (Musikalisches Lexikon, 1802). By the mid-eighteenth century, it also was heard in the common household and served as a form of relatively inexpensive private entertainment. Although our current convention is to use the term to designate a medium which requires but one person to a part, during the 1700s, “chamber music” denoted something different. Eighteenth-century musicians and theorists recognized three functions of music: to enhance worship in church (ecclesiasticus), to heighten the drama in the theater (itheatralis), and to provide entertainment in the court or chamber (cubicularis). This distinction was maintained well into the last quarter of the eighteenth-century, not only amongst theorists but by the general public as well."
I still don't know why they do that. (Maybe to make some composers seem more "significant" than others?)
Cliff Eisen wrote that, - in the dedication letter of certain works Mozart dedicated to a certain contemporary of his, Mozart wrote "They are, indeed, the fruit of a long and laborious study".
Actually, the dedication letter was originally written by Mozart in Italian, and Mozart's original writing for that part reads "Essi sono, è vero il frutto di una lunga, e laboriosa fatica". ("fatica" means "endeavor" or "effort"). So Eisen cleverly twisted Mozart's word, "endeavor", to "study", to make it seem like Mozart actually seriously studied the contemporary's works (as a crucial step before writing his own), even though there's no actual evidence of that. (Eisen, in his writing, actually uses the twisted sentence to support his claim Mozart did.)
There are other similar writings by guys like Landon (titled "What X Taught Mozart"), Greenberg. They fabricate at every opportunity - "Mozart always said he learned how to write [works of a certain genre] from X", and similarly nonsensical fantasies such as "Mozart never had grasp on 'independence of 4-part voices' in instrumental music before he studied X's works."
 
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