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Since you're knowledgeable about this topic, I'm curious to know how widely revered Bach, Mozart, & Beethoven even were in their own times. Not as much as they are today, surely? I'm aware about Bach falling out of style until Mendelssohn, & Mozart on the same track if not for his wife's efforts.
Like most myths, this one is based on a kernel of truth. Bach was not famous in his own time, certainly not an international superstar like Handel. Mendelssohn did organize a performance of the St. Matthew Passion, and that concert did much to popularize Bach. But it would be inaccurate to call Bach "forgotten" up to 1829, and Mendelssohn is not solely responsible for launching Bach's posthumous career. Though the myth of Mendelssohn "discovering" Bach might lead one to imagine him as a musical Indiana Jones stumbling across a dusty manuscript, eyes widening as he gradually realizes its brilliance, that just wasn't the case.

Instead of marking the beginning of the Bach revival, Mendelssohn's performance was part of a larger Bach appreciation movement that was already underway. The first biography of Bach was published in 1802 by Johann Nikolaus Forkel. Beethoven himself proclaimed that Bach (German for "brook") should have been named Meer ("sea") because his music was so great. Not bad for someone whose existence was allegedly unknown at that point! (source)
 

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Bach might lead one to imagine him as a musical Indiana Jones stumbling across a dusty manuscript, eyes widening as he gradually realizes its brilliance, that just wasn't the case.
Apparently something along those lines kinda happened with the Schubert Great C Major when Schumann and Mendelssohn were gathering up his music, though that's more a case of a well-regarded artist who was horrible at organizing his music.

Probably my favorite instance of that romantic image of finding a lost masterpiece was the story of the publication of A Confederacy of Dunces - the poor author's mother trying to get any publisher to look at it before someone at a university press finally relented and read the thing.

...the lady was persistent, and it somehow came to pass that she stood in my office handing me the hefty manuscript. There was no getting out of it; only one hope remained—that I could read a few pages and that they would be bad enough for me, in good conscience, to read no farther. Usually I can do just that. Indeed the first paragraph often suffices. My only fear was that this one might not be bad enough, or might be just good enough, so that I would have to keep reading. In this case I read on. And on. First with the sinking feeling that it was not bad enough to quit, then with a prickle of interest, then a growing excitement, and finally an incredulity: surely it was not possible that it was so good
 

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Like most myths, this one is based on a kernel of truth. Bach was not famous in his own time, certainly not an international superstar like Handel. Mendelssohn did organize a performance of the St. Matthew Passion, and that concert did much to popularize Bach. But it would be inaccurate to call Bach "forgotten" up to 1829, and Mendelssohn is not solely responsible for launching Bach's posthumous career. Though the myth of Mendelssohn "discovering" Bach might lead one to imagine him as a musical Indiana Jones stumbling across a dusty manuscript, eyes widening as he gradually realizes its brilliance, that just wasn't the case.

Instead of marking the beginning of the Bach revival, Mendelssohn's performance was part of a larger Bach appreciation movement that was already underway. The first biography of Bach was published in 1802 by Johann Nikolaus Forkel. Beethoven himself proclaimed that Bach (German for "brook") should have been named Meer ("sea") because his music was so great. Not bad for someone whose existence was allegedly unknown at that point! (source)
Excellent points. What needs to be added that in the first half of 18 century the composers were forgotten as soon as they were replaced in their posts of > Mende;
Like most myths, this one is based on a kernel of truth. Bach was not famous in his own time, certainly not an international superstar like Handel. Mendelssohn did organize a performance of the St. Matthew Passion, and that concert did much to popularize Bach. But it would be inaccurate to call Bach "forgotten" up to 1829, and Mendelssohn is not solely responsible for launching Bach's posthumous career. Though the myth of Mendelssohn "discovering" Bach might lead one to imagine him as a musical Indiana Jones stumbling across a dusty manuscript, eyes widening as he gradually realizes its brilliance, that just wasn't the case.

Instead of marking the beginning of the Bach revival, Mendelssohn's performance was part of a larger Bach appreciation movement that was already underway. The first biography of Bach was published in 1802 by Johann Nikolaus Forkel. Beethoven himself proclaimed that Bach (German for "brook") should have been named Meer ("sea") because his music was so great. Not bad for someone whose existence was allegedly unknown at that point! (source)
Great points. And the idea of applying the current concept of fame, very close to celebrity, to Bach, is completely misguided. In the first half of 18th century in what we may now call Germany the work of the composers who were making their living as kapellmeisters, cantors, or church organists was usually forgotten as quickly as they left their posts or died. Bach, Telemann, Buxtehude were performing 90% their own music composed almost weekly for church ceremonies, court events etc.. Telemann composed 20 full cycles of cantatas, each cycle covering the entire year of liturgy. Performing the work of dead composers was almost unheard off. That's why so much of their work is lost.
 

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Performing the work of dead composers was almost unheard of.
Very true. AS opposed to the current day audiences of previous eras expected to hear the latest music and had little interest in older works. Because we live in an age of recordings and back catalogs, and complete edition boxes, new music has a hard time grabbing market share.
 

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...Beethoven himself proclaimed that Bach (German for "brook") should have been named Meer ("sea") because his music was so great. ...
Assuming the quote is genuine I've often wondered if Beethoven actually meant that there was so much more there below the surface of which he was unaware. The complete works of Bach weren't published until decades after Beethoven's death.
 

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The complete works of Bach weren't published until decades after Beethoven's death.
Doesn't really matter because Beethoven was more into Handel's dramatic aesthetics. ("Making an effect through simple means"). Any number of Bach cantatas or organ works wouldn't have made him change his mind.
What irony. After all your disregard for my arguments "we can't judge X if we haven't given X enough chance." And now you're pretending as if Bach deserves a special treatment in this regard.
Berlioz would also have been a convert if he listened to all of Bach's organ works wouldn't he? Keep dreaming.
 

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Very true. AS opposed to the current day audiences of previous eras expected to hear the latest music and had little interest in older works. Because we live in an age of recordings and back catalogs, and complete edition boxes, new music has a hard time grabbing market share.
Well, that isn’t the only reason.
 

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Doesn't really matter because Beethoven was more into Handel's dramatic aesthetics. ("Making an effect through simple means"). Any number of Bach cantatas or organ works wouldn't have made him change his mind.
What irony. After all your disregard for my arguments "we can't judge X if we haven't given X enough chance." And now you're pretending as if Bach deserves a special treatment in this regard.
Berlioz would also have been a convert if he listened to all of Bach's organ works wouldn't he? Keep dreaming.
These days you seem to be into all sorts of hypotheticals including, in this case, assuming what would have been in the mind, or not, of Beethoven and Berlioz. And what is particularly annoying is assuming/suggesting what is in the heads of others and then criticizing it.
 

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Doesn't really matter because Beethoven was more into Handel's dramatic aesthetics. ("Making an effect through simple means"). Any number of Bach cantatas or organ works wouldn't have made him change his mind.
What irony. After all your disregard for my arguments "we can't judge X if we haven't given X enough chance." And now you're pretending as if Bach deserves a special treatment in this regard.
Berlioz would also have been a convert if he listened to all of Bach's organ works wouldn't he? Keep dreaming.
I figured you'd be going on an anti-Bach crusade next. :ROFLMAO:
1. How do you know what Beethoven's reaction would've been? 2. I wasn't even thinking along those lines. 3. Michael Haydn will most likely remain obscure, so chill.
 

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Well, that isn’t the only reason.
You're right. Today's audiences are not as musical literate as an 18th century audience would have been. During the time of Mozart most members of his audience owned a piano and had at least one person who played. All members of the family could read music and would regularly gather around the piano and sing part songs.

Because of this there was a desire for the latest works by the most popular composers.

For some time the audience for Classical music has become almost entirely passive, consumers, and musically illiterate. All which contributes to a desire to remain within their comfort zone with the music they've heard countless times.
 

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And what is particularly annoying is assuming/suggesting what is in the heads of others and then criticizing it.
It's what dissident always says when it comes to that topic. "If Z (a composer after Bach) didn't regard Bach highest, it's because he didn't listen to Bach's complete ouevre." I just feel it's unfair a view to other composers whose ouevre Z similarly knew to a limited extent.

you'd be going on an anti-Bach crusade next.
Never. The last time I acted obnoxiously, it's because I felt no one was listening to me. I still feel guilty about it.
 

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It's what dissident always says when it comes to this topic. "If Z (a composer after Bach) didn't regard Bach highest, it's because he didn't listen to Bach's complete ouevre." ...
No it's not what I think at all. That's your caricature. The fact is Beethoven was influenced by Bach while probably knowing very little of his overall work.

By the way, I couldn't care less for Berlioz' opinions or music either, frankly.
Never. The last time I acted obnoxiously, it's because I felt no one was listening to me. I still feel guilty about it.
Hammeredklavier acting obnoxiously? Perish the thought.
 

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Correct me if I am wrong, but my impression is that the objectivist side appears to think the other side wants says all art is of equal value, while the subjectivist side thinks that the other side believes that value in art is an intrinsic, inherent property of art that exists even without a human perceiving it. Both don't seem like the strongest interpretation of either side's point. Why not argue their best case?
Many of the "objectivists" (I prefer to call them "anti-subjectivists" since many don't identify as objectivists) have explicitly stated before they don't believe that art has the intrinsic, inherent property of greatness; so I don't assume they think that; but that's precisely what makes their position so confusing, because then it becomes the issue of what they even mean by greatness or value or profundity or (insert any positive descriptive terms) being objective. At times they seem to appeal to things like cultural and historical impact; but these are just the objective measure of music's impact on many subjectivities.
 

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You're right. Today's audiences are not as musical literate as an 18th century audience would have been. During the time of Mozart most members of his audience owned a piano and had at least one person who played. All members of the family could read music and would regularly gather around the piano and sing part songs.

Because of this there was a desire for the latest works by the most popular composers.

For some time the audience for Classical music has become almost entirely passive, consumers, and musically illiterate. All which contributes to a desire to remain within their comfort zone with the music they've heard countless times.
Gosh, is that ever true. My own grandfather, born in 1899, belonged to that last generation of musical literacy, when even a family of modest middle class means had an upright piano in the parlor, at least one family member who could play it, and piles of sheet music. As a youngster, he was the pianist of his family, and could easily sight read his way through that sheet music while everyone else sang along. And he was not alone. Most American members here will know the name of baseball great Babe Ruth, born in 1895. Not only could Ruth hit long home runs, he could play the popular songs of the day on the piano and was the life of many a party. All that began to change in the 1920s when high fidelity recording and broadcast radio came along.
 

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And you can't generalize period. You go on about "subjectivity" and then go around pushing yet another form of objectivity. The extent to which "it" happens is what your whole thesis hangs on. Otherwise it's pure speculation with no ground in reality except your say-so and philosophical terminology. It's nothing. All you can really say is "I. Don't. Know." But that requires a little humility, and you don't seem to have very much of that particular quality.
Depends on what you mean by "generalize." If something has been demonstrated statistically by science then you can "generalize" even if that generalization doesn't apply equally to every individual. "Smoking is bad for your health" is one such generalization even though not everyone ends up developing serious health problems from cigarettes. People being influenced by society/culture has been amply demonstrated in science, so we can indeed generalize based on that. "My thesis" has made no mention about the extent to which this happens. All I've done is, like hammeredklavier, question how much this happens; and it's no more "speculation" than speculating on any other reason why the "great composers" are so popular.

Which ones would those be in particular? Who on this board has said that he/she is personally superior because of the music he/she likes? Strawman.
Go reread the post you initially responded to and you'll find your answer there.
 

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Thanks, I was wondering how to post a post like that. Now I have the example of the code, thanks.
If you're referring to linking to a particular post, in the top left corner of every post is a number. Click on that number, and then copy/paste the URL. It automatically generates a hypertext link to that post. An alternative way is to click on the "insert link" post inside the post editor, past the URL and then type in the text you want. Yet another alternative is to type out the text you want as a link, highlight that text, click the "insert link" button, and paste the URL there. Many ways to skin the cat, as the saying goes.
 
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