Who do you think are the top composers?


Meanwhile, let us begin with several things. A guy who hangs out at the same wellness center I frequent has proposed a topic we will use for openers. (He’s a member of Carolina Clarinet, and that ensemble gave a terrific performance of a work by Raleigh composer Milton Bliss on Sunday, in an all-Bliss concert at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church – but this won’t be a place for reviews, so let us move right along….)

Here’s what Brent Smith suggests we toss around:

“I recently ran across several lists of the top composers of all time. It might make an interesting exercise for CVNC to solicit/poll its readers’ opinions as to the “top ten” composers of all time. Making a list of the top five or the top 20 would be easier. But to set the mark at ten presents significant difficulties. Many folks set the order of the top ten as something like Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Schubert, Debussy, Stravinsky, Brahms, Verdi, Wagner, and Bartók. This is the NY Times‘ list of the top ten. But when you get near the bottom of the list, additional contenders probably also include Puccini, Monteverdi, Tchaikovsky, Handel, Ligeti, Britten, Haydn, Vivaldi, Rachmaninoff, Mahler, Liszt, Chopin, Dvořák, and Schumann. I think opera fans would include others in addition. As for myself, I would define “top ten” in terms of how much I enjoy playing their music. In that regard, as a clarinetist, I’d have to somehow get Mendelssohn on the list. Also, as a clarinetist, everything before 1711 would have to be eliminated! Oh well….”

So who will take up Brent’s challenge? The stage is yours!

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3 thoughts on “Who do you think are the top composers?

  1. John Lambert Post author

    At the risk of seeming to talk to myself, I will list my 10 faves – or, perhaps more properly, the 10 composers whose music I would absolutely not want to have to live without. In alphabetical order: Berlioz, Brahms, Delius, Fauré, Handel, Hannay, Mahler, Prokofiev, Shostakovich, & Richard Strauss. John Lambert 6/2/13

  2. Susan

    Hmm,,, 10 favorite composers. That’s a hard one. As a vocalist, the first names that comes to mind are the ones who had significant contributions to vocal music, so my choices are (in alphabetical order: Brahms, Korngold, Liszt, Respighi, Richard Rodgers, Schubert, Richard Strauss, Verdi, Wagner, and Wolf. Am I a hopeless Romantic? Perhaps….

    How about a list of your Top 10 “If I were on a desert island with an iPod” works?

  3. Leah

    In no particular order:
    Monteverdi, Bach, Handel, Mozart, Beethoven, Biber, Brahms, Stravinsky, Schubert, Dvorak


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