Looking at N Y TIMES, and Anthony Tommasini's THE GREATEST,one wonders why Bach and Baroque (except Albinoni) are on top tier.They are only 400 years old,but sound like 1000!We want moderns and contemporaries.This list goes on with:
Ludwig Van Beethoven,Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,Franz Schubert,Claude Debu,Igor Stravinsky,Johannes Brahms,Giuseppe Verdi,Richrd Wagner, and Bela Bartok...But no list without Gustav Mahler is valuable,let alone Shostakovich,Haydn,Handel,Chopin,Dvorak,Rachmaniev,Tchaikovski...and among opera composers:Puccini.By the way where does John Cage stand among all these names?
The music critic has his own rationals.Bach hasmasterly musical engineering and profound expressivity,and with no opera in his resume shows the power and passion of drama in his choral work.For him Mozart was a path breaking opera composer while Beethoven's technique was not as facile of him,and in his 4th piano concerto brought mysticism,poetic reveries and wildness of the music.Schbert is essentionl for concert music,and Debussy has a tension of timelessness and harmonic language who carried the music to 20th century.
Tmmasini continues his list with Stravisky who composed Firebird and Rites of Spring.Then comes the romantic Brahms who has the thrilling grandeur and strangeness of Beethoven.The dynamic duo of 19th century opera,as he calls them,are Verdi and Wagner in his list of the greatest,and finally Bartok as an ethnomusicologist and modernist with a language of tonality,unorthodox scales and atonal wandering.
he acknowledges names of musicians missing in his top ten list ,such as:
Monteverdi of pre-Bach era,to 20th century composers like Ligeti,Messiaen,Shostakovich,Ives Schoenberg,Prokofiev,Copland,Berg,...and admits to listening Britten,Haydn,Chopin,Monteverdi,Ligeti,among others.
So that is one list.
And this is my list,under progress,with more notes elswhere on this site:
b.WARSAW,POLAND,1 March 1810
D.17 October 1849
Other than orchestral music and chamber music,Chopin is known for his piano music and established himself as THE POET OF PIANO,FOR HIS MELODIES AND HARMONIES
26 Preludes,for George Sand in Mallorca?
27 studies,including revolutinary
also his funeral march often played to convey death and loss.
Chpin died at age 39 with temporal lobe epilepsy which caused haucinations of Lilliputian type,mostly visual.but not much of auditory,although they might have been translated into his art.
See More:J Med Humanities,Feb 2011
*HAPPY bd LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN!
WE ARE CELEBRATIND YOUR BIRTHDAY WITH WASHINGTON AND HAGERSTOWN CLASSICAL WETA TODAY AND FOR THE WHOLE MONTH,BECAUSE
BEETHOVEN IS THE FIRST MODERNIST IN MUSIC,ALTHOUGH HE WAS DEAF SINCE AGE OF 20.
BEETHOVEN WHO WAS BORN IN COLOGNE ON THIS DATE IN 1770,MOVED TO VIENNA
IN 1792 TO TAKE TRAINING LESSONS FROM HHAYDN AND OTHERS.
HE DIED 1827 WITH LEAD POISONING AND POSSIBLY SYPHILIS,WHILE LEAVING BEHIND ALL 9 SYMPHONIES,FIDELITO OPERACONCERTI,SONATAS AND OTHER CHAMBER MUSICS,PIANO MUSIC FOR STUDENTS WHO LOVE MUSIC,DANCE MUSIC,AND...WITH ALL THESE ,HIS COMLETE WORKS ARE PUBLISHED IN 85 CD'S
A 19TH CENTURY POET.
BORN OCT 22,18 11 IN RAIDING,HUNGARY
d.JULY 31,1886 IN BAYREUTH,4 YEARS AFTER DEATH OF HIS SON IN LAW:WAGNER.
LISZT PIANO MUSIC IS A FINGER BUSTER.
MAHLER SYMPHONY NO.8 WITH VALERIY GERGIEV LEADS THE LONDON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA& CHORUS,CHORAL ARTS SOCIETY OF WASHINGTON...
ACCORDING TO WASHINGTON POST ,THIS IS A PART OF MAHLER 21ST CENTURY BY GERGIEV INTERPRETATION OF THE GREAT COMPOSOR BECAUSE OF "POWERFUL,IDIOSYNCRATIC BUT A LITTLE TWITCHY AND NERVOUS" THAT MIGHT BE CONSIDERED OPERA AS:"MASSIVE EVEN BY MAHLER'S STANDARD...HUGE ORCHESTRAL AND CHORAL FORCES"
Mahler's symphony no. 4 (1899-1900)written for soprano and orchestra ,is once again further discssed to discover his romantic mood and modern world.Mahler was born July 7,1860 in Bohemia and grew up in Moravia and in 1875 entered Vienna conservatory. his passing happened May 18,1911 and that is why these days his symphony no. 4 among other symphonies is heard in Berlin and his orchestral songs in Carnege Hall of New York City.This one at hand on a CD is conducted by Ivan Fischer too with Budapest Festival Orchestra.At present Ivan Fischer is conductor of National Symphony Orchestra and on his way to go to china with NSO.
This light and short symphony like 2,3 and 8 uses voice and word to have a better reflection of the world and take Mahler "to his dreams of angels,fairy tales,angst and pure,divine love" as Fischer's note describe.
You can not overlook performances of conductors like Abbado,Bulez,Solti,Szell,...
but Fischer's is "among the very best"according to NYT reviewer.Critics or biographers like J.carr refer to parallel between Mahler's Fourth Symphony and that of Beethoven,the first modernist composer , because they both are compact and light.
It is noteworthy that Mahler considered to be a revolutionary as director of Vienna opera .
This may sound a little like cliche but we still have to wait for real Mahler to be discovered in the world of music.
2.WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART
b.27 Jan 1756,Salzburg,Austria
d.5 Dec 1791
see mozart in a separate post