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Greatest Composers BY Composers of various eras (Read 1129 times)

Offline irrational

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Greatest Composers BY Composers of various eras
« on: July 20, 2015, 12:43:35 PM »
I was wondering if there is some sort of record of the nebulous "greatest composers" as seen by composers and artists of different eras.

For instance, who did JS Bach think of as great composers?
It seems clear that at least some of the composers we love suffered from periods of neglect. And we know the choices from some of our more modern composers, but what about earlier?

The question came up because I realised that instruments, tastes and music changed quite a bit and there are lots of musical compositions by lesser known composers that are quite fun to listen to.
I also realise that many of our favourite composers learnt from other period composers they admired.

We have our knowledge coloured by what people play and perhaps a more modern ear. Would Chopin have appreciated Prokofiev? Obviously we benefit from much more musical development.

Any ideas would be interesting I think. Or perhaps there is an article somewhere already discussing this?

Offline themeandvariation

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Re: Greatest Composers BY Composers of various eras
«Reply #1 on: July 20, 2015, 01:38:25 PM »
Hi irrational,
You might be interested in this book.. "Composers on Music….8 centuries of writings " , edited by Josiah  Fisk..  It is an anthology of composers' opinions of music mostly of other composers' music.. It is topical and humorous,  mostly…  from diary entries, newspapers, letters, essays and interviews… here, a few random quotes:
  Debussy on Berlioz
"The work of Berlioz, through his preoccupation with color and incident, became at once a subject for artists; one might even say without irony that Berlioz has always been the favorite musician of those who do not know much about music…"
Or Ravel speaking of Bolero..
"Before the first performance, I issued a warning to the effect that what I had written was a piece lasting 17 minutes and consisting wholly of orchestral tissue without music --- of one long very gradual crescendo… There are no contrasts, and there is practically no invention except in the plan and manner of execution. The themes are impersonal folk tunes of the usual Spanish-Arabian kind…"
(ps… i think you will be hard pressed to find much of anything that Bach wrote about other composers….  )
4'33"

Offline irrational

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Re: Greatest Composers BY Composers of various eras
«Reply #2 on: July 21, 2015, 12:13:16 PM »
Oh that sounds like a wonderful book!
Thank you. I will definitely try and find it.