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Favourite composers (Read 1804 times)

Offline slurred_beat

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Favourite composers
« on: June 01, 2021, 10:30:26 PM »
Hi all. What are your favourite composers? I really like Rachmaninoff! I think his music sounds very epic, he writes many fast notes and it sounds very impressive! But I wonder which composer is the one you think is the best?  ;)

Offline ranjit

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Re: Favourite composers
«Reply #1 on: June 02, 2021, 05:06:45 AM »
Liszt. The way he comes up with textures is honey to my ears. He is also probably the best arranger of all time -- when I look at his arrangements, I can hardly imagine anyone doing it better.

Online ted

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Re: Favourite composers
«Reply #2 on: June 02, 2021, 10:34:59 AM »
My taste has changed over the course of my life with phases of favourites coming and going. At present I wallow in the sound of the English group: Bax, Delius, Bridge, Ireland, Finzi and Havergal Brian. Scott Joplin and James Scott are proving permanent infatuations and David Thomas Robertsís music has entranced me ever since I first heard it twenty-five years ago. I doubt I can answer the question with any certainty.
"We're all bums when the wagon comes." - Waller

Offline 2hottohandel

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Re: Favourite composers
«Reply #3 on: June 02, 2021, 12:09:07 PM »
When I was slightly younger, I liked classical music, but now I can't stop listening to Chopin, Liszt, Rachmaninov, and the other romantic composers. I also really like Scarlatti.

Offline medtnerfan

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Re: Favourite composers
«Reply #4 on: June 02, 2021, 02:33:57 PM »
Medtner, Beethoven, and Chopin

Offline getsiegs

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Re: Favourite composers
«Reply #5 on: June 02, 2021, 04:15:30 PM »
Top 3 would be Liszt, Rachmaninoff, and Ravel; honorable mentions are Chopin, Debussy, Scriabin, and Prokofiev

Offline visitor

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Re: Favourite composers
«Reply #6 on: June 02, 2021, 05:46:12 PM »
Kapustin
Runner up - Beethoven
Honorary mentions
Medtner , Hamauzu, Yuyama, Brahms, Medins

Rising contenders/challengers
Taktakishvilli, Okabi

Offline lelle

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Re: Favourite composers
«Reply #7 on: June 02, 2021, 09:52:15 PM »
I'm a walking clichť so I'm gonna go with Chopin! Nothing beats the best music by Chopin.

Offline brogers70

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Re: Favourite composers
«Reply #8 on: June 03, 2021, 12:09:17 AM »
Monteverdi, Bach, Byrd, Beethoven, Brahms,Janacek, Stravinski

Offline dogperson

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Re: Favourite composers
«Reply #9 on: June 03, 2021, 01:39:30 AM »
From my perspective, favorite does not mean Ďbestí.  They are the composers I enjoy playing the most. The ones I like to listen to the most  would be different.

My list changes all the timeó but this is what it is today

Chopin, Rach,  Albeniz, Prokofiev, Mel Bonis
There are more .. but Iíll stop here and feel guilty for all the great music Iím leaving off.

Online j_tour

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Re: Favourite composers
«Reply #10 on: June 03, 2021, 02:21:16 AM »
Oh I don't know.

The composers I have the most fun with are either rather strict and demanding (Prokofiev, Debussy) or those who afford me the most freedom with the least effort (Beethoven [/* No, I'm excluding mid-late Beethoven from "least effort," as I hope is clear ;D */] Bach, Scarlatti, Brahms)

And those who are complete enigmas, like late Scriabin.  And perhaps Mozart and Haydn:  there's room to breathe in that trio of composers.  /* Odd to group those three together, but that's just how I see it when playing/reading at the keyboard */

And the complete ciphers, Berg, SchŲnberg, Webern.  Whom I love, but will never conquer, no matter how much analytic effort goes into it.  Ravel belongs in that group, as well, but perhaps only in that I'm less familiar with his music.
My name is Nellie, and I take pride in helping protect the children of my community through active leadership roles in my local church and in the Boy Scouts of America.  Bad word make me sad.

Offline lelle

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Re: Favourite composers
«Reply #11 on: June 03, 2021, 03:35:22 PM »
I'm astonished to see so many people having many different, and sometimes lesser known than the big-name composers as their favourites.

Offline compline

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Re: Favourite composers
«Reply #12 on: June 03, 2021, 06:01:33 PM »
Vaughan  Williams, Elgar.   Benjamin Britten,  Gerald  Finzi,  Mozart,  Vivaldi,  Sir Peter  Maxwell Davies.  Mahler . Prokofiev, Brahms.
 Thomas Tallis, Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber ,  Bach,   Monteverdi. Byrd. Robert Carver, (born c. 1490, Scotland?ódied 1547?),

And a few more..


Offline goldentone

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Re: Favourite composers
«Reply #13 on: June 04, 2021, 11:20:28 AM »
I've been listening to a lot of Vaughan Williams in the more recent years.
He has to be the greatest of the Brits.  I am beginning to recognize the scope
of his work.  His Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis is a Mt. Everest.  Profound
and mysterious.  You come away feeling like you've heard the greatest thing
ever composed.
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come

Offline jimf12

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Re: Favourite composers
«Reply #14 on: June 04, 2021, 05:28:00 PM »
As mentioned earlier there can be a favorite to play and a favorite to listen to.    They don't always line up.    Since I am not a virtuoso at the keyboard, I'll list my favorite to listen to.

Stranded on a desert island scenario:   Mozart.   There is a lightness, sweetness, and sense of fun in much of his music that never grows tiring.   

I'll just ramble off a few that I would miss dearly on my desert island..

Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Schubert, Brahms, Albeniz, Debussy, Ravel, Prokofiev, Scriabin.

The short list of the above would be Beethoven, Debussy, Albeniz and Prokofiev.   


Offline christoph noffke

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Re: Favourite composers
«Reply #15 on: June 05, 2021, 08:52:10 AM »
While not my number one favourite composer, Bach deserves a mention here. Not only because he's written a huge amount of keyboard music and was a major inspiration for Beethoven, Chopin and probably every other popular classical composer, but also because his music - predating the popular adoption of the modern piano - can be played on many different instruments, not relying on the sound, the resonance and physical properties of the piano itself (as say, Chopin's music does) but on the interplay between the different voices, the mathematical structure of the piece - a significant part of the C# Major Prelude from WTC is in the key of G# Major. Look that key up, I dare you.

Offline anacrusis

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Re: Favourite composers
«Reply #16 on: June 05, 2021, 05:09:04 PM »
While not my number one favourite composer, Bach deserves a mention here. Not only because he's written a huge amount of keyboard music and was a major inspiration for Beethoven, Chopin and probably every other popular classical composer, but also because his music - predating the popular adoption of the modern piano - can be played on many different instruments, not relying on the sound, the resonance and physical properties of the piano itself (as say, Chopin's music does) but on the interplay between the different voices, the mathematical structure of the piece - a significant part of the C# Major Prelude from WTC is in the key of G# Major. Look that key up, I dare you.

Some of Bach is absolutely wonderful, but there is a lot of his music that I do not particularly care for. Sometimes there is no hook, for lack of a better term.

Offline slurred_beat

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Re: Favourite composers
«Reply #17 on: June 05, 2021, 09:44:30 PM »
I think Bach is a bit boring. It is not so emotional. I like Rachmaninoff because it is very emotional music. I also like other composer of course it's just Rachmaninoff is my favourite.

Offline christoph noffke

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Re: Favourite composers
«Reply #18 on: June 06, 2021, 06:35:36 AM »
Some of Bach is absolutely wonderful, but there is a lot of his music that I do not particularly care for. Sometimes there is no hook, for lack of a better term.

A major Bach hook for me is in his solo organ works, like the "Great" Fugue in G minor (BWV 542), that theme is just so catchy I find myself humming it all the time. There is a great cover of it on YouTube played by four saxophones. Given the sheer volume of his work, some of it is bound to be hit and miss, but when Bach is brilliant, he really is.

Offline christoph noffke

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Re: Favourite composers
«Reply #19 on: June 06, 2021, 06:43:06 AM »
I think Bach is a bit boring. It is not so emotional. I like Rachmaninoff because it is very emotional music. I also like other composer of course it's just Rachmaninoff is my favourite.

I agree that a lot of Bach's work is mechanical and dull in nature, at least when it is played that way, but the St Matthew and St John Passions are full of emotion, and even if you are a hardcore Atheist and don't care about the Biblical passages being quoted, the music itself can be incredibly beautiful and cathartic. I love Rachmaninoff too, but what I find tragic is how his music (along with Chopin and Liszt's) has been reduced to a "competition" to see who can play it the fastest, with the fewest mistakes (make a single mistake in a live performance of the Rach 3? Unforgivable!).

Offline slurred_beat

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Re: Favourite composers
«Reply #20 on: June 22, 2021, 07:20:47 PM »
A major Bach hook for me is in his solo organ works, like the "Great" Fugue in G minor (BWV 542), that theme is just so catchy I find myself humming it all the time. There is a great cover of it on YouTube played by four saxophones. Given the sheer volume of his work, some of it is bound to be hit and miss, but when Bach is brilliant, he really is.

I listened that piece and I liked the theme it is catchy! But a lot of the other parts is a bit boring. A lot of Bach sounds the same and is long. Do you have tips for good Bach?

Offline pcaraganis

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Re: Favourite composers
«Reply #21 on: June 22, 2021, 10:24:24 PM »
I think Bach can be quite emotional, but you have to be attuned to the time period and the style to appreciate it. There are certain composers whose music I know or believe is great, but whom I don't force myself to listen to, if I'm not receptive to it at the time. I've had many experiences where I dismiss something, only to later change my mind completely, so if a composer is regarded as "great" I usually put them on file for later listening, even if they don't speak to me right away. This goes for genres, too - I rarely enjoy symphonies, but I think there will probably be a time in the future when I appreciate them more. For now, I listen mostly to solo, chamber music and concertos.

If you listen to a large sample of Bach and don't like it, I'd just wait and try again later. For what it's worth, I recommend trying the violin sonatas - that was a point of entry with Bach, for me, and I think the emotion is more immediately accessible than some of his larger-scale or more complex works.

Offline pcaraganis

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Re: Favourite composers
«Reply #22 on: June 22, 2021, 11:35:21 PM »
Some more emotional Bach:




Offline pcaraganis

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Re: Favourite composers
«Reply #23 on: June 22, 2021, 11:44:26 PM »
One more.


Offline calculaepp

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Re: Favourite composers
«Reply #24 on: June 24, 2021, 04:31:29 AM »
Ravel hands down! and maybe ChopinÖ

Offline lelle

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Re: Favourite composers
«Reply #25 on: June 24, 2021, 11:53:10 PM »
Ravel hands down! and maybe ChopinÖ

I feel Ravel is very underrated. He has certainly risen in the ranks of my favourite composers the last few years. His music is so damn hard to play though.

Offline ranjit

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Re: Favourite composers
«Reply #26 on: June 25, 2021, 03:18:58 AM »
Liszt and Ravel are tied at the top for me. Imo Ravel just blows Debussy, Scriabin etc out of the water. He is also probably the best orchestrator in the pantheon as well.

Offline calculaepp

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Re: Favourite composers
«Reply #27 on: June 29, 2021, 10:00:14 PM »
I feel Ravel is very underrated. He has certainly risen in the ranks of my favourite composers the last few years. His music is so damn hard to play though.

I agree! Ravel is pretty underrated (and hard) but his music is incredible!

Offline calculaepp

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Re: Favourite composers
«Reply #28 on: June 29, 2021, 10:02:27 PM »
Liszt and Ravel are tied at the top for me. Imo Ravel just blows Debussy, Scriabin etc out of the water. He is also probably the best orchestrator in the pantheon as well.
I agree, imo Ravel > Debussy, especially with their water pieces. Ravelís water is much more fluid and water-like than Debussy. I also really like Scriabin but I consider him a different breed of composer than Ravel

Online j_tour

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Re: Favourite composers
«Reply #29 on: June 30, 2021, 02:22:46 AM »
I also really like Scriabin but I consider him a different breed of composer than Ravel

Scriabin's a different breed of human altogether:  I'm not convinced he's of the same species, even.  Inscrutable, but inspired.
My name is Nellie, and I take pride in helping protect the children of my community through active leadership roles in my local church and in the Boy Scouts of America.  Bad word make me sad.

Offline lelle

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Re: Favourite composers
«Reply #30 on: July 02, 2021, 11:51:00 PM »
Sometimes I wonder how much of Scriabin's crazinss was inherent in him and how much was intentionally chosen by his mind, if that makes any sense.

Offline kc_gracie

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Re: Favourite composers
«Reply #31 on: July 07, 2021, 08:53:12 PM »
Scriabin is definitely an interesting person. I almost look at his music as by 2-3 different composers, which is one of the reasons I have been very much into his works lately (and one of the reasons it is hard to settle on pieces to learn by him). Too bad he isn't alive still to ask about his insanity...

I may be wrong (and correct me if so), but I always like to think he wasn't insane but just weird and quirky. Maybe misunderstood. That could account for a lot of the views on him (and anyone really).

-KC

Offline sy.copper

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Re: Favourite composers
«Reply #32 on: July 16, 2021, 04:09:22 AM »
From most favourite downwards:
1. Rachmaninoff (I love his Preludes op. 23!)
2. Chopin (His 24 etudes in particular)
3. Liszt (La Campanella makes me speechless every time I listen or play it)
4. Ravel (His songs are so smooth and water-like, especially Jeux d'Eau)
5. Debussy (I love his strange Impressionist melodies)

Offline lelle

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Re: Favourite composers
«Reply #33 on: July 16, 2021, 11:58:15 PM »
From most favourite downwards:
1. Rachmaninoff (I love his Preludes op. 23!)
2. Chopin (His 24 etudes in particular)
3. Liszt (La Campanella makes me speechless every time I listen or play it)
4. Ravel (His songs are so smooth and water-like, especially Jeux d'Eau)
5. Debussy (I love his strange Impressionist melodies)

What rank does Beethoven have? :D

Offline liszt123

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Re: Favourite composers
«Reply #34 on: July 17, 2021, 04:53:11 AM »
From most favourite downwards:
1. Chopin (Everything :P, but in particular Ballades 1 and 4, Polonaise-Fantaisie, Heroic Polonaise, Sonata in B-flat minor, Nocturnes, Etudes)
2. Liszt (Sonata in B minor, Petrarch's Sonnets, Fantasia Quasi Sonata, Norma & Lucrezia Borgia Fantasies, Funerailles)
3. Brahms (Op. 116-119, Ballades, Piano Quartet in C minor, Scherzo Op. 4, Sonata No. 1)
4. Schubert (Impromptus, Wanderer Fantasy, D. 958-960)
5. Beethoven (Sonatas Op. 31, 57, 106, 109-111)

Offline sy.copper

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Re: Favourite composers
«Reply #35 on: July 17, 2021, 08:06:42 AM »
What rank does Beethoven have? :D

Don't worry, Beethoven is in my top 10 (he's 6) ;)
"Rondo a Capriccio" is such a fun to play and listen to!

Online nightwindsonata

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Re: Favourite composers
«Reply #36 on: July 17, 2021, 05:42:07 PM »
My favorites to play are Beethoven, Liszt (especially late Liszt), and Rachmaninoff (tiring to practice, but such a wonderful payout) for sure. My favorites to listen to are Bach, Medtner, Ravel, and lately Saint-Saens (have become very addicted to his piano concertos).
Program:
Rachmaninoff Cello Sonata
Bach Prelude and Fugue in A flat
Beethoven The Hunt Sonata
Brahms Op. 119
Florence Price Clouds

Offline slurred_beat

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Re: Favourite composers
«Reply #37 on: August 15, 2021, 11:56:29 PM »
Beethoven, Liszt and Rachmaninov are good choices ;) Or is it Rachmaninoff? Everyone spells it different  ???

Offline musikalischer_wirbelwind_280

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Re: Favourite composers
«Reply #38 on: August 16, 2021, 04:11:11 AM »
Beethoven, Liszt and Rachmaninov are good choices ;) Or is it Rachmaninoff? Everyone spells it different  ???

Both spellings are acceptable, as far as I know, though I've been seeing the one with ff more and more often lately in English; in my mother tongue, Spanish, I've always seen it written with a v.

Anyway, it's just a matter of transcription preferences; well, to me, as an absolute language fiend, it's anything but just, but that's a different story.  ;)
The spelling with a v reflects more accurately the letter that's used in Russian: Рахманинов , which is usually the phonetic equivalent of English v, whereas the one with ff is more faithful to the actual pronunciation of that Russian letter in word-final position, i.e. like the English double f in off.

Offline ranjit

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Re: Favourite composers
«Reply #39 on: August 16, 2021, 08:55:41 AM »
Anyway, it's just a matter of transcription preferences; well, to me, as an absolute language fiend, it's anything but just, but that's a different story.  ;)
I have seen both of those spellings used whenever a Russian name ends with that sound. For another example, I have seen Markovnikov, Markovnikoev, and Markovnikoff. (Props to those who get the reference!)

Online j_tour

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Re: Favourite composers
«Reply #40 on: August 16, 2021, 02:53:09 PM »
For another example, I have seen Markovnikov, Markovnikoev, and Markovnikoff. (Props to those who get the reference!)

Well, I thought you might have been trying to make a meta-pun on Markov Chains.  Different guy, but I find it amusing. 

About the topic:  yes, I'm always a bit frustrated by transliteration from Russian (or other languages using the Cyrillic alphabet) into the roman alphabet.  Prokofieff should, by rights, be pronounced as "Kruschev" (sort of like Krus-choff), but there's no real consistency.  Just like from Gk to Eng:  dealer's choice, more or less.

Anyway, I don't speak Russian, so carry on.



My name is Nellie, and I take pride in helping protect the children of my community through active leadership roles in my local church and in the Boy Scouts of America.  Bad word make me sad.

Offline ranjit

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Re: Favourite composers
«Reply #41 on: August 16, 2021, 04:47:03 PM »
Well, I thought you might have been trying to make a meta-pun on Markov Chains.  Different guy, but I find it amusing. 
It's a reaction in organic chemistry, just something random I remember from school :)

Offline musikalischer_wirbelwind_280

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Re: Favourite composers
«Reply #42 on: August 17, 2021, 02:29:43 AM »
It's a reaction in organic chemistry, just something random I remember from school :)

And that makes two of us now, because I also remember it, in an admittedly vague way, since chemistry has never been my forte, but there you go.  8)

About the topic:  yes, I'm always a bit frustrated by transliteration from Russian (or other languages using the Cyrillic alphabet) into the roman alphabet.  Prokofieff should, by rights, be pronounced as "Kruschev" (sort of like Krus-choff), but there's no real consistency.  Just like from Gk to Eng:  dealer's choice, more or less.

Anyway, I don't speak Russian, so carry on.


Ugh, don't even get me started on the transliteration of Russian ё, old chap! I've got nothing against that letter, mind you, or any other, for that matter  ;D , but it's bad enough trying to figure out as a beginner if the е you're seeing isn't, in fact, a ё, since Russians don't usually write the dots on it to distinguish it from the former, but I've always found transliterating it as a Latin e to be almost a little too much. Unless you know beforehand the correct Russian pronunciation of whatever word with ё you're dealing with, there's every chance you'll end up mispronouncing it, if you're relying on the transliteration alone.

Ah well, maybe I shouldn't whine so much about it, especially considering what I've heard about transliterating Thai, for example, and also the fact that I find Polish spelling absolutely awesome, and yet it really is as if Polish had said: Screw it, who needs the Cyrillic alphabet, much better suited for a Slavic language's needs, when you can do things the hard way and freak the hell out of everyone else with deszcz, chrząszcz, szczęście, przeszłość, świszczeć and the like?

Offline anacrusis

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Re: Favourite composers
«Reply #43 on: August 17, 2021, 09:02:25 PM »
My Henle edition of the preludes has the spelling "Rachmaninow", that makes even less sense based on the explanations on Russian pronunciation given in this thread. I can understand Rachmaninoff or Rachmaninov, but Rachmaninow? How about Rachmaniyesterday?  ;D

Offline musikalischer_wirbelwind_280

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Re: Favourite composers
«Reply #44 on: August 17, 2021, 10:15:50 PM »
My Henle edition of the preludes has the spelling "Rachmaninow", that makes even less sense based on the explanations on Russian pronunciation given in this thread. I can understand Rachmaninoff or Rachmaninov, but Rachmaninow? How about Rachmaniyesterday?  ;D

If you visit Henle's website right now you can see another example of just that, but that score is the one of his 2nd piano concerto.  ;)

But it actually makes sense, if you consider that Henle is a German publishing house, and in German the phonetic equivalent of Russian в is w (like in Polish, too), thus you'll see, for example: Wladimir, Wladiwostok, etc. Then again, Beethoven's mother tongue is no stranger to inconsistency in this regard, either; I've certainly seen things like Vlad and Vengerov in German texts.

Offline anacrusis

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Re: Favourite composers
«Reply #45 on: August 18, 2021, 11:23:03 PM »

But it actually makes sense, if you consider that Henle is a German publishing house, and in German the phonetic equivalent of Russian в is w (like in Polish, too), thus you'll see, for example: Wladimir, Wladiwostok, etc. Then again, Beethoven's mother tongue is no stranger to inconsistency in this regard, either; I've certainly seen things like Vlad and Vengerov in German texts.

I still find it strange though, if the intended pronunciation is more like an "ff" than a "v". Aren't we the most interested in saying the name correctly, after all? :P

Online j_tour

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Re: Favourite composers
«Reply #46 on: August 19, 2021, 01:01:15 AM »
I still find it strange though, if the intended pronunciation is more like an "ff" than a "v". Aren't we the most interested in saying the name correctly, after all? :P

Is it?  I dine regularly at the Cholmondeleys, upon their luxury yacht, and have acquaintances among the Featherstonehaughs and the Rothschilds, the latter both pronunciations.

I think they latter have rather small hands,.
My name is Nellie, and I take pride in helping protect the children of my community through active leadership roles in my local church and in the Boy Scouts of America.  Bad word make me sad.

Offline thorn

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Re: Favourite composers
«Reply #47 on: August 19, 2021, 11:34:59 AM »
Language transcription is a funny beast. We could also talk about the letter x as being 'kh' rather than 'ch'. Personally I think it's easiest to just honour the preferred spelling of the man himself: 'Rachmaninoff'.

If you think Russian is bad, go and look at Korean in its many revisions  ::)

Offline composer

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Re: Favourite composers
«Reply #48 on: August 19, 2021, 06:15:04 PM »
SZYMANOWSKI!!!!!


JUST LISTEN TO HIS 3rd sonata

Offline romanticperiod

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Re: Favourite composers
«Reply #49 on: August 19, 2021, 09:50:41 PM »
I personally love Liszt, Rachmaninov, Chopin. But a lot of stuff is kinda hit or miss for me personally, like I love Hungarian rhapsodyís no 2/6/15 but I despise the transcendental etudes. Same with Chopin I love most of the etudes, ballade in g minor, some preludes are great but I donít like his nocturnes. Rachmaninov to I love concertoís no 1/3, etude tableaux op 39 no 6, prelude in g minor, but a lot of his other stuff is a bit to overly complicated for me. I also love Beethoven sonata 14 and violin sonata no 9, but I donít put him in my list of favorites because a lot of his other stuff I just donít like that much. Also with Prokofiev I love the toccata op 11, most of suggestion diabolique, and concerto no 2 if Iím in the mood for some real complicated stuff, but I donít rate him as one of my favorites as well as with Beethoven most of his other things are just not my thing. So Iím interested, you say you really like Rachmaninov do you like all his pieces (or most of them it seems impossible to me to like every single thing a composer wrote but thatís just me), or is it just specific pieces that are so good that your ate him as your favorite as your favorite piece might be written by him?