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How Can Modern Technology Contribute to a Great Piano Performance?

Why haven’t there been any fundamental changes of grand piano design since the 1870s? Some claim it is because manufacturers are afraid of getting beaten up in the marketplace if their pianos are seen as being “experimental”. Others say that musicians tend to be a conservative group of people and do not embrace radical changes to the touch or tone of their instruments. Read more >>

Poll
Question: Of these, which composer was the greatest?
J.S. Bach - 10 (30.3%)
Mozart - 2 (6.1%)
Beethoven - 12 (36.4%)
Liszt - 8 (24.2%)
Wagner - 1 (3%)
Total Voters: 33

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Author Topic: Which composer was the greatest?  (Read 1869 times)
pianoguy
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« on: June 15, 2005, 10:23:46 PM »

     Just wondering, who do you think is the greatest composer of these? Comments are welcome, but you don't have to reply...
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Music is God's language. When he speaks, listen.
Daevren
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« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2005, 11:36:09 PM »

Liszt and Wagner too? Why them?
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Goldberg
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« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2005, 12:41:58 AM »

For me it was between Bach and Wagner.

And frankly, Bach won out... Cool
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dinosaurtales
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« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2005, 04:50:53 AM »

Perhaps the poll should not read "the greatest" but rather:  if you were stranded on a desert island, and the only music you had was an ipod containing works of only one composer, who would it be? 

For me, Beethoven is the only one whose music I could "live with" forever.  He also had more variety than many of the others. 
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Kassaa
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« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2005, 04:58:22 AM »

Perhaps the poll should not read "the greatest" but rather:  if you were stranded on a desert island, and the only music you had was an ipod containing works of only one composer, who would it be? 

For me, Beethoven is the only one whose music I could "live with" forever.  He also had more variety than many of the others. 

But the great thing of an iPod is that you can have the complete Liszt piano works, Beethoven piano works, Mozart piano works, Bach piano works, Prokofiev piano works, Scriabin piano works, Alkan piano works and the Chopin piano works all on one iPod Smiley
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rubinsteinmad
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« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2015, 09:31:56 PM »

Beethoven's Music Is Not sh*t
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schumaniac
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« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2015, 07:42:20 PM »

.
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kevonthegreatpianist
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« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2015, 05:22:14 AM »

chopinzo is always the best

it's so funny to read these things from back in the days

now the iPod is more or less discontinued
ikr. like if you read in 2001. The flat screen TV has just been invented! and I'm like *bruh, the curved TV is old
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jacobsterling
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« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2015, 07:49:42 AM »

Bach is, and always has been the greatest composer who has ever lived for me. But I agree that the thread title isn't necessarily the best. I'd rather state this:

If I where to live the rest of my life on a deserted Island, and there is only one composer I am required to listen to, that composers would most surely be Bach.

BW,
Jacob
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daniloperusina
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« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2015, 11:55:24 PM »

Phew! What a subject...

The way I see it:

Mozart single-handedly turned events over, in all genres.
With him, what we call the repertoire was created.
He became the first composer in history to be continously played. First in his own lifetime, then in the following century (the 19th), then in the next (the 20th) and is still played (the 21st). And this is in every genre. Opera, church music, symphony, concerto, chamber music, duo-sonatas, piano music, songs.
One couldn't argue that he is superior as a composer to Bach, except possibly in one respect: the absolute mastery of each and every genre and instrument possible and available. Mozart stands alone in history there.

Nevertheless, historical events played their role in his posthumous fame. As often said, the french revolution created, politically or idealogically, a middle class throughout Europe, who strongly yearned to up themselves culturally and intellectually. In other words: more people had more money, time and interest in participating in what was previously more exclusive to the ruling upper classes in society. In music, taking interest in the most highly regarded  composers and instrumentalists fit this desire. And none more so than the newly deceased Mozart.

Beethoven follows. He had the benefit of being able to build on, learn from and get inspired by Mozart. And of course Haydn, and his pianistic favourite, Clementi.
In short, he had one great genius to look up to. Mozart didn't have that.
Mozart discovered Bach late in his life. Beethoven always knew about Bach's WTC, but only later in life started to incorporate polyphonic lessons learnt from that into his own composing.

Nevertheless, Beethoven stands as the very center of gravity in music history.
He can not be said to be as diverse in genres as Mozart. But where he is most supreme, in symphony, concerto, string quartet and piano sonata, he not only created "perfect" works of art: he virtually goes as far as to virtually finish these forms off.
I firmly believe that no musician after Beethoven can escape his influence, consiously or unconsiously. Whether you be a Jimi Hendrix, Yngwie Malmsteen, Franz Liszt, Johannes Brahms, Wagner, Schostakovich, Prokofiev or Sviatosvlav Richter, you're still identifying, or the audience is identifying, with the idea of the "demonic virtuoso" or the "demonic master". And the original "demon" is Beethoven. Not only in composition, but also in "image".

Bach fits into all of this of course, but the particular historical "problem" here is that he lived in an era where musical performances were supposed to always consist of new compositions. Fame consisted more of reputed merits and current compositional and improvisational skill, rather than repertoirinal knowledge. Hence, Bach was "rediscovered" during the romantic era's preoccupation with repertoire. In Bach's case, the 1840's.  

This is only shortly discussing three famous names.
I like a sentence I read in some book. It went something like: "musical mastery can never be improved upon with subsequent generations. It can only find new expressions."
So, Wagner operas might be louder in decibels and require a larger orchestra and bigger-voiced singers than Mozart's operas, but are they greater compositions?
  
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hardy_practice
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« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2015, 07:13:51 AM »


Mozart single-handedly turned events over, in all genres.
With him, what we call the repertoire was created.
He became the first composer in history to be continously played.
Er.. that was Corelli.  Still, as I'm here, Mozart gets my vote (obviously).
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