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#418928 - 06/03/03 10:10 AM Rachmaninoff not even in the top 50?!!!!!
johnmoonlight Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 2384
Loc: Lancaster, pa
Have any of you read the book by Phil Goulding, titled "Classical Music-The 50 Greatest Composers and Their 1,000 Greatest Works"?
I purchased this book years ago and really enjoyed it at that time. I just came across it again, and now, as a somewhat more "sophisticated listener" I have a somewhat different opinion of the book.
The author ranks the top 50 and gives explanations why they received the ranking they did. He has several "rules" whereby you can adjust the rankings yourself, within certain sectors. I was ASTONISHED that Rach was not even in the top 50. What the heck, I'll give you his list and see what you all think.

1.Bach
2.Mozart
3.Beethoven
4.Wagner
5.Haydn
6.Brahms
7.Schubert
8.Schuman
9.Handel
10.Tchaikovsky
11.Mendelssohn
12.Dvorak
13.Liszt
14.Chopin
15.Stravinsky
16.Verdi
17.Mahler
18.Prokofiev
19.Shostakovich
20.Richard Strauss
21.Berlioz
22.Debussy
23.Puccini
24.Giovanni da Palestrina
25.Anton Bruckner
26.Telemann
27.Saint-Saens
28.Sibelius
29.Ravel
30.Rossini
31.Grieg
32.Christoph Gluck
33.Paul Hindemith
34.Monteverdi
35.Bartok
36.Cesar Franck
37.Vivaldi
38.Bizet
39.Mussorgsky
40.Jean-Philippe Rameau
41.Faure
42.Rimsky-Korsakov
43.Donizetti
44.Ralph Vaughan Williams
45.Smetana
46.Johann Strauss
47.Karl Maria Von Weber
48.Janacek
49.Couperin
50.Borodin

Now to me, the most glaring errors are the placement of Franz Liszt(should be in Wagner's spot), Von Weber(should be ranked higher based on his importance as arguably the first true Romantic), and as mentioned the absence of Rach.
Oh, and of course Beethoven should be number ONE!!
\:D
_________________________
While one who sings with his tongue on fire
Gargles in the rat race choir
Bent out of shape from society's pliers
Cares not to come up any higher
But rather get you down in the hole
That he's in.

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#418929 - 06/03/03 10:18 AM Re: Rachmaninoff not even in the top 50?!!!!!
nickyg Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/06/03
Posts: 36
Loc: Essex
I agree with you about Beethoven, but I think both Chopin and Liszt should be higher, with Chopin one place above Liszt. Why is Wagner so high? And Rachmaninov being omitted is a travesty indeed.
_________________________
"The difference between impossible and possible is practice" Horowitz

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#418930 - 06/03/03 10:20 AM Re: Rachmaninoff not even in the top 50?!!!!!
mrenaud Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/29/02
Posts: 1313
Loc: Switzerland
Bach should trade places with Palestrina, Mozart with Fauré, Debussy with Brahms, Bartok with Schumann, Stravinsky with Tchaikovsky.

Berlioz, Bruckner, Mahler, Vaughan Williams, Ravel, Borodin, Prokofiev, Shostakovich and Janacek should be higher on the list.

Also I see that Messiaen, Schoenberg, Webern, Berg, and Ligeti are missing.

Rachmaninov certainly doesn't belong on this list. I don't see why he included Vivaldi either.

Seeing that this list is too focused on the past anyway, I wouldn't take it too seriously.
_________________________
I have an ice cream. I cannot mail it, for it will melt.

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#418931 - 06/03/03 10:40 AM Re: Rachmaninoff not even in the top 50?!!!!!
Phlebas Offline


Registered: 01/02/03
Posts: 4654
Loc: New York City
There are a lot of things I disagree with about this ranking, the first being the fact that it is impossible to create a ranking like this. I have not read the book, so I reserve some judgement, but how can you compare Bartok with Palestrina in a way that you can say one is a "greater" composer than the other?
Anyway, I may have some other comments later, but the one thing that really sticks out is ranking Tchaikovsky higher than Chopin, Stravinsky, Mahler, and Strauss - Richard that is.
Also, did the author sleep through the Second Viennese school sections of his music history classes?
BTW, Rocky doesn't belong on the list, IMVHO.

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#418932 - 06/03/03 10:49 AM Re: Rachmaninoff not even in the top 50?!!!!!
Renauda Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/02
Posts: 5066
Wagner 4th on the list?? Give me a break he shouldn't be in the top 20 IMO. Shostakovich 19th? Give me another break- he ought to be in 4th place at least.

Is the author deaf?

Not sure about about Rach though despite the fact I enjoy his music very much.

This is too subjective.
_________________________
"The older the fiddle, the sweeter the music"~ Augustus McCrae

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#418933 - 06/03/03 11:13 AM Re: Rachmaninoff not even in the top 50?!!!!!
Nina Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/13/01
Posts: 6467
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Interesting all the comments about Wagner... that was my first ugh. Wagner *might* belong on the list, but he's nowhere near #4.

Chopin should be higher also, IMHO. And, dare I say it, Mendelssohn seems a tad high to me.

Nina

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#418934 - 06/03/03 12:18 PM Re: Rachmaninoff not even in the top 50?!!!!!
aznxk3vi17 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/13/02
Posts: 701
Loc: Johns Hopkins University
I'm not too happy with Lizst being right above Chopin... but I don't want to start another flame war \:D

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#418935 - 06/03/03 12:26 PM Re: Rachmaninoff not even in the top 50?!!!!!
benedict Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/21/02
Posts: 2519
Loc: European Union
Everybody has the right to do a list.

Why don't we start ours ?

\:\)
_________________________
Benedict

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#418936 - 06/03/03 01:30 PM Re: Rachmaninoff not even in the top 50?!!!!!
EHpianist Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/27/03
Posts: 1703
Loc: NY-Madrid-Newfoundland (rhymes...
 Quote:
Originally posted by benedict:
Everybody has the right to do a list.

Why don't we start ours ?

\:\) [/b]
Exactly. The list posted above should be called "Author's favorite composers", there are plenty of reasons to differ.

Elena
http://www.concertpianist.com
_________________________
Schnabel's advie to Horowitz: "When a piece gets difficult, make faces."

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#418937 - 06/03/03 02:03 PM Re: Rachmaninoff not even in the top 50?!!!!!
Brendan Offline



Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 5315
Loc: McAllen, TX
 Quote:
Originally posted by mrenaud:
Debussy with Brahms[/b]
There is no conceivable way that Debussy was a superior composer to Brahms. In ANY respect.

Rachmaninoff doesn't belong in the top 100.
_________________________
http://www.BrendanKinsella.com

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#418938 - 06/03/03 02:08 PM Re: Rachmaninoff not even in the top 50?!!!!!
nickyg Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/06/03
Posts: 36
Loc: Essex
The more I think about it the more I think the list is useless, maybe even worse than useless. I have a slight objection in principle, 'grading' talent of this type is evidently innacurate, but also unjustified and possibly even offensive. But, the list is also hugely wrong. And there in lies another of my gripes. Its wrong.
_________________________
"The difference between impossible and possible is practice" Horowitz

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#418939 - 06/03/03 02:10 PM Re: Rachmaninoff not even in the top 50?!!!!!
EHpianist Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/27/03
Posts: 1703
Loc: NY-Madrid-Newfoundland (rhymes...
 Quote:
Originally posted by Brendan:
 Quote:
Originally posted by mrenaud:
Debussy with Brahms[/b]
There is no conceivable way that Debussy was a superior composer to Brahms. In ANY respect.[/b]
I beg to differ. Perhaps you are only considering piano output but when viewed in the context of innovation in music, Debussy contributed *way* more than Brahms in terms of tonality, forms, and aesthetic. Brahms was just an extention of Beethoven musical ideals, even by his own admission.

Elena
http://www.concertpianist.com
_________________________
Schnabel's advie to Horowitz: "When a piece gets difficult, make faces."

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#418940 - 06/03/03 03:04 PM Re: Rachmaninoff not even in the top 50?!!!!!
CrashTest Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/23/01
Posts: 4110
I also disagree, even though Brahms was indeed a great composer,I do not think he was even close to Debussy in the general aspects of things, such as innovation and reaching new musical heights. Then again, the time periods and composers were very different, thus making it tough to compare.

At least Bach is right where he should be, with Beethoven second. I do think Chopin should be one step higher than Liszt though, I don't know how that happened!

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#418941 - 06/03/03 03:12 PM Re: Rachmaninoff not even in the top 50?!!!!!
benedict Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/21/02
Posts: 2519
Loc: European Union
Mozart cannot be less than very close to Bach.
Listen the the Magic Flute of the 23rd piano concerto or the concerto for clarinette or the quintette with clarinette. Or Don Giovanni.

The podium of gold, silver and bronze is the same I was taught many, many years ago. And I find that I feel it will not move for a long time.

I would have put Monteverdi and Purcell much more at the top. And Vivaldi too. And of course Debussy and Berlioz.

Are we what we love ?
_________________________
Benedict

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#418942 - 06/03/03 03:27 PM Re: Rachmaninoff not even in the top 50?!!!!!
Happy Birthday mkesfahani Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/02
Posts: 836
Loc: Irvine, CA
How long ago was this book written? I'm sure if the same author made a similar list now, it would look much different especially with somewhat of a revival in Rachmaninoff's music in recent times. An updated one would probably also include Schoenberg, Messiaen, Cage, and one of my personal favorites (and not for his musical theater!), Bernstein.

Mike

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#418943 - 06/03/03 04:07 PM Re: Rachmaninoff not even in the top 50?!!!!!
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13789
Loc: Iowa City, IA
1. Apples
2. Oranges
3. Watermelon
4. Strawberries
5. Kiwi
6. Peaches
7. Pineapple
8. Grapefruit
9. Bananas
10. Pears
11. Honeydew
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#418944 - 06/03/03 04:07 PM Re: Rachmaninoff not even in the top 50?!!!!!
Orlando Gibbons Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/14/01
Posts: 848
Loc: CA
 Quote:
Originally posted by EHpianist:
I beg to differ. Perhaps you are only considering piano output but when viewed in the context of innovation in music, Debussy contributed *way* more than Brahms in terms of tonality, forms, and aesthetic. Brahms was just an extention of Beethoven musical ideals, even by his own admission.

Elena
http://www.concertpianist.com [/b]
I can't believe that this argument still persists after more than a century. How does musical innovation in 'tonality, forms, and aesthetic' translate into emotional substance? Of course, it doesn't. The 'Prelude al'apres-midi d'un faune' is obviously revolutionary, and more important to the development of music than the C minor Symphony, but that does not invalidate Brahms.
_________________________
"See?! The Cliffs of Insanity!"

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#418945 - 06/03/03 04:08 PM Re: Rachmaninoff not even in the top 50?!!!!!
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13789
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Shut up, loser. Everybody knows that a good watermelon beats even the best apple every day of the week.

Sheesh... :rolleyes:

 Quote:
Originally posted by Kreisler:
1. Apples
2. Oranges
3. Watermelon
4. Strawberries
5. Kiwi
6. Peaches
7. Pineapple
8. Grapefruit
9. Bananas
10. Pears
11. Honeydew[/b]
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#418946 - 06/03/03 04:09 PM Re: Rachmaninoff not even in the top 50?!!!!!
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13789
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Oh please, watermelons are like 99.9% water - how on earth can that beat a nice crisp apple!?!?
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#418947 - 06/03/03 04:10 PM Re: Rachmaninoff not even in the top 50?!!!!!
Orlando Gibbons Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/14/01
Posts: 848
Loc: CA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Kreisler:
1. Apples
2. Oranges
3. Watermelon
4. Strawberries
5. Kiwi
6. Peaches
7. Pineapple
8. Grapefruit
9. Bananas
10. Pears
11. Honeydew[/b]
:D Quite right, Kreisler.
_________________________
"See?! The Cliffs of Insanity!"

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#418948 - 06/03/03 04:10 PM Re: Rachmaninoff not even in the top 50?!!!!!
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13789
Loc: Iowa City, IA
I'm just wondering why the hell kiwi is on the list. KIWI? What kind of hippie fruitarian whack job are you?
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#418949 - 06/03/03 04:14 PM Re: Rachmaninoff not even in the top 50?!!!!!
Phlebas Offline


Registered: 01/02/03
Posts: 4654
Loc: New York City
OK Kreisler.....You made your point. ;\)

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#418950 - 06/03/03 04:15 PM Re: Rachmaninoff not even in the top 50?!!!!!
Annihil8or Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/13/02
Posts: 273
Loc: England
 Quote:
Originally posted by Kreisler:
8. Grapefruit[/b]
:rolleyes:

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#418951 - 06/03/03 04:19 PM Re: Rachmaninoff not even in the top 50?!!!!!
April Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 323
Loc: Great Lakes State
I am shocked and appalled that cantaloupe didn't make the list.

April
\:D

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#418952 - 06/03/03 04:20 PM Re: Rachmaninoff not even in the top 50?!!!!!
Orlando Gibbons Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/14/01
Posts: 848
Loc: CA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Phlebas:
OK Kreisler.....You made your point. ;\) [/b]
He is right about Kiwi, though. \:\)
_________________________
"See?! The Cliffs of Insanity!"

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#418953 - 06/03/03 04:35 PM Re: Rachmaninoff not even in the top 50?!!!!!
CrashTest Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/23/01
Posts: 4110
Orlando, but who is to say which one has more emotional substance? To some people, a Debussy prelude on the piano can be more intimately emotional than even something like a Chopin nocturne or a Brahms Ballade, it is truly very subjective. And of course, it does not invalidate Brahms, or any other composer of substance for that matter- it just makes them "Different". \:D

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#418954 - 06/03/03 04:38 PM Re: Rachmaninoff not even in the top 50?!!!!!
EHpianist Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/27/03
Posts: 1703
Loc: NY-Madrid-Newfoundland (rhymes...
 Quote:
Originally posted by Orlando Gibbons:
[QUOTE]I can't believe that this argument still persists after more than a century. How does musical innovation in 'tonality, forms, and aesthetic' translate into emotional substance? Of course, it doesn't. The 'Prelude al'apres-midi d'un faune' is obviously revolutionary, and more important to the development of music than the C minor Symphony, but that does not invalidate Brahms.[/b]
Don't put words in my posts I didn't say. I would never invalidate Brahms, I adore Brahms. But honey, if you can't feel anything with Debussy's music, that ain't my problem! ;\)

Elena
http://www.concertpianist.com
_________________________
Schnabel's advie to Horowitz: "When a piece gets difficult, make faces."

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#418955 - 06/03/03 04:38 PM Re: Rachmaninoff not even in the top 50?!!!!!
Orlando Gibbons Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/14/01
Posts: 848
Loc: CA
 Quote:
Originally posted by CrashTest:
Orlando, but who is to say which one has more emotional substance? To some people, a Debussy prelude on the piano can be more intimately emotional than even something like a Chopin nocturne or a Brahms Ballade, it is truly very subjective. And of course, it does not invalidate Brahms, or any other composer of substance for that matter- it just makes them "Different". \:D [/b]
I'm glad you agree.
_________________________
"See?! The Cliffs of Insanity!"

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#418956 - 06/03/03 04:43 PM Re: Rachmaninoff not even in the top 50?!!!!!
Orlando Gibbons Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/14/01
Posts: 848
Loc: CA
 Quote:
Originally posted by EHpianist:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Orlando Gibbons:
[QUOTE]I can't believe that this argument still persists after more than a century. How does musical innovation in 'tonality, forms, and aesthetic' translate into emotional substance? Of course, it doesn't. The 'Prelude al'apres-midi d'un faune' is obviously revolutionary, and more important to the development of music than the C minor Symphony, but that does not invalidate Brahms.[/b]
Don't put words in my posts I didn't say. I would never invalidate Brahms, I adore Brahms. But honey, if you can't feel anything with Debussy's music, that ain't my problem! ;\)

Elena
http://www.concertpianist.com [/b]
Sweetheart, I took issue with your faulting Brahms for being an 'extension of Beethoven.' Are you going to address that, or continue dodging? And I feel Debussy just fine.
;\)
_________________________
"See?! The Cliffs of Insanity!"

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#418957 - 06/03/03 04:59 PM Re: Rachmaninoff not even in the top 50?!!!!!
Bernard Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/06/01
Posts: 3857
Loc: North Groton, NH
IMHO, on a scale of 1 to 100 these composers all fall between 99.9 and 100, so trying to rank them is kinda futile.
_________________________
"Hunger for growth will come to you in the form of a problem." -- unknown

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