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It's all very easy to announce the composers you do like and who your favourites are. You don't have to justify your taste. No-one is going to challenge you. However, if you were to say: "I particularly dislike ______". It's inevitable that somebody will ask you: "Why not?" ....especially if the composer is of some renown. My former A'level composition tutor, Arthur Butterworth always had a good word for any composer that I'd mention, except......... Mahler! He conceded that the man was supremely gifted and one of the best orchestrators of his generation, but his music would leave him cold. He couldn't stand it. My university composition tutor at university, Piers Helliwell, felt the same way about Phillip Glass (although justifying that particular dislike is a lot easier than justifying a dislike for Mahler) and Italian Baroque music such as Vivaldi and Scarlatti (as did Stravinsky).

So, are there any famous composers out there that freeze you up, and you just can't put your finger on it? Especially composers whose contemporaries, you DO like. I'll start you off with my least favourite composer (that everybody else seems to like)................. Rachmaninov. Can't stand him.

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Nice one Fred. I'll have to listen to some of his works in more detail with a close eye (ear) on development (on which I thrive). However, wouldn't that explain his tendency to write such extravagantly virtuosic subjects to display his playing ability? Good developments aren't necessarily a vehicle on which one can show off one's skills as a player (although they can be if you're an imaginative enough composer). Liszt obviously wasn't, where as Chopin actually was.

Fredrick zinos said:
Liszt.

Unless he really worked at it, (as in Les Preludes) it seems to me his very good themes went undeveloped and usually with disappointing results. Like purchasing a wonderful cut of meat and then preparing it badly, or buying very good vodka but a cheap vermouth. I know that Schoenberg said that Liszt was the doorway to modern music and maybe so if one ignores Ives /Burckner and a few others. Yes Liszt was one of the first to utilize many 20th century harmonic devices including parallel 7ths, but its not enough. His undercooked offerings, as far as I am concerned, are just not very satisfying.
You know, it's funny. I'm commenting because there are only about three composers who I can think of whom I just do not care to listen to. Is it a coincidence that they have already been mentioned? They are in fact Liszt, Mahler and Rachmaninov. Maybe it is because, to me, each of these composers writes music that is over-the-top in some way that I don't always find tasteful. But to be fair, they have some wonderful moments in their music. Hungarian Rhapsody is creative and very unique among his compositions and his 'sigh' etude I think is a good balance of virtuosity and taste. There are moments in Mahler that are very powerful and memorable, like the 2nd Symphony, and Rachmoninov's setting of Bogoroditse Devo I would bring to my choir any day. I find it interesting also that some of my favorite composers were advocates for Mahler's music. Composers such as Copland. It would be interesting to know more of what Copland thought about him. But if I could choose to pop Chopin, Strauss or Scriabin into my CD player over the former three, I probably would.
Bach? I take it you mean Carl Phillip Emanuel.

Kristofer Emerig said:
Very difficult to judge Simon. Maybe Bach or Byrd, in my estimation.

Here's the worst opera I've ever seen. My ears are still bleeding and my brain is numb and shriveled. Here's why LA should not appear in the same sentence, nor in the same room, with the word "opera" :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kiOVFc_FW4w


And I think it was one Mr. Gino Cunico (please inform me if I'm wrong) behind the wah-wah craziness of this intro. It's so bad, it's good:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NNb1pgQlQo
CPE is very underrated, though for a different type of music! I actually find his music to be pretty emotive as well, and preferable over other composers of the time such as Gluck depending on my mood.

Simon Godden said:
Bach? I take it you mean Carl Phillip Emanuel.

Kristofer Emerig said:
Very difficult to judge Simon. Maybe Bach or Byrd, in my estimation.

Here's the worst opera I've ever seen. My ears are still bleeding and my brain is numb and shriveled. Here's why LA should not appear in the same sentence, nor in the same room, with the word "opera" :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kiOVFc_FW4w


And I think it was one Mr. Gino Cunico (please inform me if I'm wrong) behind the wah-wah craziness of this intro. It's so bad, it's good:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NNb1pgQlQo
I can hoestly say I've not heard any of CPE's work. The reason I mentioned was because Kristofer is an ardent JS fanatic. So am I, come to think of it.

Kento said:
CPE is very underrated, though for a different type of music! I actually find his music to be pretty emotive as well, and preferable over other composers of the time such as Gluck depending on my mood.

Simon Godden said:
Bach? I take it you mean Carl Phillip Emanuel.

Kristofer Emerig said:
Very difficult to judge Simon. Maybe Bach or Byrd, in my estimation.

Here's the worst opera I've ever seen. My ears are still bleeding and my brain is numb and shriveled. Here's why LA should not appear in the same sentence, nor in the same room, with the word "opera" :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kiOVFc_FW4w


And I think it was one Mr. Gino Cunico (please inform me if I'm wrong) behind the wah-wah craziness of this intro. It's so bad, it's good:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NNb1pgQlQo
Me too - JS Bach changed the course of my compositional life by completely pushing me over the edge for having a liking for contrapuntal textures as a basis for dialectic/development. CPE Bach is also a great composer in his own right, and considering he was part of the "newer style" I imagine his music is more accessible to most listeners nowadays (less contrapuntal, but beautiful in its own right).
This is a really interesting one; yes, I've felt also that although Liszt does use a lot of interesting progressive devices for his time, his execution of these devices feel more gimmicky than intuitive with the flow of music, even compared to composers less conservative than him. He has a lot of good pieces, but the flow of his music is noticeably awkward at times when the listener isn't impressed by the virtuostic elements to his music.

Fredrick zinos said:
Liszt.

Unless he really worked at it, (as in Les Preludes) it seems to me his very good themes went undeveloped and usually with disappointing results. Like purchasing a wonderful cut of meat and then preparing it badly, or buying very good vodka but a cheap vermouth. I know that Schoenberg said that Liszt was the doorway to modern music and maybe so if one ignores Ives /Burckner and a few others. Yes Liszt was one of the first to utilize many 20th century harmonic devices including parallel 7ths, but its not enough. His undercooked offerings, as far as I am concerned, are just not very satisfying.
I cant stand Chopin, way too happy gimpy bleh. I absolutely love Rachmaninov tho! His orchestrations arent as deeply thought out for each instrument as some masters but he creates great melody and supports it with amazing piano parts
You see how subjective this is? I adore Chopin.

Chris Alpiar said:
I cant stand Chopin, way too happy gimpy bleh. I absolutely love Rachmaninov tho! His orchestrations arent as deeply thought out for each instrument as some masters but he creates great melody and supports it with amazing piano parts
Mozart. I know hes supposed to be this genius composer and a prodigy, but I just find his music much to lighthearted. He has these Violin Viola duos, and I was play the last movement to one of them on my viola, and I loved it. The thing was, I was playing it without the violin part. When my music teacher played her violin while I was playing the viola part, I hated it. It began to sound incredibly playful. True, some of his stuff isn't, and those are the only things I care to listen to. And the Turkish March.
Fred, You have to be one of the funniest people that I have never met. My kind of humor. This discussion exemplifies how subjective and personal music is and our individual interpretation of what is good and bad.

I actually love Mahler, Rachmaninoff, Chopin, Liszt and JS Bach. Phillip Glass, not so much, alot of the repetitive arpeggios are boring as hell (except Yngwie of course).

Mahler and Rachmaninoff may have been a little to ass upright as far as chops and busy-ness in the score, but they evoke feelings and emotions in the same way that the simplicity of a Chopin Nocturne may do the same.

I don't particularly like Baroque composers (have your pick) but that is more of a period and style. But I have also had friends say Chopin or Sibelius sucks. I have gone on to show them pieces they were not familiar with and most of the time they liked them.

Fredrick zinos said:
Simon mentioned CPE (Carl Philip Emanuel) Bach. And of course there was WF Bach. I don't know if i've related the story before, but in the halcyon days of my youth I studied the many non-musical sons of JS Bach

There was
CPA Bach, an accountant
CPR Bach, a para medic
CPU Bach, a computer repair person
CLU Bach, an insurance salesman.. (this son of a Bach actually did write some music but its all polytonal and way complicated)

and a few others

But my favorite was the Bach boy who moved to America, Virginia in fact, and became a tobacco farmer

LSMFT Bach
You forgot the one Schwarzenneger played... Al B. Bach.

For me, I've got a particular dislike for John Cage, but this thread is about composers, so I'll have to come up with someone else... I'll have to say Hindemith. He wrote a few things I can tolerate, but they are more than offset by things I can't stand.

Fredrick zinos said:
Simon mentioned CPE (Carl Philip Emanuel) Bach. And of course there was WF Bach. I don't know if i've related the story before, but in the halcyon days of my youth I studied the many non-musical sons of JS Bach

There was
CPA Bach, an accountant
CPR Bach, a para medic
CPU Bach, a computer repair person
CLU Bach, an insurance salesman.. (this son of a Bach actually did write some music but its all polytonal and way complicated)

and a few others

But my favorite was the Bach boy who moved to America, Virginia in fact, and became a tobacco farmer

LSMFT Bach

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