Your Favorite Composers, All-Time, Any Genre.

László

Too Many Notes
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Messages
34,847
Location
Michigan
This is NOT a thread to argue about who's best. Everyone's better than everyone else for someone, it's a question of the music you like!

There are no wrong answers, and this will NOT be on the test! I have my favorites, and it's on me to share, so...here we go!

Greatest composer, all-time, all genres:

There are times I've been a texture person; there are times I've loved counterpoint; there are times I've gotten into sturm und drang, minimalism, baroque, medieval, and goodness knows what else. But at heart, I'm blown away by great melody and harmonic orchestration. I love a lot of orchestral music. I love great rock, great blues, great jazz, and great film composers.

But we're talking all-time greatness here, and for me there's only one favorite:

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was, in a word, magic. His orchestration was incredible, it's true. But with Tchaikovsky it's the melodies, the melodies, and the melodies. Against the harmonic content they are unbelievable, every one better than the previous one. We've all heard warhorses like the Nutcracker Suite. Take another listen to the sophistication of the melodic content and the orchestration. No one's ever gotten it done better.

The poor guy died of typhus at the age of 53, and yet in his short lifetime produced work that's become part of the vernacular of great music.

When I listen to Tchaikovsky, I get so emotional that I get choked up and have to fight back tears. Yes, I know! I'm a big sissy, and so what! I don't care.

That's what great creative work does to me.
 
Tchaikovsky is a favorite of mine as well. I still remember the epiphany I had in a college dorm room while listening the the 6th symphony.

Some others:

- Thelonious Monk. "'Round Midnight." My all time favorite jazz tune.
- Igor Stravinsky. A drummer friend believes The Rite is the earliest example of a heavy metal beat.
- Benny Golson. "I Remember Clifford" and "Whisper Not" are a couple favorites.
- Toru Takemitsu. I first heard his "Rain Tree Sketch" pieces at a classical piano competition. After all the Rachmaninov and Liszt, These pieces felt like, well, a refreshing rain.
- Tom Waits.


 
So many great ones from every genre. My dad had quite a collection of classical music, and it was great fun to listen to on the weekends. Wagner remains a favorite as well as Stravinsky, who was shockingly modern and continues to amaze with the sheer power of his music.
 
I can only choose one? I can't give a long list that would include Townes Van Zandt, John Prine, Miles Davis, Randy Newman, Monk, Jim Webb, Joni Mitchell, Marvin Gaye, Bruce Springsteen and Lennon and McCartney?

Ok then. Bob Dylan.

In terms of Classical I like the schmaltzy romantic composers. Rodrigo, Copeland, Bruch...

But Beethoven is #1.
,
 
Tchaikovsky is a favorite of mine as well. I still remember the epiphany I had in a college dorm room while listening the the 6th symphony.

Some others:

- Thelonious Monk. "'Round Midnight." My all time favorite jazz tune.
- Igor Stravinsky. A drummer friend believes The Rite is the earliest example of a heavy metal beat.
- Benny Golson. "I Remember Clifford" and "Whisper Not" are a couple favorites.
- Toru Takemitsu. I first heard his "Rain Tree Sketch" pieces at a classical piano competition. After all the Rachmaninov and Liszt, These pieces felt like, well, a refreshing rain.
- Tom Waits.


Great stuff. Also Helene Grimaud is so superb.
 
Back
Top