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Top Ten Composers

January 23, 2011

Anthony Tommasini, the chief music critique of New York Times, explores what makes a classical-music composer great in his series of videos. You can also vote your top ten composers there.

Currently, the top three from NYT readers’ votes are Beethoven, Bach and Mozart. It’s still too early to call Beethoven as number one, since their votes are pretty close. The fourth, far behind the top three, is Brahms.

Among these top ten picks by readers, Haydn and Debussy are not my favorites. I have few recordings on Haydn:

  • Piano Concerto played by Argerich & Faerber  — but I like Shostakovich’s in this album
  • Cello concertos by Harrell & Marriner — I bought this to expand my cello concerto collection. I found something interesting in one Adagio.
  • Two songs performed by Janet Baker from her Philips & Decca recordings (1961-1979)
  • Piano Sonata by Richter

I have more recordings in Debussy, mostly in chamber music and piano works through my favorite performers. However, I still cannot appreciate his music much. At least, for now; I might change my tastes when I grow older.

I have read Anthony Tommasini’s book about opera. It’s not bad for an opera newbie for me. But some reviewers in Amazon don’t agree with his choices of recordings.

One Comment leave one →
  1. gert braakman permalink
    January 26, 2011 3:10 pm

    bach and mozart are obvious choises. I miss scarlatti, who’s blilliant sonates are vastly underated and vivaldi who is often put down as having the same concerto over and over again. If you listen to recent interpretations like those of the violinist carmignola you start to appreciate his real genious.
    I would put dvorak above mahler who’s music sounds uninspired and bland to me.

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