December 31, 2012

Top 10 Greatest Classical Composers Ever

Just for fun, my son Brent and I made a brief poll: Who is the Greatest Classical Composer ever? 115 people filled in the survey. Here are the results (by the way, the difference between no. 1 and 2 was only 1 vote):


Top 10 Greatest Classical Composers Ever

10. Gustav Mahler (1860-1911)

9. Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901)


8. Franz Schubert (1779-1828)


7. Georg Friedrich Händel (1685-1759)



6. Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)

5. Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)


4. Frederic Chopin (1810- 1849)


3. Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)  

2. Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)


1. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 – 1791)


Preferences of different groups
We also asked respondents about their age, gender, and their knowledge of classical music. Als the tables below show there were slight differences in preferences for those groups:

1.      Mozart
2.      Bach
3.      Beethoven
4.      Chopin
5.      Vivaldi
1.      Bach
2.      Mozart
3.      Beethoven
4.      Chopin
5.      Vivaldi

Woman
1.      Bach
2.      Mozart
3.      Beethoven
4.      Chopin
5.      Vivaldi
1.      Mozart
2.      Bach
3.      Beethoven
4.      Vivaldi
5.      Chopin

Old
Young
1.      Bach
2.      Mozart
3.      Beethoven
4.      Chopin
5.      Mahler
1.      Mozart
2.      Beethoven
3.      Bach
4.      Chopin/Vivaldi


The greatest classical composition ever
Finally we asked respondents what they thought was the greatest classical composition of all time. Unfortunately, quite a few people appeared to have misread the question and mentioned a composer (Mozart was mentioned most often, then Bach). Overall, Bach compositions were mentioned most frequently. But Beethoven's Fith symphony tops the list for the greatest composition ever.

The greatest classical composition ever

Some other compositions which were mentioned were: Bach's Art of Fugue, The Brandenburg Concertos, Cello Suites, and Air; Beethoven's Piano Sonata No.32, Moonlight Sonata, and Piano concerto 5; Mozart's Don Giovanni, Figaro, and The Magic Flute; Dvorak's New World Symphony; Pachabel's Canon; Prokofiev's Dance of the Knights; Handel's Messiah; Orff's Carmina Burana; Grieg's Peer Gynt; Elgar's Nimrod; Saint-Saëns' Dance macabre; Debussy's Clair de Lune; and Ravel's Bolero.

17 comments:

  1. Surprised that Mozart took the top spot, even on the more knowledgeable list!

    ReplyDelete
  2. On the more knowledgeable list the top spot goes to Bach ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed it would, bach is fantastic anyone who likes him as impeccable taste in classical.

      Delete
  3. Coert- I agree with Mozart as No1. But what about Elgar? Not even on the list! Please....

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi John, He would absolutely have been on a top 50 list and maybe you are right that he should have been included on this top 25 list! Which composer do you think should have been dropped from the list to make room for Elgar?

    ReplyDelete
  5. By the way, I just realized that I forgot to mention in the post what the basic list of 25 composers was from which could be chosen. Here is that list:

    Igor Stravinsky
    Antonin Dvorak
    Felix Mendelssohn
    George Frederick Handel
    Antonio Vivaldi
    Richard Wagner
    Johann Sebastian Bach
    Robert Schumann
    Johannes Brahms
    Giuseppe Verdi
    Gustav Mahler
    Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Richard Strauss
    Sergei Prokofiev
    Maurice Ravel
    Franz Joseph Haydn
    Franz Schubert
    Claude Achille Debussy
    Franz Liszt
    Sergei Rachmaninov
    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Bela Bartok
    Dmitri Shostakovich
    Frederic Chopin
    Ludwig van Beethoven

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kick either Ravel, Dvorak, Bartok, Prokofiev or DeBussy to the curb ;)

      Rossini must be in there as one of popular cultures bridge to the classical generation. If young people today knew Rossini's music, they would instantly recognize him as one of the most famous ever.

      People may laugh or put it down, but as a 6-7 yr old child, the the Lone Ranger and the Rabbit of Seville introduced me to classical music and I didn't even know it!!!

      That is the genius of great thinkers, teacher and entertainers, to introduce music and art into a context each successive generation can relate with. We are losing that rapidly in todays culture of instant info. No depth, no loyalty and no true understanding or respect for how we got here.

      Delete
    2. I think children are often introduced to classical music through interesting ways. Pianist Lang Lang, for example, was inspired by the American cartoon "Tom and Jerry" http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2005/02/28_ratnerm_langlang/

      Delete
  6. I'm surprised that Wagner didn't vind his way in top. He really is one of the greatest composers and writers!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Who would you kick out of the top 10 to make room for Wagner?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is a tricky question, I like to answer this question in a different way. I rather would like to say who I wouldn't like to take from the top tien.
      personally, I think
      Bach should stay no question at al he is for me above any competion
      Händel I couldn't think of music without him and his brilliant music
      Mozart, hasn't he given far too much to this world for such a short life? He was too much an alround genius
      Speaking about opera , there is little opera without Verdi. His choirs are so deeply moving, without being sentimentel.
      Beethoven was a real rebel. I couldn't really leave him out, his symfonies have changed a lot
      Schubert he was unknown for the world as long as he lived, but he has given us , das Lied. I love it too much than to go without it.
      Chopin is very beautiful too
      Wagner is the first composer who is writing his own libretto, after him opera has never been the same. For me, his music and his words combines beauty and philosophy in one.
      I think Debussy should not be left out either, he is special in his way.

      well that's it for the moment

      Delete
    2. Mahler, of course...

      Delete
  8. Strange that Bach didn't get the top vote since he was revered by most other composers as the greatest of all and no-one ever matched his perfection and emotion. It also surprised me that Van Beethoven's 5th symphony marked the top spot on the composition list, whereas I believe that his symphonies were actually his lesser compositions. Well... that's just my view...

    ReplyDelete
  9. I had expected that, too, Peter.
    By the way, talking about Beethoven, what do you think his best work is?

    ReplyDelete
  10. u gotta listen the avantgarde electronic version of mozart song by nietzkov, it is insane

    ReplyDelete
  11. By the way, what's your favorite composer? Mine is Chopin. (Sho-pan)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi,

    My favorite ate the time of the survey was Bach, but now I am hesitating whether it isn't Beethoven (I love, for instance his sonata nr 32, do you know it?).

    My son Brent's favorite is Chopin (he plays it quite nicely himself)

    ReplyDelete