Major composers and Tiers

This is of course extremely subjective and changes frequently ( for example I used to basically worship Chopin but now I would rate him lower and haven’t listened to anything by him in years.) , but here goes :

Tier 1 : Bach, Liszt, Wagner, Chopin

Tier 2 : Mozart, Beethoven, Scriabin, Alkan, Rach, EDIT: Godowsky

Tier 3 :Schumann, Brahms, Schubert, Busoni, Prok, Medtner etc… EDIT: Ravel, Debussy, Mahler

Tier 4 : Haydn, Paganini etc… :whale:

Post yours, comment on mine, insult me because I probably forgot a lot of important ones. 8)

Tier 1: Bach, Beethoven, Brahms

Tier 2: Chopin, Mozart, Liszt, Mahler

Tier 3: Schubert, Schumann, Prokofiev, Rachmaninov, Bruckner…

Of course this is very subjective and almost impossible to discuss, but I do think it’s interesting that you put Liszt and Chopin above Beethoven and Brahms. Personally I only enjoy a few select works from Liszt and Chopin. I really don’t care for many of the mazurkas or the anything not the B-minor sonata for example. I feel that Beethoven and Brahms have a lot more masterpieces to their name, if that is any way to compare composers.

I also agree that my list can randomly change as I discover new works. But one of the reasons why I ranked the way I did is because I’m a big fan of large-scale, well-structured and profound works. That’s why the 3 B’s are my favorite while composers like Schumann and Rachmaninov are rated lower. It’s simply that I prefer one style over the other.

Very interesing man… thanks for posting. I just never could get into Brahms at all… I really should delve deeper into his music.

Liszt is just incredible, his ingenuity and contribution from a technical standpoint on the piano will never be matched. I also prefer his late works and dislike his “greatest hits” ( wrong term but you know what I mean).

Tru, da greatezt hitz of most of the composers is almost guaranteed to be comparatively sheeyat. I’m thinking of da :brotha: fur elise, da :chop: fantasie impromptu, :pimp: campanella etc. etc. Not saying they are bad pieces, but there’s just so much better stuff out there. It always ticks me off when people just talk about da Chopin Fantasie Impromptu and posthumous C-sharp minor nocturne without knowing anything about the Ballades or Scherzos or Sonatas. And Beethoven wrote 32 piano sonatas including da mothafuckin op. 111, op. 106, op. 109 etc and all people talk about is this shitty bagatelle in A minor that doesn’t even have an opus number. :brotha: :brotha:

If you’re trying to get into Brahms’ solo piano works, I’d recommend the Handel Variations, and miniatures like the op.10, op.76, op.79 and opp.116-119. The e-flat minor scherzo also has a special place in my heart. Out of the 3 piano sonatas he wrote, IMO the third is easily the best but I think all of these are a bit flawed. (Not gonna lie, I think the final movement of the 3rd sonata is just sheeyat. Come at me 8) ) The later Brahms miniatures show him at his absolute best.

Tier 1: Bach, Prick, Pimp, Chop, Zart

Tier 2: Brothah, Rach, Mahler, da pair of Shoez

Tier 3: :wood:

Top Shelf (in order): Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms

2nd tier (in approximate order): Schubert, Schumann, Dvorak, Haydn, Tchaikovsky, Mendelssohn, Wagner, Shostakovich, Chopin, Bruckner, Mahler, Berlioz, Sibelius, Prokofiev, Handel, R. Strauss, Liszt, Stravinsky, Elgar, Vivaldi, Debussy, Bartok, Ravel, Bizet, Rachmaninoff, Hindemith, Scriabin, Franck, Grieg, Janacek, Vaughan-Williams, Smetana, Strauss Jr.

3rd Tier (in alphabetical order): Albeniz, C.P.E. Bach, Borodin, Britten, Copland, Faure, Gershwin, Glazunov, Holst, Medtner, Miaskovsky, Mussorgsky, Poulenc, Respighi, Rimsky-Korsakov, Saint-Saens, Satie, Scarlatti, Smetana, Telemann, Weber.

4th tier (in order): Yanni, Alkan :wink:


thiz inztant clazzic :gav:

:piano forum:

Well we all agree on Bach being the ultimate master 8)

hahaha, harzh.

  1. Bach, Schubert
  2. Brahms, Mendelssohn, Beethoven, Chopin
    3 and lower: Everyone else.

Somewhat related … inal-list/

rofl so harzh


randomly agree wif diz :doc:

An interesting story about Brahms falling asleep during Liszt’s premiere of hiz sonata ( WTF REALLY? ) kinda rebukes me…, or waz it SChumann? Anyway… :pimp: ( AND jredmond post your list mofo )

Yeah this is the one thing I can’t forgive Brahms for :slight_smile:

Alkan is one of my favorite composers (which of course doesn’t mean he’s great). I think his reputation suffers by the fact that there isn’t a mainstream tradition of playing his best works.

I think Festin D’Esope alone puts him among the most creative piano composers. 39/12 has a clear place among the great theme and variations of the 19th century (Diabelli, Brahms-Handel, Variations Serieuses).

We had an interesting discussion at the 'Yard once about composers which managed to write masterpieces in every compositional genre (piano, opera, symphony, string quartet, etc) and came up with some interesting results.

Mozart overall “scored” the “highest”, with Bach a very close 2nd.

This thread has been moved to –Pianoworld--

Right now there is only one composer for me: Carlo Gesualdo

His 5 voiced sacred choral music is just the most amazing music ever.

Call me crazy.