Who are your Favourite Composers?

Bit of an 88ztreet topic here again but we don’t actually have one, so if you could narrow down your list to maybe in the range of 5 or 10?

I’m not sure how many people would guess but my list is, in no particular order -


Narrowly missing the top 10 are the likes of Mendelssohn, Schumann, Tchaikovsky and of course Bach, among other minor figures who I greatly love a few selected works of such as Bortkiewicz, Prokofiev, Godowsky etc.

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Liszt, Rachmaninov, Alkan, Wagner, Beethoven, Liapunov.

Generally like but not to the same degree:
Scriabin, Prokofiev, Ravel.

Honourable mentions for writing a fair number of works I’m really fond of without necessarily being ultra into them:

Henselt, Busoni, Thalberg.


Also I feel it’s worth mentioning that some of us have composers who we would rank among our top 10 but would never place among the ‘objective greatest’ composers.
That’s why Bowen makes my list, I just absolutely love his sound world and harmonic language. It’s really special to me, and I would actually contend that he did write the occasional masterpiece, just not enough to be considered a ‘great’ composer.

I suppose the same could be said for Alkan - but I’d contend that his 5 greatest works place him among the greats. He wasn’t totally consistent though.

Medtner I’d put up there as one of the true ‘greats’, objectively. He was so damn consistently amazing. MANY masterpieces.

Yeah, obviously there’s a “favourite” v “best” issue. If we’re talking purely on the basis of 88 music, though, I’m not completely convinced Alkan isn’t top 10. I firmly believe the Symphonie is one of the greatest works written for the instrument, and likewise Festin one of the best variation sets.

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And Alkan holds the title for greatest Sonatine ever.

I love Ravel’s too but Alkan’s takes the cake and it’s as great a work as his Grande Sonate.



I ridiculously neglected to mention Schubert :whale::whale:

I think there are two things about loving a composer :

1 - Loving their musical language.
2 - Loving what they say with it.

I love Scriabin’s musical language far more than I enjoy the fundamental harmonic of a composer like Schubert. But what Schubert SAID within his language is just incredible.

Same goes for Beethoven - I don’t particularly like Classical era musical language but he transcended it and made some of the best music ever written - even for people who don’t particularly dig the soundworld of that era.

Yes, what Schubert said with his music speaks to something both personal and universal. For me that’s what all the truly great composers were able to achieve.

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It does make you wonder what the exact same composer would have composed if they were born in a different ere…What would Schubert have written as a baroque era composer, or a Prokofiev contemporary. It’s fascinating to ponder but I feel sure he would have expressed similar things, just in a rather different language.

I didn’t include Schubert for the reason that, yes there is no argument he was a consummate melodist (perhaps only Bellini equals him), but tbh I find him verbose. If he had Liszt’s sense of dramatic proportion (imo possibly his greatest attribute) I would rate him much higher.

Liszt made my top10 because of his entire output including trannies and parasheeyats but I’m not sure he’d make the top 10 if he was limited to his own sheeyats.

For me, Liszt is much greater than Chopin, because there’s much more to him than just his 88 music. (Oddly, amongst his regularly performed works, I think the concerti are some of the weakest). Liszt is a top ten mofo for me irrespective of best/favourite and top ten irrespective of whether it’s for overall output or just for da 88.

For the record, I think the three greatest composers, in order, are Beethoven, Wagner and Bach.

I rate Chopin extremely highly. Both objectively and personally.

If pushed to give a favourite composer of all, I’d honestly say Chopin.

He speaks directly to the heart, and clearly didn’t give an absolute fuck about being one of the ‘greats’ because he wrote for just the piano. His music is exquisitely painfully intimate. It has the grandeur of the greats in parts but he doesn’t address the world, or an audience, or a group - it feels like a solitary confessional.

Bach and Beethoven are often placed as the greatest but Chopin modestly and accidentally sits aloft along side them in my view.

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Hmm, it’s curious. I think Chopin is a very fine minaturist, but, with some exceptions, I’m far less convinced in the large-scale works. I did serious work on the F min fantasy a while back, and had the odd experience of going into the process rather fond of the work, and finishing up actively disliking it.

Top 3 would be Liszt, Bach and Beethoven, but there are many who I wouldn’t be without.


Now this is a nice pastime while drinkin’ da mornin’ coffee!
I’d say Bach, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, Liszt, Brahms, Sibelius, Debussy, Ravel.

@ DA_COMME - have you heard APR’s York Bowen release? He plays a couple of his works in that box.

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Tiz a nice pastime with da nighttime Ardbeg as well
I can’t answer this simply in any meaningful way though. I’ll give you a bunch of lists.

Composers I feel a strong kinship with

  • Liszt
  • Alkan
  • Lund
  • Schubert

Composers I feel a weak kinship with

  • Scriabin
  • Debussy
  • Byrd
  • Scarlatti

Composers I notice I develop a kinship with as I age

  • Bach
  • Beethoven

Not me, but best friends

  • Chopin
  • Vivaldi
  • Rameau
  • Haydn
  • Granados
  • Ravel
  • Matteis
  • Albéniz
  • Renaissance lute trubadours (prim Dutch, British)
  • Early piano romantics

Favourite non-piano mofos

  • Vivaldi
  • Berlioz
  • Josquin
  • Weiss

Greatest composers

  • Bach
  • Chopin
  • Prokofiev

Most remarkable musicians

  • Scarlatti
  • Chopin
  • Liszt
  • Prokofiev

If all music was to be destroyed I’d ask to keep

  • Liszt

fo da zepp zpring waltz level m*zikal brain


CHOP PIMP KAN ROCK fo da top tier

deze r da mofoz dat truly NOE da 88 az an inztrument

da BROTHA iz handicapped by da tym period. if he wuz born 50 yrz latah, zhorly he wud write da AZZPAZZION az a KANCERTO level zheeyat :sunglasses:


Liszt, Scriabin, Godowsky (kill me but rape me first), Beethoven, Bach

Otha mofos I enjoy: da Shoe (interesting cunterpoint)
da Liadov (not enough compoz),
da Prick (wikid music dat sound sheeyat until u full tempo rape it)

I fuckin love Brahms…

I grew to appreciate da FriedRice outta debussy lately… wikid compo tech, insane organization…

Randomly Debussy > Ravel > Faure > Poulenc :sunglasses:

Da RIMZKY COCKSUCKOFF alzo dun get nearly enough rezpekkk
Any ov hiz opera overtures got sum orgasmatron harmonies aiiiiite :tm: