ain't baroque! :||
Don't Fix It

The Best

Two weeks ago I made a list of composers I considered to be the greatest, in terms of talent, innovation, and output. I tried to make this as objective as possible while still noting that my own preferences and the limits of my knowledge base must unavoidably come into play.

This week? IT’S SUBJECTIVE TIME. Which, indeed, is kind of like Miller Time — alcohol free, yes, but with just as much opportunity to shout your opinions while gesticulating wildly and possibly falling out of your chair.

All of this is just to say that here I would like to present my list not of the greatest composers of all time but the ones I like BEST. Basically the idea here is a collection of the composers that, when the radio deejay says, “next is a piece by ________”, make me say “YAY!!!” Here goes:

  1. BEETHOVEN (duh)
  2. Bach
  3. Khachaturian (and I stand by my decision)
  4. Stravinsky
  5. Schubert
  6. Holst
  7. Prokofiev
  8. Shostakovich
  9. Ravel
  10. Tchaikovsky

There is of course a fair amount of overlap, but I bet some of them surprise you. Before you pull out your extra-sharp pitchfork, rest assured — I’m not suggesting Khachaturian ranks above Stravinsky in… well, in ANY category, really. Stravinsky is definitely the better composer. But Khachaturian makes me super happy! So high up the list he stays. Ya get me?

The nice thing about this list is, it’s even more changeable than a best-of list, undulating and evolving with your changing moods and interests; I expect Handel could sneak on to mine any moment now.

Now about you — who are you feeling right now?


About Jenn

Despite being the former digital marketing intern at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Jenn German does not like Mozart. Beethoven could've totally beaten him up. Also she has an arts management graduate degree from American University, but this changes nothing.


3 thoughts on “The Best

  1. Wow, Holst and Khatchaturian, Jenn? Interesting…I guess my fondness for Liszt is not completely weird in light of your choices. These guys are great, but I wouldn’t have had them placed in my top 10. Of course, I love Scriabin and Alkan, and I don’t think I would put those guys in my top 10 favorites. I’m not sure yet what I would have. I do know Liszt would be there! 🙂

    Posted by Chris McGovern | March 6, 2012, 8:57 am
  2. Well agreed Mozart is a bit of a Marmite composer – either like or don’t like. Khachaturian and Holst are great. I would have to put in Mozart, Haydn, Brahms, Schumann and Mendelssohn but what would I kick out? Sadly all the modern ones because although I like listening to them they are probably too hard for mere mortals to play.

    Posted by Tom Sharpe | March 6, 2012, 9:22 am

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