Thursday, December 05, 2013

What I learned #8: About composers

I've realized a groundbreaking fact this week.

All the great composers were German!

Bach. Mendelssohn. Handel. Mozart. BEETHOVEN. Wagner. Etc.

Granted, there were also good composers who weren't German. Tchaikovsky, to name one. And Rimsky-Korsakov and Vivaldi. But it simply astounds me how many of the traditional classical composers weren't Russian or Italian or French.

They were German.

Weird, huh?

7 comments:

da_baum said...

Not to burst your bubble, but Mozart was actually Austrian. :) There were quite a few non-German composers who were great as well (or as I initially typed, "There were quite a few non-German composers who were NOT German". Sleep deprivation…gotta love it…). I mostly don't even listen to German composers when I listen to classical music, actually...

Abby said...

So Prussian rather than German would be more appropriate?

I still find it amusing that Eleanor Rigby without lyrics was on the classical station.

Sarah said...

John: You meanie. What in the world to you prefer if you don't do the German ones? My life would not be the same without Beethoven...

Abby: aha, you're breaking out the pre-WWI geographic terms now! Yeah I think you mentioned that one time and I STILL haven't heard the arrangement you heard.

da_baum said...

Mahler (Austrian/Czech, as where he was born has changed from the Austrian Empire to the Czech Republic), Stravinsky (Russian; mostly only his earlier ballets though, not so much his serial music...), and Berlioz (French) are the big three I like. I also am starting to like Debussy and Ravel (French), Prokofiev, Shostakovich, and Rachmoninoff (Russian), some Bartok (Hungarian), and various others. I don't listen to classical music all that often though…

Mendelssohn and Wagner were also the only two you listed who wrote much for trombone. That may have something to do with not listening to those guys much... :P

Sarah said...

I haven't even heard of Shostakovich! I do really really like Ravel's Bolero, though. In fact, now that I'm thinking of it I've experienced the urge to re-listen to it immediately... a few months ago I was listening to that particular piece several times a day, such that I could whistle the main theme flawlessly...

da_baum said...

NEVER heard of Shostakovich?! Do yourself a favor ad listen to his Symphony No. 5. It's SO good! Most of his music is. I believe he has some string quartets that are wonderful as well.

Oddly enough, I'm not a huge fan of Boléro... I will do my best to not explain why and potentially ruin your enjoyment of it though. :)

Sarah said...

So I'm sitting here listening to a little bit of Shostakovitch's Symphony No. 5 (courtesy of YouTube and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra)... and it sounds a lot like some of the other classical type stuff I'm used to, with perhaps more dissonance thrown in. And it reminds me of Fantasia, too.