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Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Top 50 Classical Composers

The Top 50 Classical Composers (7/28/12)

image from psmag.com

July 28 marked the death of two of classical music’s greatest composers – Antonio Vivaldi (1741) and Johann Sebastian Bach (1750). In their honor, the DMDB blog is reposting this list originally presented as a note on the DMDB Facebook page on February 2, 2011. That original post was prompted by Anthony Tommasini, who in January 2011, undertook the two-week task in the New York Times of selecting the top 10 classical music composers in history. That list, and 13 others (see resources below), have been consolidated into the official Dave’s Music Database below. As always, the goal is to present an objective list based on others’ opinions. Besides, I’m less informed on classical music than any other genre, so I couldn’t compose a list of my own if I wanted to. My apologies for any misspellings.

Note: this list was updated on March 9, 2012 to aggregate a total of 22 lists focused on classical composers.


The Top 50 Classical Composers

1. Ludwig van Beethoven
2. Johann Sebastian Bach
3. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
4. Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
5. George Gershwin
6. Franz Schubert
7. Richard Wagner
8. Joseph Haydn
9. Johannes Brahms
10. Igor Stravinsky
11. Frederic Chopin
12. Gustav Mahler
13. George Frideric Handel
14. Antonio Vivaldi
15. Giusseppe Verdi
16. Claude Debussy
17. Robert Schumann
18. Sergei Rachmaninoff
19. Dmitri Shostakovich
20. Antonin Dvorák
21. Felix Mendelssohn
22. Béla Bartók
23. Hector Berlioz
24. Kurt Weill
25. Maurice Ravel
26. Franz Liszt
27. John Phillip Sousa
28. Edward Elgar
29. Jean Sibelius
30. Sergei Prokofiev
31. Giovanni Pierluigi de Palestrina
32. Anton Bruckner
33. Claudio Monteverdi
34. Arnold Schoenberg
35. Modest Mussorgsky
36. Richard Strauss
37. Ralph Vaughan Williams
38. Henry Purcell
39. Charles Ives
40. Giacomo Puccini
41. Domenico Scarlatti
42. Gioacchino Rossini
43. Jean-Philippe Rameau
44. Oliver Messiaen
45. Gaetano Donizetti
46. Ferde Grofe
47. Aaron Copland
48. Camille Saint-Saens
49. Georges Bizet
50. Samuel Barber


Resources and Related Links:
  • original note as posted on Facebook (2/2/2012)
  • Amazon.com: Essential Artists

    Consists of two lists: one of popular music’s essential artists and another of classical composers. Links take you to short bios and more links to works by the artist/composer. Classical list has 52 entries, unranked.

  • Answers.com Greatest Classical Composers. By del_icious_manager (date?)

    A user posted a question asking for people to list 7 of the greatest classical composers and state reasons for choices. The best answer, as chosen by the asker, was from del_icious_manager who listed seven composers chronologically with sentence-long bios/justifications.

  • BiographyOnline.net Greatest Classical Music Composers of All Time. (date?)

    Top ten ranked list with brief paragraphs on each entry.

  • Cleveland.com Who are the 10 greatest classical-music composers of all time? You decide. By Donald Rosenberg. (1/30/2011)

    Response to Anthony Tommasini’s top 10 list in the New York Times. Picks seven composers himself, but doesn’t rank them.

  • DigitalDreamDoor.com The 100 Greatest Classical Music Composers. Edited by Guy/Brian. (12/31/2006)

    Top 100 ranked list. No commentary.

  • eHow.com 10 Most Famous Classical Composers. By Amber D. Walker. (1/3/2010)

    This article focuses on ten composers with paragraph entries on each. No ranking.

  • HubPages.com Top 5 Classical Composers of All Time. By Isabella Snow. (date?)

    This article focuses on five composers with paragraph entries on each. No ranking.

  • Jaltcoh.blogspot.com The Top 10 Greatest Classical Composers. By John Althouse Cohen. (1/22/2011)

    A personal top ten ranking with detailed entries on each composer. Inspired by the New York Times article.

  • Legends of American Music stamp series (1993-1999)

    This series of stamps started in 1993 covering various genres. Eight classical composers/conductors were introduced in 1997.

  • Listverse.com Top 15 Greatest Composers of All Time. By FlameHorse. (12/17/2009)

    Top 15 ranked list with detailed entries and video posts.

  • NYTimes.com The Greatest. By Anthony Tommasini. (1/21/2011)

    The original post which inspired the DMDB list and several of the other entries in this category. He undertook a two-week series to select the top 10 classical musical composers in history. He laid out the list via articles, videos, and blog posts which garnered more than 1500 responses.

  • Squidoo.com The Best Classical Composers of All Time. By ?. (date?)

    Unranked list of five composers with links to purchase music and other related products. Writer and date unidentified.

  • The-Top-Tens.com Greatest Classical Composers. By ?. (date?)

    Users post lists here and then others vote on them. This top ten list has expanded to 23 entries as added by users. Original list generator and date of creation unidentified. Very few commentaries.


5 comments:

  1. THE BEST COMPOSER IN YEARS.
    1-BACH-17
    2-BEETHOVEN-14
    3-MOZART-13
    4-TCHAIKOVSKY-9
    5-CHOPIN-8
    6-HANDEL-8
    7-HAYDN-8
    8-VERDI-6
    9-VIVALDI-6
    10-PROKOFIEV-6
    11-12-STRAVINSKY, PURCELL-6
    13-J.STRAUSS II-5
    14-MENDELSSOHN-5
    15-SCHUBERT-4
    16-GRIEG-4
    17-RAVEL-4
    18-BRAHMS-3
    19-WAGNER-3
    20-SCHUMANN-3
    22-BIZET-3
    23-RACHMANINOV-3
    GLUCK-2
    ROSSINI-2
    MUSSORGSKY-2
    RIMSKY-KORSAKOW-2
    DVORAK-2
    R.STRAUSS-2
    ELGAR-2
    PUCCINI-2
    GERSHWIN-2
    SHOSTAKOVICH-2
    KHACHATURIAN-2

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the list. I can work it into my list above, but can you tell me more about this? Is it a personal list or do you have a link to it somewhere else? Also, what are the numbers to the right of each composer's name?

      Delete
  2. THE BEST COMPOSERS IN YEARS. THE BEST COMPOSITION IN YEARS WITH FIRST PUBLISHER.

    1706- BACH- TOCCATA E FUGUE
    1707- BACH- TOCCATA E FUGUE
    1711 -HANDEL-RINALDO
    1712- VIVALDI-STABAT MATER
    1713 CORELLI-CONCERTO GROSSO OP.6 NO. 3
    1716- VIVALDI-LARGO-CONCERTO-IN-D-MAJOR
    1717-HANDEL-WATER MUSIC SUITE NO.2
    1718-VIVALDI-CONCERTO FUR 2 TROMPETEN-ALLEGRO
    1719-VIVALDI-CONCERTO FOR OBOE VIOLIN IN B FLAT MAJOR RV 548
    1720-HANDEL-PASSACAGLIA
    1721-BACH-BRANDENBURG CONCERTO NO.2
    1722-BACH-AVE MARIA
    1723-BACH-BADINERIE SUITE NO.2
    1725-VIVALDI-SPRING FOUR SEASONS
    1726-BACH-PRELUDE AND FUGA-ALLEGRO
    1727-BACH-AIR SUITE NO.3
    1728-VIVALDI-FLUTE CONCERTO IN G MINOR LA NOTTE-ALLEGRO
    1729-BACH-WIR SETZEN UNS MIT TRANER NIEDER
    1730-BACH-CONCERTO FOR 2 VIOLIN-VIVACE
    1731-BACH-CANTALA WACHET AUF RAFT UNS DIE STIMME
    1732-BACH-CANTALA WACHET AUF RAFT UNS DIE STIMME ( POPULAR 2 YEARS)
    1733-HANDEL-SARABANDA
    1734-BACH-SICILIANA
    1735-BACH-ITALIAN CONCERTO-ALLEGRO
    1736- PERGOLEZI-STABAT MATER
    1738- HANDEL-LARGO AUS XERXES
    1739- HANDEL-CONCERTO IN A MINOR OP.6 NO.4
    1740- TELEMANN-TRIO SONATA OBOE HARPSICHORN IN C MINOR
    1741- BACH -THE GOLDBERG VARIATIONS-ARIA DA CAPO
    1742- HANDEL-HALLELUJAH
    1744- BACH-PRELUDE FUGA NO.2
    1749- HANDEL-MUSIC FOR THE ROYAL -LA REJOUISSANCE
    1750- BACH-OSANNA MASS IN B MINOR
    1751- BACH-THE ART OF FUGUE- CONTRAPUNTUS
    1752- CARL BACH-CONCERTO D MOLL
    1755- LEOPOLD MOZART-DAS ROLLEN AUF DEM SCHLITTEN
    1762- GLUCK-DANCE OF THE BLESSED SPIRTIS
    1764- W.MOZART-MENUET
    1767- GLUCK-ARCESTE OVERTURE
    1768- HAYDN-SERENADA
    1772- HAYDN-SYMPHONY NO.45
    1775- MOZART-VIOLIN CONCERTO NO.3
    1776- MOZART-SERENATA NOTTURNA
    1777- MOZART-SYMPHONY CONCERTANTE
    1778- MOZART- FLUTE CONCERTO NO.2
    1779- MOZART-SYMPHONY CONCERTANTE
    1782- MOZART-SYMPHONY NO.3 HAFFNER
    1784- MOZART-RONDO ALLA TURCO
    1785- MOZART-PIANO CONCERTO NO.20
    1786- MOZART- OVERTURE THE MARRIGE OF FIGARO
    1787- MOZART- EINE KLEINE NACHTMUSIK
    1788- MOZART- SYMPHONY NO.40
    1789- HAYDN-SYMPHONY NO.88 FINAL
    1790- HAYDN-STRING OP.64 NO.5 THE LARK
    1791- MOZART- REQUIEM LACRIMOSA
    1794- HAYDN-SYMPHONY NO.101 FINALE-VIVACE
    1795- HAYDN-SYMPHONY NO.104
    1796- BEETHOVEN-MINUET IN G
    1798- HAYDN-THE CREATION
    1799- BEETHOVEN-PIANO SONATA NO.8 IN C MINOR
    1800- HAYDN-TRUMPET CONCERTO
    1802- BEETHOVEN-MOONLIGHT SONATA
    1804- BEETHOVEN-SYMPHONY NO.3 EROICA
    1805- BEETHOVEN-ROMANCE VIOLIN OP.50 NO.2
    1806- BEETHOVEN-PIANO CONCERTO NO.4
    1807- BEETHOVEN-PIANO SONATA NO.23 APPASSIONATA
    1808- BEETHOVEN-SYMPHONY NO.5
    1809- BEETHOVEN-SYMPHONY NO.5 ( POPULAR 2 YEARS)
    1810- BEETHOVEN-FUR ELISE
    1811- BEETHOVEN-PIANO CONCERTO NO.5 OP.73
    1813- BEETHOVEN-SYMPHONY NO.7 THE EMPEROR
    1816- ROSSINI-OVERTURE THE BARBER OF SEVILLE
    1819- PAGANINI-CAPRICCIO 124
    1821- WEBER-OVERTURE DER FREISCHUTZ
    1822- BEETHOVEN-SONATA PIANO NO.32 MAESTOSO-ALLEGRO
    1823- SCHUBERT-DIE SCHONE MULLERIN
    1824- BEETHOVEN-SYMPHONY NO.9
    1826- SCHUBERT-AVE MARIA
    1827- MENDELSSOHN-A MIDSUMMER NIGHTS DREAM
    1828- SCHUBERT-SERENADE
    1829- ROSSINI-OVERTURE WILLIAM TELL
    1830- BERLIOZ-SYMPHONY FANTASTIQUE
    1831- CHOPIN-ETUDE OP.10 NO.12
    1832- CHOPIN-WALTZ OP.7 NO.12
    1833- MENDELSSOHN-SYMPHONY NO.4 ITALIA
    1834- CHOPIN-WALTZ OP.18
    1835- CHOPIN-WALTZ OP.69 NO.2
    1836- CHOPIN-BALLADE NO.1
    1837- MENDELSSOHN-ON WINGS SONGS
    1838- SCHUMANN-KINDERZENEN OP.15 TRAUMEREI
    1839- SCHUBERT-SYMPHONY NO.9 THE GREAT
    1840- SCHUMANN-DICHTERLIEBE
    1841- MENDELSSOHN-SPRING SONG
    1842- CHOPIN-POLONAISE OP.53 HEROIC
    1843- WAGNER-DER FLIEGENDE HOLLANDER
    1845- WAGNER-OVERTURE TANNHEUSER
    1846- SUPPE-OVERTURE POET AND POESANT, SCHUMANN-PIANO CONCERTO OP.54-ALLEGRO
    1847- CHOPIN-WALTZ OP.64 NO.2
    1848- J.STRAUSS I-RADETZKY MARSH
    1850- LISZT-LIEBESTRAUM NO.3

    ReplyDelete
  3. 1851- VERDI-RIGOLETTO
    1852- J.STRAUSS II-ANNEN POLKA
    1853- VERDI-LA TRAVIATA
    1854- LISZT-LES PRELUDES
    1855- CHOPIN-FANTASIE IMPORTU
    1856- GLINKA-WALTZ FANTASIA
    1857- LISZT-PIANO CONCERTO NO.2
    1858- MENDELSSOHN-WEDDING MARSH, OFFENBACH-ORPHEUS IN THE UNDER WORLD
    1859- GOUNOD-WALTZER AUS FAUST
    1860- RUBINSTEIN-ROMANCE
    1861- J.STRAUSS II-PERPETUM MOBILE
    1862- VERDI-OVERTURE THE FORCE OF DESTINY
    1863- BIZET-AND FOND DUTEMPLE SAINT
    1864- GRIEG-I LOVE YOU
    1865- BRAHMS-WALTZ OP.39 NO.15
    1866- SMETANA-OVERTURE THE BARTERED
    1867- J.STRAUSS II-WALTZ THE BLUE DANUBE
    1868- BRAHMS-WIEGENLIED OP.49 NO.4
    1869- GRIEG-KLAVIERKONZERT OP.16-ALLEGRO
    1870- WAGNER-RIDE OF THE VALKYRIES
    1871- VERDI-TRIUMPH MARSH-AIDA
    1872- BIZET-L ARLESIENNE INTERMEZZO
    1873- TCHAIKOVSKY-NOCTURNE IN C
    1874- VERDI-MESSA DA REQUIEM
    1875- BIZET-LES TOREADORES-CARMEN
    1876- GRIEG-MORNING
    1877- TCHAIKOVSKY-SWAN LAKE-1 WALTZ
    1878- TCHAIKOVSKY-SYMPHONY NO.4 FINALE
    1879- TCHAIKOVSKY-POLONAISE EVGENE ONEGIN
    1880- TCHAIKOVSKY-OVERTURE FANTASIA ROMEO AND JULIETTE
    1881- TCHAIKOVSKY-CAPRICCIO ITALIANO
    1882- TCHAIKOVSKY-1812 OVERTURE
    1883- J.STRAUSS II-WALTZ FRUHLINGSSTIMMEN
    1884- GRIEG-HOLBERG SUITE OP.40 PRELUDE
    1885- BRAHMS-SYMPHONY NO.4 OP.98-ANDANTE MODERATO
    1886- MUSSORGSKY-A NIGHT ON THE BALD MOUNTAIN
    1887- VERDI-OTELLO
    1888- SATIE-GYMPODEPIC NO.1
    1889- J.STRAUSS II-KAIZER WLAZER
    1890- TCHAIKOVSKY- OVERTURE THE SLEEPING BEAUTY
    1891- MUSSORGSKY-PICTURES AT AN EXHIBITION
    1892- TCHAIKOVSKY- WALTZ OF THE FLOWERS- THE NUTCRACKER
    1893- DVORAK-SYMPHONY NO.9 NEW WORLD
    1894- DVORAK-HUMORESQUE
    1895- BOELLMANN-SUITE GOTIQUE OP.25
    1896- R.STRAUSS -ALSO SPRACH ZARATHUSTRA-FANFARE
    1897- HUMPERDINCK -EVENSONG
    1898- RIMSKY-KORSAKOW -THE INDIAN-SADKO
    1899- ELGAR-ENIGMA VARIATIONS
    1900- RIMSKY-KORSAKOW -DER HUMMELFLUG, SIBELIUS-FINLADIA
    1901- ELGAR-MARSH POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCE
    1902- RAVEL-PAVANE POUR UNE
    1903- RACHMANINOV-PRELUDE OP.23
    1904- MAHLER-SYMPHONY NO.5
    1905- DEBUSSY-CLAIR DE LUNA
    1906- RACHMANINOV-ITALIAN POLKA
    1908- RAVEL-RAPSODY ESPANA
    1910- STRAVINSKY-SUITE FIREBIRD
    1911- STRAVINSKY-PETROUSHKA
    1912- RAVEL-DAPHNIS E CHLOE
    1913- STRAVINSKY-THE RITE OF SPRING
    1915- FALLA-RITUAL FIRE DANCE
    1917- PUCCINI-LA RONDINE
    1918- PROKOFIEV-SYMPHONY NO.1 OP.25- LARGHETTO
    1920- STRAVINSKY-MINUET
    1921- ARNOLD-PRELUDE LITTLE SUITE NO.1
    1922- SAINT SAENS-THE SWAN
    1924- GERSHWIN-RHAPSODY IN BLUE
    1926- PUCCINI-NESSUN DORMA-TURANDOT
    1928- RAVEL-BOLERO
    1929- LEGAR-JE TE RENDRAI LE COUER
    1930- STRAVINSKY-SYMPHONY OF PSALMS
    1931- STRAVINSKY-SYMPHONY OF PSALMS( POPULAR 2 YEARS)
    1932- DELIUS-PRELUDE IRMELIN
    1933- STOLZ-ZWEIHERZE UND EIN WALZER
    1934- RACHMANINOV-RHAPSODY ON A THEME OF PAGANINI
    1935- GERSHWIN-SUMMERTIME
    1936- PROKOFIEV-PETER AND WOLF
    1937- ORFF-O FORTUNA-CARMINA BURANA
    1938- PROKOFIEV-ROMEO AND JULIETTE, BARBER-ADAGIO FOR STRINGS
    1939- RODRIGO-CONCIERTO DE ARANJUEZ-ADAGIO
    1940- DUKAS-THE SORCERERS APPRENTICE
    1941- VILLA LOBOS-PRELUDE NO.1
    1942- KHACHATURIAN-SABRE DANCE
    1945- PROKOFIEV-SYMPHONY NO.5
    1948- R.STRAUSS-BEIM SCHLAFENGEHEN
    1950- PROKOFIEV-WINTER BONFIRE-THE DEPARTURE
    1951- BINGE-ELISABETH SERENADE
    1953- SHOSTAKOVICH-SYMPHONY NO.10 OP.98
    1954- PROKOFIEV-WALTZ STONE FLOWER
    1955- SHOSTAKOVICH-ROMANCE
    1956- KHACHATURIAN-ADAGIO OF SPARTACUS

    ReplyDelete
  4. THE BEST COMPOSER IN YEARS.
    1-MOZART-15
    2-BACH-14/15( DEATH DUETS GOUNOD 1855-AVE MARIA-15)
    3-BEETHOVEN-14
    4-TCHAIKOVSKY--8
    5-HANDEL-8
    6-SCHUBERT-7
    7-J.STRAUSS II-7
    8-HAYDN-7
    9- VIVALDI-7
    10-CHOPIN-6 11-VERDI-6
    12-BRAHMS-6
    13-RACHMANINOV-6
    14-STRAVINSKY-5
    15-GRIEG-4
    16-LISZT-4
    17-MENDELSOHN-4
    18-RIMSKY-KORSAKOV-4
    19-PROKOFIEV-4
    20-WAGNER-3
    21-SCHUMANN-3
    22-DVORAK-3
    23-DEBUSSY-3
    24-BIZET-3
    25-RAVEL-3
    26-PURCELL-3
    27-ROSSINI-2
    28-R.STRAUSS-2
    29-PUCCINI-2
    30-PAGANINI-2
    31-BERLIOZ-2
    32-GOUNOD-2
    33-ELGAR-2
    34-SHOSTAKOVIC-2
    35-GLUCK-2
    36-KHACHATURIAN-2
    37-WEBER-2
    38-GERSHWIN-2

    ReplyDelete