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caoimhin
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Who do you think is the greatest living composer?

Mon Sep 20, 2021 3:10 am

Who might be remembered for their orchestral work in a few hundred years?

I think it’s reasonable that we would find some of the best contemporary talent in those who work in film, so my vote is for John Williams. Adore his scores, and wonder who his cinematic successor will be.

Who do you think reflects the best orchestral music of our age?
 
M564038
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Re: Who do you think is the greatest living composer?

Mon Sep 20, 2021 2:29 pm

The greatest living composer is Paul McCartney.
He might be top 5 throughout documented music history together with Bach, Mozart, Beethoven..

On your other question, regarding composers that are also classical orchestrators and if any of that work is going to be remembered, I do believe you are right in thinking in direction of film score composers. Williams et all. but I don’t regard it as anywhere near having the standing as the great composers.
I do not believe the western modernistic style will prove timeless.
 
N965UW
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Re: Who do you think is the greatest living composer?

Mon Sep 20, 2021 2:44 pm

John Williams goes without saying. Nobody will be able to truly replace him.

I'm not sure if there are any modern orchestral composers on the level of Bach, Mozart, etc. Real orchestral music has always been geared toward the "elite," and has become somewhat of a niche genre for those who follow the New York Philharmonic or listen to Classic FM.

I agree that film is where the most notable talent is today. The average person can relate to a film score more readily than a modern classical work.

My vote is for Michael Giacchino. Even if his name isn't the most recognizable, many people have likely heard his scores in various movies and video games. His style is versatile and adaptable to the subject matter that he's writing for. He is equally adept at writing technically and lyrically.
 
Dieuwer
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Re: Who do you think is the greatest living composer?

Mon Sep 20, 2021 5:34 pm

caoimhin wrote:
Who might be remembered for their orchestral work in a few hundred years?

I think it’s reasonable that we would find some of the best contemporary talent in those who work in film, so my vote is for John Williams. Adore his scores, and wonder who his cinematic successor will be.

Who do you think reflects the best orchestral music of our age?


Some would call John Williams a thief. Many of his Star Wars scores seem to be blatend plagiarism of Gustav Holst "The Planets" and pieces from several others composers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lCIgOjLPiQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMFNABbqWCw
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DN3vl-JnUF8
 
ACDC8
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Re: Who do you think is the greatest living composer?

Mon Sep 20, 2021 9:45 pm

I'm quite the fan of Hans Zimmer.
 
M564038
Posts: 710
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Re: Who do you think is the greatest living composer?

Mon Sep 20, 2021 10:06 pm

I firmly believe he is the anti-christ.
He has single-handedly ruined music.
(For those not in the know: the next time you see someone drop a fork on the floor on a reality-TV show accompanied by a MIDI-programmed 300 piece orchestra, 60 timpanies, 100 foot bass drums going to 15 Hz in surround, every ethnic instrument ever in existence and 120 synthesizer pads all being as dramatic as they can, you have Hans Zimmer to thank for it)

ACDC8 wrote:
I'm quite the fan of Hans Zimmer.
 
LCDFlight
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Re: Who do you think is the greatest living composer?

Tue Sep 21, 2021 12:34 am

I read an opinion that the best late 20th century opera (let’s say, in English) is Nixon in China, by John Adams. I don’t know enough to judge contemporary composers. It’s a very, very nerdy subject…
 
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Aaron747
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Re: Who do you think is the greatest living composer?

Tue Sep 21, 2021 12:38 am

M564038 wrote:
I firmly believe he is the anti-christ.
He has single-handedly ruined music.
(For those not in the know: the next time you see someone drop a fork on the floor on a reality-TV show accompanied by a MIDI-programmed 300 piece orchestra, 60 timpanies, 100 foot bass drums going to 15 Hz in surround, every ethnic instrument ever in existence and 120 synthesizer pads all being as dramatic as they can, you have Hans Zimmer to thank for it)

ACDC8 wrote:
I'm quite the fan of Hans Zimmer.


Okay but you have to admit the ‘Interstellar’ score was pretty damn captivating.
 
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Tugger
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Re: Who do you think is the greatest living composer?

Tue Sep 21, 2021 12:59 am

Alright, I'll throw out there Danny Elfman.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_c ... nny_Elfman

(Gotta admit for some reason I do really like "Alice's Theme" and would love to see more choirs and orchestra's do it together.)

Tugg
 
ACDC8
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Re: Who do you think is the greatest living composer?

Tue Sep 21, 2021 1:07 am

M564038 wrote:
I firmly believe he is the anti-christ.
He has single-handedly ruined music.
(For those not in the know: the next time you see someone drop a fork on the floor on a reality-TV show accompanied by a MIDI-programmed 300 piece orchestra, 60 timpanies, 100 foot bass drums going to 15 Hz in surround, every ethnic instrument ever in existence and 120 synthesizer pads all being as dramatic as they can, you have Hans Zimmer to thank for it)

ACDC8 wrote:
I'm quite the fan of Hans Zimmer.

What does "not being in the know" mean?
 
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Pellegrine
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Re: Who do you think is the greatest living composer?

Tue Sep 21, 2021 5:05 am

I'm another one for Hans Zimmer.
 
M564038
Posts: 710
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2016 11:16 am

Re: Who do you think is the greatest living composer?

Tue Sep 21, 2021 5:38 am

It means I’m ever so slightly humorous.
ACDC8 wrote:
M564038 wrote:
I firmly believe he is the anti-christ.
He has single-handedly ruined music.
(For those not in the know: the next time you see someone drop a fork on the floor on a reality-TV show accompanied by a MIDI-programmed 300 piece orchestra, 60 timpanies, 100 foot bass drums going to 15 Hz in surround, every ethnic instrument ever in existence and 120 synthesizer pads all being as dramatic as they can, you have Hans Zimmer to thank for it)

ACDC8 wrote:
I'm quite the fan of Hans Zimmer.

What does "not being in the know" mean?
 
BlueberryWheats
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Re: Who do you think is the greatest living composer?

Tue Sep 21, 2021 5:59 am

John Williams is a living legend, he gets my vote. My favourite is the Close Encounters score. I'd say Hans Zimmer get a decent mention, I play the Interstellar score quite often. While not the best in the World, Ludovico Einaudi has produced some good work.

If we move away from orchestral/classical, could we also throw in mentions for people like John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin?
 
JJJ
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Re: Who do you think is the greatest living composer?

Tue Sep 21, 2021 6:01 am

Dieuwer wrote:
caoimhin wrote:
Who might be remembered for their orchestral work in a few hundred years?

I think it’s reasonable that we would find some of the best contemporary talent in those who work in film, so my vote is for John Williams. Adore his scores, and wonder who his cinematic successor will be.

Who do you think reflects the best orchestral music of our age?


Some would call John Williams a thief. Many of his Star Wars scores seem to be blatend plagiarism of Gustav Holst "The Planets" and pieces from several others composers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lCIgOjLPiQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMFNABbqWCw
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DN3vl-JnUF8


As Stravinsky put it, good composers borrow, great composers steal.

Beethoven, Mozart, Bach.... all the greats have engaged in this. It's as natural as music.
 
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Aaron747
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Re: Who do you think is the greatest living composer?

Tue Sep 21, 2021 6:05 am

BlueberryWheats wrote:
John Williams is a living legend, he gets my vote. My favourite is the Close Encounters score. I'd say Hans Zimmer get a decent mention, I play the Interstellar score quite often. While not the best in the World, Ludovico Einaudi has produced some good work.

If we move away from orchestral/classical, could we also throw in mentions for people like John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin?


Well if we're going to go into rock keyboard compositions, have to throw a couple other names out there: Stevie Wonder, Gillian Gilbert of New Order, and Martin Gore of Depeche Mode. Dave Greenfield of the Stranglers is one of my favorites, but he passed away last year.
 
Ken777
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Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 5:39 am

Re: Who do you think is the greatest living composer?

Thu Sep 23, 2021 4:10 am

First place for me is Andrew Lloyd Weber. I'm surprised that he lasted this long without a mention. I also consider Paul McCartney in this list. I've gone to his concerts with the wife (he played twice in Tulsa) and consider him brilliant.

We are in a unique situation these days - the changes in income, inexpensive instruments from school, and the money available to young composers who produce a "hit" (and a lot 9of other areas impacting the industry, such as Radio and TV) leaves us with a lot of composers who are excellent at what they do. I saw "The Jersey Boys" (a real experience with more F Bombs than you can count) and "Buddy"
and both let us see and understand what talent is producing. We simply have too many brilliant musicians and composers to be able name them all.

But that is a grand richness for us to enjoy.
 
kaitak
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Joined: Wed Aug 18, 1999 5:49 am

Re: Who do you think is the greatest living composer?

Fri Sep 24, 2021 1:28 am

I'd certainly second (or third or fourth!) John Williams. It's just amazing that he has composed such a wide and diverse range of music, from the big hits like Star Wars/Indiana Jones to more sedate, but no less beautiful, pieces such as Schindler's List.

Likewise, I'd also second Andrew Lloyd Webber. Phantom of the Opera is a magnificent score, and there are many, many others.

Like the famous composers of the past, their music will continue to be played for generations and centuries to come. A marvellous immortality.
 
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Aaron747
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Re: Who do you think is the greatest living composer?

Fri Sep 24, 2021 1:52 am

kaitak wrote:
I'd certainly second (or third or fourth!) John Williams. It's just amazing that he has composed such a wide and diverse range of music, from the big hits like Star Wars/Indiana Jones to more sedate, but no less beautiful, pieces such as Schindler's List.

Likewise, I'd also second Andrew Lloyd Webber. Phantom of the Opera is a magnificent score, and there are many, many others.

Like the famous composers of the past, their music will continue to be played for generations and centuries to come. A marvellous immortality.


Don't forget Williams also did other memorable scores like Jurassic Park, Jaws, E.T., and JFK. That starting sequence in JFK with the marching drums is seared into memory.
 
LittleFokker
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Re: Who do you think is the greatest living composer?

Fri Sep 24, 2021 3:19 pm

Tugger wrote:
Alright, I'll throw out there Danny Elfman.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_c ... nny_Elfman

(Gotta admit for some reason I do really like "Alice's Theme" and would love to see more choirs and orchestra's do it together.)

Tugg


Seconded. Elfman is criminally underrated.
 
LCDFlight
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Re: Who do you think is the greatest living composer?

Sat Sep 25, 2021 9:49 pm

Philip Glass is still alive. He might be a contender for “best” living composer, if you count it as recognizable, famous, lasting contribution to classical music. I don’t see the need to include jazz musicians, rock singers, rappers, etc. that’s not “composer” but “musician, singer, songwriter” which is a different thing IMO.

Steve Reich, also very famous and alive, but I don’t know his stuff at all.
 
M564038
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Re: Who do you think is the greatest living composer?

Sun Sep 26, 2021 3:30 pm

LCDFlight wrote:
I don’t see the need to include jazz musicians, rock singers, rappers, etc. that’s not “composer” but “musician, singer, songwriter” which is a different thing IMO.


Lol. I would like to hear some actual arguments for that peculiar way of defining the word.

It is quite simply so, that the greatest conposers of our time aren’t found in the western «classical» schoolary tradition at all.
 
LCDFlight
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Re: Who do you think is the greatest living composer?

Sun Sep 26, 2021 3:53 pm

M564038 wrote:
LCDFlight wrote:
I don’t see the need to include jazz musicians, rock singers, rappers, etc. that’s not “composer” but “musician, singer, songwriter” which is a different thing IMO.


Lol. I would like to hear some actual arguments for that peculiar way of defining the word.

It is quite simply so, that the greatest conposers of our time aren’t found in the western «classical» schoolary tradition at all.


There is a good case to be made for what you are saying. Composer has a traditional meaning in English (classical instruments). But wasn’t Count Basie also considered a composer…. On the other hand, it is still rare that people call Paul McCartney that. Not my weird idea, just how people use that word. At the end of the day, you are right. Anyone who composes a new tune is a composer.

Another problem though… Almost everything people listed so far is very “western centric.” The “West” is perhaps 1 billion people out of early 8 billion. So, if we seek the finest modern “composers” of all cultures, it is a real challenge.
 
M564038
Posts: 710
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2016 11:16 am

Re: Who do you think is the greatest living composer?

Sun Sep 26, 2021 7:19 pm

It is not rare to call McCartney a composer, McCartney IS a composer. These words have actual, defined meanings. They have a legal meaning. A piece of music is composed. Someone organizes sounds between 20Hz-20kHz one way or the other. That person is the composer. Thats all there is to it. Even if a piece is completely improvised, the piece is still defined as composed by that person. I am not aware of any musical culture that practices this differently, although the definition of what constitutes a NEW composition might vary some in music cultures that base themselves strongly on small variations of tradition.
LCDFlight wrote:
M564038 wrote:
LCDFlight wrote:
I don’t see the need to include jazz musicians, rock singers, rappers, etc. that’s not “composer” but “musician, singer, songwriter” which is a different thing IMO.


Lol. I would like to hear some actual arguments for that peculiar way of defining the word.

It is quite simply so, that the greatest conposers of our time aren’t found in the western «classical» schoolary tradition at all.


There is a good case to be made for what you are saying. Composer has a traditional meaning in English (classical instruments). But wasn’t Count Basie also considered a composer…. On the other hand, it is still rare that people call Paul McCartney that. Not my weird idea, just how people use that word. At the end of the day, you are right. Anyone who composes a new tune is a composer.

Another problem though… Almost everything people listed so far is very “western centric.” The “West” is perhaps 1 billion people out of early 8 billion. So, if we seek the finest modern “composers” of all cultures, it is a real challenge.

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