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Top 5 Most Overrated / Underrated Composers


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Underrated:

1. Debussy

2. Bernard Hermann

3. Camille Saint-Saëns

4. Erik Satie

5. @Tónskáld (gotta get a leg up on u guys for the summer competition sorry 😇)

 

Overrated:

1. Schoenberg (although I enjoy his books, and Pélleas und Melisande op.5 is amazing to me)

2. Haydn

3. Every Bach

4. Les Six

5. Hans Zimmer (although I like him, I just don't think he's the pinnacle of film scorers)

 

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27 minutes ago, Left Unexplained said:

Underrated:

1. Debussy

2. Bernard Hermann

3. Camille Saint-Saëns

4. Erik Satie

5. @Tónskáld (gotta get a leg up on u guys for the summer competition sorry 😇)

Why don't you put Samuel Barber as #5 and make it a real French & American list?

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Underrated (no particular order, and a lot of names most people have never heard of):

1. - Toivo Kuula

2. - Nikolai Myaskovsky

3. - Wilhelm Reinhard Berger

4. - Reinhold Gliere

5. - Charles Wakefield Cadman

(Honorable mentions: Kurt Atterberg, Anatoly Alexandrov, Anatoly Kos-Anatolsky, Ludomir Rozycki, Edward Macdowell, Camille Saint-Saens, Erno Dohnanyi, Viktor Kosenko, Vasyl Barvinsky, Pancho Vladigerov, Georgy Catoire (it's an infinite list))

Overrated:

1. - Arnold Schoenberg

2. - Gustav Mahler

3. - Dmitri Shostakovich

4. - Igor Stravinsky

5. - Johannes Brahms

Edited by Theodore Servin
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Underrated 

1. Tchaikovsky

2. Zelenka 

3. Saint Saens 

4. Rossini 

5. Fux

Overrated 

1. Cage

2. Stockhausen 

3. Messiean 

4. Bartok 

5. Schumann (i still really like Schumann especially compared to the other 4 and theres a lot more modern composers I think deserving of this place but I think I need to put 1 pre 20th century composer to make it fair. l put him here because I don't understand how he is a household name next to Brahms and Chopin, I think he benefited from being in the main German music circle, if he was from another country I think he would be much more obscure).

Edited by Jackleaf
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I'm confused, when did Tchaikovsky start becoming underrated (I say this lightheartedly, of course!)? He's like the 19th century Russian Romantic that wasn't in the Big 5, right? Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Onegin, Violin Concerto in D, Piano Concerto No. 1, Symphony 5, etc.? Maybe I'm just out of the loop nowadays...
 

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  • 1 month later...
On 1/20/2016 at 8:19 AM, Frankie Detergnt said:

so because i think harmony is somewhat studied, but rhythm is not, rhythm is the area which defines how "talented" you are as a composer. so a few quick notes i have to add after listening to (a few, not much) classical music:

 

untalented so overrated composers:

1. beethoven. i listened to his music almost an entire day, and what a waste of time that was. if you're not paying attention to some tricks that he does, the music passes by without any notice. there are few very few pieces that are good. but when he really nails a melody line, it's the type of melody composed by a kid who's starting out at piano lessons. (see ode of joy)

2. chopin. there's nothing there.. i'm exaggerating now but, i found only one piece which interesting harmonically just for a quick study, and the melody is made out of quarter notes (if that can even be called a melody)

3. brahms. i appreciate this guy for struggling. he's no genius, but his efforts are extraordinary. harmonically he's doing nothing in his era. he's more undeveloped than pachelbel probably.

4. nothing stuck to me from listening to schubert.

 

talented and underrated:

1. rossini. a force of nature. perfect. harmonically he may be far behind his time like brahms or tchaikovsky.

2. mendelssohn. perfect.

3. i didn't listen to that much classical music so this list is short. i can mention a guy completely untalented which is one of my favorites: erik satie.and there are also good composers from different nationalities which are not studied worldwide but they are good. (like enescu, etc)

4. maybe Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, i remember i thought he was especially talented.

 

that's it. i only mentioned the underrated good ones, because bach, mozart, tchaikovsky, ravel, rachmaninoff, prokofiev, verdi, grieg, wagner, i find amazing.

 

Wow, there's no way this comment is serious. This is probably some kid that learnt to play the drum on the beat in school and thought that that was talent. He's literally capable of calling Joplin the greatest composer of all time because his genere has a lot of syncopation.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 7/15/2020 at 11:39 AM, Makar said:

Wow, there's no way this comment is serious. This is probably some kid that learnt to play the drum on the beat in school and thought that that was talent. He's literally capable of calling Joplin the greatest composer of all time because his genere has a lot of syncopation.

 

Completely agree with you. Furthermore, you can say one composer is overrated but saying he is untalented is sacrilegious.

 

I’ll give 5 underrated composers:

- Mahler

-Schubert

-Mendelssohn

-Rachmaninoff

-Ravel

 

It’s hard for me to say if a composer is overrated, though.

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  • 5 months later...

Overrated:

 

1) Brahms. Nothing more than Beethoven 2.0. A conservatist who lived in the past with no intention of developing music past the point of late-classical.

 

2) Dvorak. Almost the same reason as Brahms. Same thing over and over again. No meaning to the music. Lifeless, no depth.

 

3) Mahler. Don’t get me wrong- I LOVE some of his works. The 9th symphony is one of my absolute favorites. But I cannot stand when people try to say his 2nd symphony is a masterpiece. It’s an absolute mess. The same can be said about so much more of his music. Some exceptions are select movements, like Sym 5, mvt 4. Or Sym 4, mvt 3.

 

Underrated:

 

1) Berlioz. All anyone ever talks about is Symphony Fantastique (which is a tad bit overrated, but still good). La Damnation de Faust and Les Troyens are two monumental works that are often overlooked. Not to mention, Berlioz’s music is extremely forward thinking for his time. He essentially reinvented the orchestra.
 

2) Saint-Saëns. Some of the most beautiful music I’ve ever heard comes out of his operas. Rarely are they ever played, especially in a symphonic setting.

 

3) James Newton-Howard. People can’t stop raving about John Williams and Hans Zimmer. While their greatness can’t be denied, James Newton-Howard is never mentioned in the same conversation as these two, which is an absolute shame. His soundtrack to King Kong is pure brilliance. For me, nothing comes close. Dinosaur and Snow White & the Huntsman are also amazing.

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1)  both over and underrated:  John Williams (over because he's got so many overperformed and well known film scores .. under because hes got so many lesser known scores that are just amazing like A. I. - Artificial Intelligence, Minority Report and War of the Worlds)

2)  also for both over and underrated:  Alan Silvestri (besides his most famous scores - Back to the Future and the Avengers he's also done Forrest Gump and lots of lesser known soundtracks)

3)  still both over and underrated:  James Horner (besides Titanic and A Beautiful Mind, he also wrote the music for Apollo 13 and lots of others)

Overrated:

4)  Wagner - I am personally not a big fan of opera nor the operatic style of singing and he only wrote one symphony (although the preludes aren't bad).

5)  Leonard Bernstein - I think West Side Story is full of melodic cliches.

Underrated:

4)  Lutoslawski - he wrote some really cool tonal works inspired by the coloristic orchestrations of the impressionists before resorting to 12-tone serialism.

5)  Kodaly - Bartoks partner in crime often wrote some even more inspired (by folk music) pieces than Bartok did.

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