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Classical Notes

Your Top 10

Posted at 4:33 PM on January 11, 2011 by Daniel Gilliam (7 Comments)
Filed under: In the media

New York Times writer Anthony Tommasini has opened the flood gates on public opinion. In his January 7th article, he imagines creating a Top 10 list of composers of all time and starts pitting Bach against Handel (assuming only one could make the list). In his follow-up he names the "Vienna Four": Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert. With no lack of space in the digital world, comments on Facebook, Twitter and emails Classical MPR hosts have already begun flowing. So here's your chance: What does your Top 10 list look like? Don't be shy!

Update: Who will make the 20th Century list?


Comments (7)

mine are the obvious: bach, beethoven, mozart, brahms, mahler, stravinsky, verdi, wagner. and then the not so obvious: schoenberg + korngold. :)

Posted by jen | January 12, 2011 9:06 AM


My list starts with Rachmaninoff. Add to that, in no particular order: Brahms, Schumann, Copland, Ravel, Prokofiev, Poulenc, Beethoven, Berlioz, Bizet.

Posted by Holly Leighton | January 12, 2011 9:22 AM


Sure. . .I'll play. . .Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, R. Strauss, Mahler, Elgar, Berg, Stravinsky, Shostakovich.

Posted by Reid | January 12, 2011 9:40 AM


Guided by the principle of what I most like to hear (as opposed to influence on others, place in history, etc.):
Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Rodrigo, Mozart, Shostakovich, Bach, Puccini, Brahms, Schubert, Rachmaninoff.

Posted by Dave | January 12, 2011 10:12 AM


Dvorak, Sibelius, Mahler, Mendelssohn, Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin, Hovhaness, R. Strauss, and Wagner.

Posted by Malcom | January 13, 2011 10:03 PM


I can't agree with his elimination of Monteverdi, who really started modern (and theatrical) music for us, and I don't think it's possible to really limit it to ten, but here goes: Hildegard of Bingen, Monteverdi, Bach, Handel, Mozart, Beethoven, Wagner, Puccini, Berg, Britten

Posted by Gary Ruschman | January 15, 2011 10:59 PM


Here's my (admittedly biased) list: Bach, Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, Mahler, Berg, Stravinsky, Shostakovich, Copland. (The last two are quite honestly, debatable. However their music reaches so many people on so many levels I am going to have to put them in there).

Posted by Lisa | January 24, 2011 8:04 PM