BKhon wrote:Except that all of his pieces are variations of the same theme, or so it seems. I'm not really arguing against Bach's technical skill. In terms of contrapuntal writing, there is no doubt he was one of the bests ever. There is no doubt that Bach was a genius. Even so, I still believe he is extremely boring to listen to (for my personal taste). I greatly prefer Shostakovich, Ravel, Bartok, Stravinsky, Khataturian, Villa-lobos, Prokofiev, Chopin, R. Strauss, etc.KGill wrote:Not really, actually...many compositions from the Baroque era (much of Bach included) could be considered 'variations on the same theme' (as I believe I put it several years ago) to a certain extent, but that doesn't mean they're the 'same thing' necessarily, or that they're bad. In terms of sheer technical/contrapuntal ability, Bach was almost certainly the best ever. Not that that's the only criterion (he was among the best in several other things as well), but still. Have you ever tried to write music in the Baroque style? It's incredibly difficult even to get it to sound 'normal' (i.e., not like a total newbie, but still bland), and I can barely even imagine the sheer perfectionist genius that must go into a more 'advanced' style (such as Bach's).
No problem with preference—although I can hardly believe that anybody can find BWV 1049 boring.
BKhon wrote:Another few composers I think is overrated: Jean Sibelius, John Williams (come on... someone has to agree with that one), Listz, Bruckner, and Vivaldi.
I really want to say Borodin, but I find his melodies so beautiful that my analytical perspective on music becomes so scattered that I am rendered completely vulnerable to bad judgement. How can one argue with the pleasure of listening to his string quartets or Prince Igor?
Borodin's 2nd quartet tends to be underrated precisely because it is so attractive superficially. The first rambles a little, but is also very sweet.
Liszt: Yes, but it's a pity that he's overrated for the wrong things
Bruckner: Yes, but the 4th is fantastic
Vivaldi: Yes, but try listening to his contemporaries, and when you wake up, post. *ahem* Charles Rosen *ahem* has some useful comments on this point in Critical Entertainments
Sibelius: Sibelius is probably not underrated nor overrated. He has a lot of nonsense pieces (valse triste!), but the 4th and 7th, the violin concerto, the oceanides, Op. 22, and a few early pieces all merit status as brilliant works, especially the Seventh Symphony and the Oceanides.