Customer Discussions > classical music discussion forum

Most performed composers in the world


Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-25 of 76 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 3 Mar 2011 11:56:42 GMT
Last edited by the author on 3 Mar 2011 11:57:44 GMT
Nugent Dirt says:
Has anyone here seen this site www.instantencore.com. They've come up with a list of the most performed composers in 2010..and also the-not-performed-much-at-all. I'm not sure whether it's just the US or worldwide

1 Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus 3035
.
2 Beethoven, Ludwig van 2859
.
3 Tchaikovsky, Pyotr 2295
.
4 Brahms, Johannes 1848
.
5 Schumann, Robert 1460
.
6 Bach, Johann Sebastian 1388
.
7 Dvorak, Antonin 1071
.
8 Schubert, Franz 1023
.
9 Haydn, Franz Joseph 989
.
10 Prokofiev, Sergei 931
.
11 Mendelssohn, Felix 865
.
12 Ravel, Maurice 864
.
13 Stravinsky, Igor 849
.
14 Verdi, Giuseppe 845
.
15 Shostakovich, Dmitri 779
.
16 Handel, George Frideric 757
.
17 Chopin, Frédéric 748
.
18 Puccini, Giacomo 723
.
19 Strauss, Richard 720
.
20 Rachmaninov, Sergei 673


.
21 Mahler, Gustav 636
.
22 Debussy, Claude 613
.
23 Wagner, Richard 606
.
24 Rossini, Gioachino 594
.
25 Barber, Samuel 571
.
26 Bartók, Béla 493
.
27 Sibelius, Jean 489
.
28 Britten, Benjamin 466
.
29 Copland, Aaron 442
.
30 Vivaldi, Antonio 435
.
31 Bizet, Georges 411
.
32 Saint-Saëns, Camille 387
.
33 Berlioz, Hector 386
.
34 Gershwin, George 374
.
35 Elgar, Edward, Sir 345
.
36 Liszt, Franz 344
.
37 Bernstein, Leonard 335
.
38 Donizetti, Gaetano 299
.
39 Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai 296
.
40 Vaughan Williams, Ralph 295


.
41 Poulenc, Francis 281
.
42 Grieg, Edvard 257
.
43 Fauré, Gabriel 253
.
44 Janacek, Leos 243
.
45 Mussorgsky, Modest 230
.
46 Piazzolla, Astor 212
.
47 Bruckner, Anton 209
.
48 Sullivan, Arthur, Sir 209
.
49 Berg, Alban 200
.
50 Strauss, Johann, Jr. 190
.
51 Respighi, Ottorino 187
.
52 Adams, John 184
.
53 Hindemith, Paul 182
.
54 Schoenberg, Arnold 175
.
55 Weber, Carl Maria von 174
.
56 Smetana, Bedrich 173
.
57 Traditional 171
.
58 Bruch, Max 168
.
59 Martinu, Bohuslav 161
.
60 Williams, John 157


.
61 Purcell, Henry 142
.
62 Holst, Gustav 139
.
63 Telemann, Georg Philipp 139
.
64 Monteverdi, Claudio 138
.
65 Franck, César 134
.
66 Falla, Manuel de 133
.
67 Villa-Lobos, Heitor 129
.
68 Ives, Charles 124
.
69 Gounod, Charles 118
.
70 Ligeti, György 116
.
71 Webern, Anton 116
.
72 Messiaen, Olivier 111
.
73 Minkus, Léon Fyodorovich 109
.
74 Pärt, Arvo 107
.
75 Ginastera, Alberto 106
.
76 Humperdinck, Engelbert 103
.
77 Corelli, Arcangelo 100
.
78 Dukas, Paul 97
.
79 Walton, William, Sir 95
.
80 Glinka, Mikhail 94


.
81 Borodin, Alexander 94
.
82 Delibes, Léo 91
.
83 Kodály, Zoltán 88
.
84 Anderson, Leroy 86
.
85 Offenbach, Jacques 85
.
86 Corigliano, John 85
.
87 Nielsen, Carl 84
.
88 Rodrigo, Joaquín 83
.
89 Golijov, Osvaldo 79
.
90 Orff, Carl 78
.
91 Chen Yi 74
.
92 Adam, Adolphe 74
.
93 Higdon, Jennifer 74
.
94 Glass, Philip 73
.
95 Bach, Carl Philipp Emanuel 73
.
96 Auerbach, Lera 72
.
97 Paganini, Niccolò 72
.
98 Boulez, Pierre 72
.
99 Massenet, Jules 71
.
100 Korngold, Erich Wolfgang 71


.

.
Beyond the Top 100
.

.
101 Khachaturian, Aram 70
.
102 Rodgers, Richard 69
.
103 Scriabin, Alexander 69
.
104 Ysaÿe, Eugène 68
.
105 Turina, Joaquin 68
.
106 Dohnányi, Ernst von 67
.
107 Szymanowski, Karol 67
.
108 Milhaud, Darius 66
.
109 Gluck, Christoph Willibald 66
.
110 Weill, Kurt 66
.
111 Lehár, Franz 65
.
112 Chausson, Ernest 64
.
113 Albéniz, Isaac 64
.
114 Beckel, James A., Jr. 64
.
115 Wolf, Hugo 62
.
116 Carter, Elliott 61
.
117 Lutoslawski, Witold 61


.
118 Anonymous 61
.
119 Sousa, John Philip 59
.
120 Glazunov, Alexander 58
.
121 Revueltas, Silvestre 57
.
122 Chabrier, Emmanuel 57
.
123 Rameau, Jean-Philippe 57
.
124 Boccherini, Luigi 57
.
125 Adès, Thomas 56
.
126 Bellini, Vincenzo 55
.
127 Márquez, Arturo 54
.
128 Sarasate, Pablo de 53
.
129 Dutilleux, Henri 52
.
130 Mascagni, Pietro 52
.
131 Takemitsu, Toru 52
.
132 Finzi, Gerald 51
.
133 Delius, Frederick 51
.
134 Enescu, George 51
.
135 Bolcom, William 50
.
136 Rutter, John 50
.
137 Harbison, John 50


.
138 Schnittke, Alfred 49
.
139 Ellington, Edward 'Duke' 48
.
140 Ibert, Jacques 48
.
141 Leoncavallo, Ruggero 48
.
142 Brielle, Jonathan 47
.
143 Schütz, Heinrich 46
.
144 Gabrieli, Giovanni 45
.
145 Duruflé, Maurice 45
.
146 Pergolesi, Giovanni Battista 44
.
147 Schreker, Franz 44
.
148 Cage, John 44
.
149 Bloch, Ernest 44
.
150 Berio, Luciano 43

Posted on 3 Mar 2011 12:27:42 GMT
ND: An interesting list, the main surprise (to me) is a top 10 listing for Prokofiev but not Mahler, also Wagner seems improbably low. I have checked the site but can't find this list so I have no idea how they compiled it.

Posted on 3 Mar 2011 12:59:25 GMT
Paul B says:
Arthur Sullivan ahead of Johann Strauss II is a bit of a shocker too. Not that there's anything wrong with that of course. I suppose it must include all the amateur G&S performances around the world, of which there must be at least one a week somewhere or other.

Posted on 3 Mar 2011 13:14:13 GMT
Last edited by the author on 3 Mar 2011 13:17:30 GMT
I strongly suspect this is a USA only listing. As I had no idea who William Bolcom was and why he was as popular as Delius, I looked him up. He is a fairly prolific composer (eight symphonies for example) and had a whole festival devoted to his music in 2007 (in Minnesota) and another extensive outing at a festival in 2009. He also puts up a reasonable showing on Amazon.co.uk but mainly of songs as part of anthologies.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Mar 2011 13:34:30 GMT
I suppose in some ways a list that counted 'concert-hours' rather than number of performances would be more revealing. This would presumably see Mahler and Wagner placed much higher with Ravel and Debussy somewhat lower. Also, I suspect that Schumann and Chopin would have fared less well in any year other than 2010.

Posted on 3 Mar 2011 16:04:50 GMT
What would be really interesting is toi see how such a list moved, year on year, or even just by decade.

Posted on 3 Mar 2011 16:17:28 GMT
I found the list by a different route and it does claim to be compiled worldwide. I find the ranking of Schumann (though one of my favourites) quite high but as JR has said he, along with Mendelssohn, has just had an anniversary.

Wagner is one of the mainstays of the operatic repertory and most major houses usually include at least one of his works each year. Having said that, he is expensive to stage and they will generally do less performances in a run than, say, a Verdi or Puccini opera. He still must get quite a few concert performances of overures and excerpts. I seem to remember that in the 70s Mahler leapt from nowhere into the top 10 performed composers in the UK and has stayed there ever since; perhaps he is not as popular worldwide.

Posted on 3 Mar 2011 16:33:42 GMT
Nugent Dirt says:
I guess the low positions of some composers like Bizet and Borodin are due to relatively low levels of output due to inconveniences like second jobs and premature death

Posted on 3 Mar 2011 17:02:29 GMT
All sorts of factors come into play. Mozart (1) and Schubert (8) both died in their 30s but were astonishingly prolific (as well as geniuses of the highest order); most of Mozart's output of great music came in about a decade. Borodin and Bizet had relatively small outputs but also are simply not in the same class (however much we might like them).

Early composers seem to be less frequently performed with Monteverdi, Schutz, Purcell and Telemann all ranking a long way down the table.

Overall I don't think this table tells us much about musical quality. Is Jennifer Higdon (93) a greater composer than Bellini (126), Wolf (115) or Massenet (99)?

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Mar 2011 17:10:52 GMT
Martin says:
So how does Karl Jenkins fit into all this? Surely he's been no.1 for quite some time?

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Mar 2011 17:46:42 GMT
Another reason for Mozart's placing (not that I would have no quibble with it anyway purely on the grounds of quality) is his versatility. If you're putting on a chamber concert or a solo instrumentalist, then Mahler or Wagner or Bruckner offer pretty meagre pickings. With Mozart, on the other hand, there is a masterpiece available whatever the forces that you're programming for.

Posted on 3 Mar 2011 18:21:25 GMT
Piso Mojado says:
Good points about concert-hours, life-spans, &tc. Surprising that Humperdinck stands as high as he does, as only one or two works are performed; . Remove Prokofiev's piano works, and I doubt he'd out-rank Shostakovich. Wagner, Bruckner, and Mahler with only a dozen or so works lasting hours each surely would need to be weighted; otherwise, such lists are pretty meaningless. One performance of all of Grieg's "Lyric Pieces" or Mendelssohn's "Songs without Words" could catapult them into higher place.

Posted on 3 Mar 2011 21:00:15 GMT
Androcleas says:
Interesting if the survey includes Russia. A lot of classical music gets performed in Russia. Might explain the high rating (top 20) of Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Rachmaninov etc. but also less likely names like Minkus at No. 73. Schnittke, Glazunov, Khachaturian, Scriabin, Borodin, Glinka. Mussorgsky and Rimsky Korsakov also made quiote a showing (at the higher end of the list).

It might also explain why Wagner, Mahler, and Bruckner are lower than expected, as these composers arten't seen so often in Russia. Wagner particularly is hardly ever performed.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Mar 2011 23:03:39 GMT
JayJayDee says:
Anonymous is overrated.

Posted on 4 Mar 2011 01:12:05 GMT
These lists irritate me. I find them subjective and largely based on anecdotal experience rather than empirical data.

Mahler clearly is in the top ten, I'd say top five in this decade. He's always on the seasonal offering of every main and not-so-mainstream symphonic repertoire.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Mar 2011 09:10:51 GMT
Nugent Dirt says:
But who says they're not in the same class. That's what i'd like to know. If something isn't quantifiable then they're not truly comparable. Saying
whether composer A is better than B is purely down to personal opionion whatever musicologists and pro critics say.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Mar 2011 09:16:48 GMT
Nugent Dirt says:
It's not a best of list though but a list of the number of performances for each composer in 2010. I guess where the data falls down is on audience numbers. Wagner may be lower than Mozart but each Wagner performance may attract audiences of 2,000 plus. I'd also guess that many of the Mozart performances are for chamber works and piano sonatas
where audience figures are possibly much lower

Posted on 4 Mar 2011 10:11:24 GMT
Ryan: It is your reaction that is 'anecdotal'; InstantEncore's figures are empirical - they counted all performances worldwide (no doubt they missed some but that is irrelevant). I would have expected Mahler to be higher but he isn't, feeling he ought to be doesn't change the figures. I would rather listen to Mahler than Prokofiev any day and Bizet's Carmen than anything by Puccini but it doesn't alter the number of performances these people have counted.

'whether composer A is better than B is purely down to personal opionion whatever musicologists and pro critics say'. No it isn't. There are ways of evaluating composers and their works. You liking Borodin to bits isn't going to make him as great as J S Bach. In crude terms the list shows these differences but it is not infallible; Mozart wasn't performed 3000 times against 94 for Borodin just by chance and people didn't go to the Mozart concerts because a musicologist told them he was a great composer.

In the end, the list they produced is interesting but won't make much difference to my listening or my opinions.

Posted on 4 Mar 2011 10:31:52 GMT
I'm surprised at Ravel's high placing in relation to his relatively small output - I wonder where he'd be on the list if the 'B' word wasn't part of the equation?

Posted on 4 Mar 2011 11:48:42 GMT
Last edited by the author on 4 Mar 2011 12:04:55 GMT
SCH: I'm fairly surprised at Ravel's high placing but doubt if Bolero has anything to do with it - I have only encountered it once in live performance (it was a thrilling spectacle). He is very highly regarded as a composer for the piano. His output is quite small (two discs worth) but it gets played a lot.

Here is another list:
1. Ludwig Van Beethoven - 1770-1827
2. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - 1756-1791
3. Johann Sebastian Bach - 1685-1750
4. Richard Wagner - 1813-1883
5. Joseph Haydn - 1732-1809
6. Johannes Brahms - 1833-1897
7. Franz Schubert - 1797-1828
8. Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky - 1840-1893
9. George Frideric Handel - 1685-1759
10. Igor Stravinsky - 1882-1971
11. Robert Schumann - 1810-1856
12. Frederic Chopin - 1810-1849
13. Felix Mendelssohn - 1809-1847
14. Claude Debussy - 1862-1918
15. Franz Liszt - 1811-1886
16. Antonin Dvorak - 1841-1904
17. Giuseppe Verdi - 1813-1901
18. Gustav Mahler - 1860-1911
19. Hector Berlioz - 1803-1869
20. Antonio Vivaldi - 1678-1741

This comes from http://digitaldreamdoor.com/pages/best-classic-comp.html

'Criteria: - Composers are ranked for their innovation and influence,
as well as their aesthetic importance and historical significance'

The full list has 100 composers, who made the choice or decided on 'aesthetic importance etc' I have no idea - it is obviously highly subjective. There is not a single living composer on the list. Whether it is of any value I have no idea but a ranking based on number of performances is pretty crude. As JF suggested some historical context may be of more value, possibly the same list 5, 10 or even 50 years ago. Fifty years ago would probably be the most illuminating but unlikely to be available; I suspect InstantEncore gather their information from the internet.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Mar 2011 12:15:26 GMT
Nugent Dirt says:
What ways are these then? Surely the reason Mozart is performed more than Borodin is because he's much more famous. But as everyone know fame does'nt often have anything to do with quality but everything to do with fashion trends, marketing hype etc

Posted on 4 Mar 2011 12:36:06 GMT
ND: Why is Mozart much more famous? Why was he regarded as one of the greats before Borodin was even born? Before marketing and hype became influential he was regarded as a great composer. Josef Haydn (who knew a bit about music) said Mozart was the greatest composer known to him. In the short term inferior music can be hyped but not for 250 years.

If you really think it is all just a matter of opinion why bother asking other people's in this forum, surely your own is just as good. Do you really think all composers are equal and there is no way of telling that one is better than another? By mentioning 'quality' you are acknowledging its existence so you must think there is some way of determining quality or distinguishing good from hyped rubbish.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Mar 2011 14:46:33 GMT
Nugent Dirt says:
Often the consensus view tallies with my own so that's why I ask for opinions. E.g.I think everyone who likes CM would agree LvB is the greatest symphonist ever although there's no empirical way of proving he's better than the rest. General wisdom has it Tchaik's ballets are the best and I sure dont disagree. The thing with CM is that though there's stuff that does'nt float my boat I cant say any of it's rubbish. It's easier to say why much pop and rock's poor quality e.g. high levels of repetition, persistent use of basic 4/4 rhythms, formulaic approach to songwriting using the verse-chorus format in major keys, predicatability etc

Posted on 4 Mar 2011 16:04:41 GMT
'It's easier to say why much pop and rock's poor quality e.g. high levels of repetition, persistent use of basic 4/4 rhythms, formulaic approach to songwriting using the verse-chorus format in major keys, predicatability etc'

You can find all this in classical music as well and it means the same thing, poor quality music. You can also carry out more detailed or sophisticated analysis. A complex piece of music isn't always a good piece but it is usually an indication that higher levels of intellect have been used to compose it. Beethoven's symphonies aren't considered the best because they have nice tunes; if that was the sole criterion you would probably have to choose Boccherini. Beethoven took the existing musical procedures and created a new style of dramatic symphony. There had been drama before in symphonies (Haydn's 'Sturm und Drang' symphonies). He created complex symphonic structures but that had been done before by Mozart and Haydn. Beethoven combined all these aspects into a new kind of symphony and most of the 19th century composers followed on from him. That is a very simple analysis but it is the sort of thing musicologists do at a far more sophisticated level. It enables them judge the quality of a piece of music just as you did with your analysis of rock/pop. Even so a piece of music might tick all the boxes in terms of structure, complexity, harmonic sophistication etc etc and still fall flat for a listener. Again, this rarely happens with Beethoven (the exceptions frequent this forum from time to time) and it is possible to be knocked out by one of his symphonies without understanding any of the structure etc. This is why he is a great composer, he performs at all levels. Some composers, notably Dvorak and Tchaikovsky, are criticised for structural weaknesses but the beauty of the their melodies (another unquantifiable thing), and the drama of their music carry them through and in any case both were intellectual composers, capable of creating large-scale symphonic structures when they wanted to. Analysis can only go so far but it is useful.

You can only judge a composer on what he wrote or what survives. If Borodin had spent less time researching. teaching, serving on government comittees, doing charitable work, organising other people etc etc he might have written more. He didn't and much of what survives was revised, rewritten and simply invented by Glazunov and Rimsky-Korsakov. Some of it is first rate stuff but there is only a small amount of it and you can't judge him by what-ifs. What survives qualifies him as a great composer but not one of the very best.

After a hundred years, after a composer's death or in some cases before all the hype, adulation and marketing dies down and great music survives. It might get lost and be revived (JS Bach, Schubert) or its time might come in the way it did for Mahler. Mahler is a good example. He was controversial in his lifetime but reasonably sucessful as a composer. After his premature death he wasn't neglected (despite the mythology) but his music spread slowly and received a decent number of performances. From the mid-50s onwards the number of performances increased and so did the number of recordings, primarily because of the invention of the LP. From the 60s onwards a massive bandwagon started rolling with lots of hype, marketing, silly films etc. He is now established as a great composer and a very popular one (I know not everybody, you included, like him) and he has survived all the circus intact. He did this because he wrote great music.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Mar 2011 17:02:04 GMT
Nugent Dirt says:
Fair enough GC. I take on board what you say with interest. I guess Borodin's main interest was chemistry after all. I just find him a uniquely interesting fella, that he could come up with some great music as a hobbyist while holding down a high-powered career doing something utterly different.
‹ Previous 1 2 3 4 Next ›
[Add comment]
Add your own message to the discussion
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Prompts for sign-in
 


Recent discussions in the classical music discussion forum (972 discussions)

Discussion Replies Latest Post
What Are You Listening To Right Now II 4971 1 hour ago
Help on Karajan box set? 6 17 hours ago
A drink of cool May water 15 1 day ago
The death of the forum 168 2 days ago
Is there a DVD of Elgar's "The Kingdom" out there... 12 3 days ago
What Do You Have On Order? 1478 6 days ago
Upcoming releases 257 7 days ago
Heads Up 891 8 days ago
Premature deaths 21 9 days ago
Vivaldi 26 9 days ago
Pristine 10 17 days ago
Local music. 13 18 days ago

More Customer Discussions

Most active community forums
Most active product forums

Amazon forums
 

This discussion

Participants:  24
Total posts:  76
Initial post:  3 Mar 2011
Latest post:  7 Feb 2013

New! Receive e-mail when new posts are made.

Search Customer Discussions