We have discussed great pioneers and radical composers who broke the mould and forged the future. But what about the big name composers who were the opposite? They might have been totally distinctive but perhaps they seemed also to have been looking backwards rather than to be inventing new musical languages. Did it matter that they were conservatives? Is it wrong to see their music as great and deep?
It it easy to identify examples in the last 120 years - Sibelius, Elgar, Shostakovich (perhaps) - but surely other centuries had great conservatives as well as radicals too?
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