<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by thornhill:<BR><STRONG>I strongly disagree with the statement that Beethoven is the greatest conductor.</STRONG><P>Composer?<P><BR><STRONG><BR>I don't think you can even begin to form an argument that anyone was better then J.S. Bach. While there is no doubt that Beethoven is currently the most popular composer, and I love him, Bach's work was far more ground breaking and influential. Take any music theory class, what you learn in it are Bach's thoughts on music theory. He's pretty much responsible for western music as we know it. His compositions are simply brilliant, they've managed to evolve like no other's.</STRONG><P>Maybe no one is <I>better</I> than Bach, but Beethoven is greater. I disagree that Bach was more ground-breaking and influential than Beethoven. Bach's great talent (to my ears) lay in his ability to create hundreds of works - now considered important - using the same basic style and format for all. He was, of course, restricted somewhat by his employment status and the need to change, but he never developed his composing to a point where we can say that it was ever forward-looking. The Baroque style itself was a limiting genre. Beethoven made music <I>evolve</I> at a time when it needed shaking up. Mozart's heir apparent could not have truly succeeded if he'd simply carried on writing the same kind of music, even if it happened to be better than Mozart's. He didn't choose it, of course, but Beethoven's arrival on the scene was perfect timing. He was able to reflect the turbulent times through which he lived in music, rewriting musical rules and redefining concepts in the highest art form of all, influencing forever all who follow him. No one will ever make the same impact, because anyone working within the boundaries which he created is, by the same token, restricted by them. <P><STRONG><BR>Mozart too was a better composer then Beethoven. He was far more prolific and a master off all forms of music. His brilliance ranged from the Opera to the Concerto to small Chamber works and sonata. Beethoven was never much of an Opera composer..... </STRONG><P>Mozart better? My earlier comment again applies.<P>Mozart more prolific? Well, yes, but I'm sure you'd agree that it's quality, not quantity, that should count. Mozart usualy wrote in order to put food on the table (and to feed his gambling habit); he was not so aware, or concerned (IMHO) of his place in history as Beethoven seems to have been. Of course, Mozart wrote brilliant operas. His output here means he tops even Verdi, in my view, but remember that there is a strong consensus of opinion which rates "Fidelio" as the greatest opera of them all. Whatever your view, it really is senseless to state that Beethoven "was never much of an opera composer".<P><BR><STRONG><BR>If you're going to proclaim someone the greatest composer of all time, you have to dig a little deeper then popularity. You need to be critical, and when you are critical about music, there really isn't any doubt that Bach was the greatest. Just look at his work from a theory point of view, it's perfect.</STRONG><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>There is more to music than theory. In fact, you may have touched on the basic difference between Bach and Beethoven: Bach - Clinical, textbook, perfect within the form; Beethoven - Passionate, caring, ever stretching beyond the form.<P>Bach can challenge your mind. Beethoven reaches your heart.