The idea, Kevin, of two categories of composer is very interesting! I love it. I have never heard of it before, but I certainly will start thinking of music more in this fashion from here on in. (How influential you are!
)<BR>I gave it some thought, and I must disagre somewhat though with your idea of Brahms perfecting the innovations of Beethoven-- simply because I don't find his work that much more refined or expressive than Beethoven's./ Brahms has always seemed to suffer from the stigma of being a bore, being very formulaic, etc. and I do see that. His work may have more of a full-bodied sound (which he was very fond of), but the emotional range is no larger than that of Beethoven's, assuming we grant him the notion he even got that far. <BR>But if we want to try and categorize composers like this (something that'll always be up for argument!), I'd offer this view:<BR>BAROQUE<BR>Bach: inventor Handel: inventor/perfector<BR>CLASSICAL<BR>Haydn: inventor Mozart: perfector<BR>ROMANTIC<BR>Beethoven:inventor/perfector (idealistic romantic) <P>Now it gets trickier:<P>Schumann: attempted perfector (romantic)<BR>Lizst: inventor (eclectic romantic)<BR>Brahms: neutral (smoothed out Beethoven, if you will)<BR>Schubert: neutral (emulated Beethoven)<BR>Chopin: perfector (romantic)<BR>Saint Saens: perfector (French romantic)<BR>Berlioz: inventor (eclectic French romantic)<BR>Debussy, Satie, etc.: inventor (low-key romantic)<BR>Wagner, Mahler: inventor (heavy-handed, imperious romantic)<BR>Mendelssohn: inventor ("postmodern" classical/romantic hybrid)<P>MODERN<BR>I won't comment as I do not listen to modern classical music. I'm not fond of it at all, actually.<P>This list of mine will surely be struck down by others, which is fine; this is just my view of it. But I also feel that "Romantic" music after B. took off in different directions, with those like Schumann who believed B. was the apotheosis, others like Wagner who tried to do "better" than B., and those who simply went their own way (Satie). But I'm not very clear on this sort of distinction, so if anyone can help clarify this post-Beethoven branching or help reorganize my list, please let me know.