Anthony Tommasini, the chief music critic for the New York Times, has started the year with a playful way of finding out “what makes great music great?” To answer the question, he has invited readers to make a list of the Top 10 composers in history. And that invites answers to a series of secondary questions: “Should influence matter, or just the works themselves? What about popularity? Are there any objective criteria?” The Times will actually post a ballot next week. (Keep an eye on the ArtsBeat blog.) But, in the meantime, Tommasini has kicked off the project by posting a video (above) focusing on the towering Baroque composer, J.S. Bach. And, speaking of Bach, don’t miss our previous post showing where you can download the complete organ works of Johann Sebastian Bach for free. Thanks to Joshua and Robin for the tip on the NYTimes project!
A Young Glenn Gould Plays Bach
There was a series of articles by Benjamin Carlson on the Atlantic web site this past spring about listening to classical music that I liked and touched on similar themes as Tommasini:http://bit.ly/hYcYeu
Carlson writes with much more enthusiasm for his project, and is less condescending.
Thanks Mark, it’s good to know about that Atlantic series. Just started checking it out.