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Thread: Wagner or Brahms?

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    Wagner or Brahms?

    I've been listening a lot to German orchestral music recently, and I thought I'd consult my fellow Skadites about two composers that I like.

    IMO, Wagner has great overtures, and scope of vision is much more ambitious. But I think Johannes Brahms is much more streamlined and to-the-point (not having hours of time-wasting superfluous notes, which Wagner sometimes has). Both are obviously disciples of Beethoven's music, but where Brahms always follows a clear tradition, Wagner is more bombastic and wants to create something new, much like Beethoven himself.

    Overall, I'm more inclined to go with Wagner. What do you guys think?

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    I agree with you, but I think Wagner is a bit more original.

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    Why do you have to choose one and reject the other? You're not marrying them.

    Both Wagner and Brahms wrote some of the most masterful and Germanic-spirited music ever written. Sometimes I feel like listening to one and sometimes the other. And sometimes Beethoven, or Bach, or Grieg.
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    I agree with the banned member that Wagner is more revolutionary and original, he really had a vision of his own. Whereas Brahms follows more clearly in the Beethoven tradition. But as I said before, Wagner's music does have its flaws too; much of his output is a bit haphazardly composed and has lots of superfluous notes. The good moments are often awesome, but sometimes they're far in between.

    Quote Originally Posted by Huginn ok Muninn View Post
    Why do you have to choose one and reject the other? You're not marrying them.
    I'm not rejecting either of them, don't be a drama queen. I was merely asking your opinion on these composers, and which you guys prefer.

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    Alfadur, it may be just chance that caused you to mention Wagner and Brahms in the same breath but for me that has great significance as they are my two favourite composers (with Beethoven a very close third), and I have listened to both of them today.

    Although they were contemporaries (Wagner 1813-1883, Brahms 1833-1897), they were seen as being in two opposing schools of music. Contrary to what one might assume, Brahms, despite being twenty years younger than Wagner was seen as being very traditional, old-fashioned even, whereas Wagner was considered revolutionary.

    Be that as it may, they both created wonderful unmistakably Germanic music.

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    Definitely Wagner. Hes much more visionary, much more spirited, much more heroic, and thus much more classical. Brahms is technically very good but is lacking in those. Wagner isn't as technically precise as Brahms but we're not drones here. I love Brahms for his technical sophistication but I find the spirit lacking in his music.
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    I haven't listened that much to Wagner, but what I heard sounded a lot like a movie soundtrack. I'm only familiar with the famous classics, though, so maybe I should listen to more before making a judgment.

    I haven't heard any Wagner stuff that compares to this beautiful music by Brahms:

    Brahms - Symphony No.3

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    I also prefer Wagner, for the reason other people brought up here. He was more original, inventive, and created amazing German-spirited music.

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    Alfie, this is such a trick question. Okay, it maybe had some relevance in the 1800s or so, but even then it was mostly media hype. Let's face it, you can't really isolate Wagner's music from the "total work of art". If you try to do this, it'll just miss the point of the music and totally detract from its appreciation. Listening to an epic Wagner opera on an ipod just completely obliterates the context of the music.

    If I would try and answer the original question, Brahms was a technically superior composer, but Wagner was a spiritually greater artist. IMO, it's the old "technician vs. artiste" question.

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    Schubert

    Seriously, given the choice between the two, Wagner, but Schubert is my all time favorite composer. Wagner is close behind.
    Let truth and falsehood grapple...truth is strong-
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