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The best composer that ever lived


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Is John Williams the best composer that ever lived?  

63 members have voted

  1. 1.

    • Yes, absolutely. He even beats Mozart and Beethoven. Just listen to the Star Wars and Harry Potter scores, and you know.
      13
    • He IS one of the best, but not the very best.
      24
    • If it weren't for Hans Zimmer (or Elfman, Horner, etc.) he would be, sure.
      1
    • He is the best FILM composer, but let's not get carried away.
      22
    • No way. He is way overrated, even today.
      3


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Rather a hard question, this. John Williams is certainly the composer I consider to be best. He wrote the most music I like and almost all the best music I like. I like works from other movie composers too (especially John Debney's Cutthroat Island), but I reckon John Williams is the best composer. I personally don't like classical music too much (I find it much more dull and boring and it certainly has no action in it), so I cannot make a good judgment on this issue. I am highly biased in the favour of John Williams. 8O

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This is all highly subjective, sure, but you have to ask yourself this: What other composers have written music that I like more, or what other composers have written more music that I like than JW. If you can't name anyone, than (for you at least) he's certainly the best.

:mrgreen:

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A toughy, to besure.......he is certainly the best living composer IMHO......but the best of all time? No - I don't think so.......

Greg - who went for the second option.....

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Ah you know what, I just voted for the first option: he is THE best.

Because; there is NO way in hell that anyone will ever be able to claim with any certainly who IS the best composer of all time, because such a thing simply doesn't exist.

For me; John Williams IS the best. For someone else: Bruch and for another: 50 Cent.

What happened? Who cares!

I get a little tired of the word "overrated" by the way. It could be the most used word on this board and for that reason the word "overrated" is even overrated!

Again; what device does one use to determine whether something is overrated or not? I would sure like to know, because I don't have it.

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My option isn't up there. I would have gone for:

He is ONE of the best film composers who ever lived, but let's not get carried away.

I think he share's the "best ever film composer" title with Herrman and Steiner, with Waxman, Rosza, and Korngold close behind.

Of the selections I voted for 4 which is closest to my answer.

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I'm sorry there Vosk. Had to use it again. It's nothing personal at all. Please remember that. I just find your remark, well, simply a classic! :mrgreen:

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I think of what i have heard, he is the best film composer ever. BUt i havent heard much of the golden age (and it has to be named golden age for something) composers.

He is the Best of his time, IMO

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Again; there is not really a way to conclude who is "the best". There is a core of composers who can easily be considered as the best film composers of all time. All of them have been mentioned in this thread (except Morricone). To call anyone of these "THE BEST" sounds reasonable. It comes down to personal taste in the end.

And so what if someone calls Hans Zimmer the best? The man changed film music; that's not something that any composer claim to have achieved.

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I'm sorry there Vosk. Had to use it again. It's nothing personal at all. Please remember that. I just find your remark, well, simply a classic! :|

hehe, Not a problem man. I got a good chuckle out of it.

It comes down to personal taste in the end.

Exactly! No composer is really "The Best" composer, it's just as you said a matter of personal taste.

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For me, he is the greatest film composer, and he trully advanced this art form on all levels.

I don't have the arrogance nor the knowledge to put him up there with Beethoven or Wagner. JW is by far my favorite composer ever...but it's much easier to choose a favorite than an absolute best.

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I don't have the arrogance nor the knowledge to put him up there with Beethoven or Wagner. JW is by far my favorite composer ever...but it's much easier to choose a favorite than an absolute best.

Well said.

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Williams v any other primarily film composer (ie not those classical giants who wrote the odd film score)? Williams

Williams v Bach? Bach

Williams v Beethoven? Beethoven

Williams v Mozart? Mozart

etc

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Williams v any other primarily film composer (ie not those classical giants who wrote the odd film score)? Williams

Williams v Bach? Bach

Williams v Beethoven? Beethoven

Williams v Mozart? Mozart

etc

I'm sorry, but Williams destroys Bach, as do most composers of any era. I would mention Vivaldi way before I say Bach's name. Other then that, it's hard to say he's the best ever as far as composers go. You can analyze his music and come up with a great argument, but to have Williams demolish Wagner, Dvorak, Tchaikovsky, Rachmoninov...

Let's not get carried away. Best film composer, and one of the best overall. I wouldn't feel right saying the best though.

Tim

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This is something I'd expect from a teeny-bopper-pre-GoF Potter fan who loved the music in the first three films.

I don't have the arrogance nor the knowledge to put him up there with Beethoven or Wagner. JW is by far my favorite composer ever...but it's much easier to choose a favorite than an absolute best.

I agree with this to the point that I always consider what my favourite JW score is as opposed to the best score when presented with the latter question. You've hit it on the head, Merkel!

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I'm sorry, but Williams destroys Bach

Can he improvise a six-part fugue? Even if that story may not be true, looking at some of the things Bach has written shows that, like him or not, few composers come close.

Marian - who should try and listen to The Art of Fugue again.

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I'm sorry, but Williams destroys Bach

Can he improvise a six-part fugue? Even if that story may not be true, looking at some of the things Bach has written shows that, like him or not, few composers come close.

Marian - who should try and listen to The Art of Fugue again.

Williams destroys Bach.

Tim

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I'm sorry, but Williams destroys Bach

Can he improvise a six-part fugue? Even if that story may not be true, looking at some of the things Bach has written shows that, like him or not, few composers come close.

Marian - who should try and listen to The Art of Fugue again.

Williams destroys Bach.

Tim

The Brandenburg Concertos are better than anything JW has, is or will write.

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I took the second option.

The problem is, that one can not compare Bach and Williams (or Mozart and Williams,

or Beethoven and Williams, or...)

Personally, I love many of Bach´s works, and many of Williams´ works.

But they lived in different times with different background.

Williams is writing music for film, Bach wrote mainly Church music.

I guess every century has it´s great composers and for me, Williams is one of the best

of the 20th/21st century, along with Copland, Mahler, Strauss, Takemitsu and others.

Btw, did anyone notice that Bach has not scored a single major blockbuster? :|

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Option one. You expect me to pick another option while listening to Love Theme From Superman?

Richard Strauss? LOL

You beat me to it.

Neil

:|

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Best Film Composer: Bernard Herrmann

Best Living Composer: John Adams

Best Dead Film Composer: Jerry Goldsmith

Best Dead Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Best Barely Alive Composer: John Williams

Best Film Composer to die next: Take up pick. John Williams, Maurice Jarre, John Barry, Quincy Jones, Philip Glass.

Best Newcomer to Film music: Joby Talbot

Best Young Composer to watch out for: Joby Talbot

Best stop here.

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Best Barely Alive Composer:  John Williams  

Best Film Composer to die next:  Take up pick.  John Williams, Maurice Jarre, John Barry, Quincy Jones, Philip Glass.

Wrong!!!

Longest-living composer: John Williams 8O

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I'm sorry, but Williams destroys Bach

Can he improvise a six-part fugue? Even if that story may not be true, looking at some of the things Bach has written shows that, like him or not, few composers come close.

Marian - who should try and listen to The Art of Fugue again.

Williams destroys Bach.

Tim

The Brandenburg Concertos are better than anything JW has, is or will write.

Williams flat out destroys Bach. I use the Brandenburg Concertos sheet music as kindling.

Tim

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I'm sorry, but Williams destroys Bach

Can he improvise a six-part fugue? Even if that story may not be true, looking at some of the things Bach has written shows that, like him or not, few composers come close.

Marian - who should try and listen to The Art of Fugue again.

Williams destroys Bach.

Tim

The Brandenburg Concertos are better than anything JW has, is or will write.

Williams flat out destroys Bach. I use the Brandenburg Concertos sheet music as kindling.

Tim

I assume by your complete lack of argument that you mean simply that you prefer Williams' music to that of Bach. In which case fair dos, everyone's allowed their opinion, no matter how absurd and inane. Perhaps you like the fact that Williams uses more modern harmonies and a grander orchestra that wasn't around in Bach's time. Perhaps you enjoy the colours in Williams orchestration that Bach didn't use, Bach having written relatively little orchestral music. Perhaps you don't like chamber music or music composed for church services. But we'll never know until you present an argument.

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I'm sorry, but Williams destroys Bach, as do most composers of any era.  

8O 8O 8O ROTFLMAOROTFLMAOROTFLMAOROTFLMAOROTFLMAOROTFLMAOROTFLMAOROTFLMAOROTFLMAOROTFLMAOROTFLMAOROTFLMAOROTFLMAOROTFLMAOROTFLMAOROTFLMAOROTFLMAOROTFLMAOROTFLMAO

That made my whole day, thanks!

Bach doesn't hold up to Vivaldi, Teleman or Handel. I'm not saying he wasn't a key figure in musical development, it would be naive to think that. But to say he's the be all and end all, and to say he's better then any of the serious Classical and Romantic composers or most contemporary composers like Williams, who has more complexities in his pinky then Bach did in all of his fingers is also naive. Bach began something that started a whole new life in music, but it doesn't end with him, and more prolific composers have done better.

Tim

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But to say he's the be all and end all, and to say he's better then any of the serious Classical and Romantic composers or most contemporary composers like Williams, who has more complexities in his pinky then Bach did in all of his fingers is also naive.  Bach began something that started a whole new life in music, but it doesn't end with him, and more prolific composers have done better.

Tim

You honestly accuse Bach's music of being less complex than that of John Williams? Now who's being naive? Have you ever taken the time to analyze a Bach fugue. The linear intricacy, motivic development, counterpoint and inernal structure is far more complex than anything Williams has offered. And as for your final comment, do you even know what the word prolific means? Bach's output was almost super-human! His complete works FILL almost 200 CDs! Name a single composer more prolific than that.

I hate having to make negative comments about John Williams, who is one of my all-time favourite composers, but I couldn't ignore your last post. You made a sweeping negative statement about the music of Bach when you clearly know next to nothing about it, and that's really sad.

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