>...I definitely think he should have. And in my original post, I somehow
>omitted the Serenade for String Orchestra. I can envision Tchaikovsky
>thumbing his nose at his critics while composing this: "Look what I can
>do with only a scale."
Very good. And in further support of Tchaikovsky, let me compare him
to Chopin for a minute, a composer who obviously has no chance of making
Steve's list, but, there's an important attribute I feel they share.
Both composers often receive short shrift for their handling of form.
Yet both composers eventually displayed their transcendental mastery of
form, by going their own way. See the B-minor sonata and the Pathetique.
But wait, there's less. Steve knocks Beethoven off his pedestal a bit,
making some comments about mastery of form and the songs. But does
Beethoven really have real issues with form? Steve mentioned writings
of Toch and Williams. Bernstein and Tovey say quite the opposite. And
even if you agree with the former scholars, they're not accusing him of
having gaping holes in his musical architecture, are they? I feel he's
just getting, as I say, knocked down off his pedestal a bit.
As for the songs, I strongly disagree with Steve on this. I love the
songs. Beethoven's songs are perhaps not on the level of Wolf and
Schubert. Are Machaut's? (Poor early composers. I'd hate to be referred
to posterity as "Anaheim".)
Beethoven is my choice, both intuitively and using Steve's suggested
means of analysis. Beethoven is a shoo-in for 1, 3, 4, and 5. 2:
Beethoven was clearly "proficient" in song-writing. "Having or marked
by an advanced degree of competence, as in an art, vocation, profession,
or branch of learning." He was no hack. See: "Adelaide", "Der Kusse",
just as examples. And despite only one opera, he was clearly no hack
at that either.
Let's give it up for Beethoven, after all!