Classical music critic Anthony Tommasini issued his final list of the 10 greatest composers in history in the Sunday edition of the New York Times, and for the record, his choices (“strike-outs” are mine) were:

1) Johann Sebastian Bach
2) Ludwig van Beethoven
3) Wolfgang Mozart
4)  Franz Schubert
5)  Claude Debussy
6)  Igor Stravinsky
7) Johannes Brahms
8)  Giuseppe Verdi
9)  Richard Wagner
10) Bela Bartok

His top three leave little to argue with (especially Bach at No. 1), but let me add to the din of disappointment at the exclusion of Gustav Mahler (pictured below), a serious no-brainer selection. (Yet he cites Debussy, too highly I think. How about a run-’em together debussyravel?) Stravinsky is unquestionable, so here are the (very subjective) subs for Schubert, Debussy, Brahms, Verdi, Wagner — one Richard for another — and Bartok:

Gustav Mahler
Dmitri Shostakovich
Sergei Prokofiev
Frederic Chopin
Richard Strauss
Arnold Schoenberg

Also enjoyed reading of Tommasini’s affinity for Benjamin Britten, his surprise at the curious lack of support for the English composer among reader suggestions for the list, and that stronger championing by critics such as himself may be required.

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