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William Shakespeare vs J. S. Bach

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Poll Question: Who dop you consider more of a genius?
Poll Choice Votes Poll Statistics
3 [30.00%]
7 [70.00%]
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The Pessimist View Drop Down
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    Posted: 22 Apr 2010 at 9:07am
So who is more of a genius in your opinion? The Englishman who revolutionarised the English Language, of the German who revolutionarised the tonal system and harmony in music?

Take your pick.

I pick Bach, simply because I can appreciate his work more.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote thellama73 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Apr 2010 at 10:14am
I am not too much of a fan of either. Shakespeare is often hackneyed and Bach is overly academic. However, when it comes to raw talent, there's no denying that Bach is way ahead. Have you ever tried to write a fugue? It's insanely hard, and this man could improvise them on command. I'd like to see Shakespeare improvise a play off the top of his head.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Pessimist Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Apr 2010 at 11:35am
You can't really compare a Fugue to a play. A Fugue is about 6 pages long, maximum. A play can be a few thousand pages long, so there is no comparison. Comparing an oratorio to a play would be more legit, and I doubt there is a single human throughout history that could improvise either of those things.
 
And Shakespeare could probably improvise a monologue of superb intricacy, which I'd say is about the same magnitude in difficulty to write as a Fugue.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote thellama73 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Apr 2010 at 11:43am
Having spent a semester attempting it, I believe that writing a good fugue is much harder than writing a good monologue, but obviously it's a matter of opinion.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Pessimist Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Apr 2010 at 11:55am
Depends where your talents lie I suppose. I'm a music student so I wouldn't even know where to start with a monologue or soliloquy; however I HAVE written a few fugues in the past, and although incredibly hard (I agree with you on that one), still not as hard as a monologue in my opinion. Whereas I doubt a playwrite would be able to write a fugue very effectively.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote topofsm Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Apr 2010 at 1:03pm
Originally posted by thellama73 thellama73 wrote:

Having spent a semester attempting it, I believe that writing a good fugue is much harder than writing a good monologue, but obviously it's a matter of opinion.
 
A monlogue is rather short, I think the comparison would be more easily made to a scene or an act in a play. And, of course, it can be rather simple to write one, but not so much on the intricacy and mastery of language of Shakespeare.
 
I may be a musically oriented person, but I am confounded by Shakespeare's ability do do what he did. I will buffer the bias from this music site a bit by voting for the bard.
Lost respect for these archives when I saw Creed added, among other bands. Not going to be foruming here anymore. You can keep my reviews if you want.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Pessimist Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Apr 2010 at 6:04pm
That is exactly what I like to see

By the way topofsm, are you going to produce any metal collages while you're here? I'd love to see a few
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote J-Man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Apr 2010 at 6:26pm
Bach is a musical genius.

Shakespeare is a genius of playwrite.

Those points are both undeniable. It simply boils down to personal taste, and for me, it's got to be Johann Sebastian on this one. Big smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Any Colour You Like Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Apr 2010 at 6:54pm
Apart from the fact you cannot compare them, Shakespeare is an undeniable monolithic figure in western literature and society.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NJCat_11 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Apr 2010 at 7:38pm
As much as I love Shakespeare, Bach is perhaps the most prolific composer in history (although I prefer Vivaldi).  Both Shakespeare and Bach revolutionized their respective fields but I much prefer music to literature.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The T 666 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Apr 2010 at 8:52pm
For me there's no question. My more than 25 cd's of his music should be a telling sign of my preference. What he did with a language that is totally abstract is absolutely majestic, and will never be equaled. Whoever says that his music is purely academic has never really heard it, for it can reach one's soul and heart as easily as a romantic. 

Shakespeare is a genius on its own right. But for me the greatest artist of all time PERIOD in all regards is and will always be Johann Sebastian Bach. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NJCat_11 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Apr 2010 at 9:45pm
One way to piss off a classical music connoisseur:

Refer to Bach's Toccata & Fugue in D minor as "that Halloween song."
Absolute masterpiece.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote thellama73 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Apr 2010 at 9:52pm
Originally posted by The T 666 The T 666 wrote:

Whoever says that his music is purely academic has never really heard it, for it can reach one's soul and heart as easily as a romantic.


Don't get me wrong, The Brandenburg Concertos are magnificent and much of his violin music and orchestral works are as well. But I've mainly studied his keyboard works and I feel that in much of it (certainly not all) he tends to get so caught up in intervals, parallel fifth, thematic transposition and so forth that he forgot to write music.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The T 666 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Apr 2010 at 11:18pm
I see what you mean. Of course sitting through all 48 prelude and fugues of Das Well Tempered Klavier is quite an undertaking, but when he writes beautiful music, he can't be touched. And as irreligious as I am, the only moments when I doubt my doubts occur when I listen to the kind of unearthly sounds that this man composed for a higher power that he only saw in his heart... No academicism there... Just art of the highest kind.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NJCat_11 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Apr 2010 at 11:40pm
Originally posted by The T 666 The T 666 wrote:

I see what you mean. Of course sitting through all 48 prelude and fugues of Das Well Tempered Klavier is quite an undertaking, but when he writes beautiful music, he can't be touched. And as irreligious as I am, the only moments when I doubt my doubts occur when I listen to the kind of unearthly sounds that this man composed for a higher power that he only saw in his heart... No academicism there... Just art of the highest kind.


One of my favorite examples of this would be St. Matthew Passion (Mathaus Passion).


Edited by NJCat_11 - 22 Apr 2010 at 11:41pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote topofsm Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Apr 2010 at 11:55am
Originally posted by The Pessimist The Pessimist wrote:

That is exactly what I like to see

By the way topofsm, are you going to produce any metal collages while you're here? I'd love to see a few
 
No sir, I made my avatar with MS Paint and it took longer than anyone should take on an avatar. That and Henry from PA put the lens flare in it. Tongue
Lost respect for these archives when I saw Creed added, among other bands. Not going to be foruming here anymore. You can keep my reviews if you want.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Harry Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Apr 2010 at 3:14am
I never "got" Shakespeare.
It just never clicked as particularly interesting to me.
Bach however, is the man.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Raff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Apr 2010 at 6:59am
Since this is a music forum, it's not surprising that Bach is running away with this poll. In my personal opinion, it's very much an 'apples and oranges' question - comparing a writer with a composer (or a painter, for that matter) is next to impossible. Anyway, being more familiar with Shakespeare's work than Bach's (I have a degree in English Literature, after all), I'll give my vote to the Bard, who wrote some of the most beautiful (and true) words on the human condition that I have ever happened to read.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Henry Plainview Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Apr 2010 at 12:54am
Shakespeare, of course. Nobody impacted Western culture the way Shakespeare did. Music may be important, but we speak with words.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Time Signature Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Apr 2010 at 3:40am
I can't even begin to compare them, so I haven't voted. They were geniuses within two very different spheres of art. I think that Shakespeare may be more important in the sense that more people are exposed to his works - I mean Shakespeare is typically a compulsory topic in secondary and university level courses. But of course, that's poopular opinion, and it doesn't say much about the genius of Shakespeare or Bach, but about the importance/accessibility of the media they worked within.

Like Raff, I have a degree in English language and literature, so I've read my share of Shakespeare, and I've found that I actually do not like to read Shakespeare's plays. I prefer to watch theatrical or cinematic interpretations. And that's how the plays were intended to be experienced - in some form of stage drama. I feel that it's when you see how his plays can be interpreted over and over again in very different way that you see what his genius really was.
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