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The French are going to be kicking off the World Cup of Compsers. Let’s take a look at the combatants.

In Baroque pool-play we have François Couperin (1668–1733), Jean-Baptiste Lully (1632–1687), Marc-Antoine Charpentier (1645–1704), and Jean-Phillippe Rameau (1683–1764).

While these are great and wonderful composers they might not have the endurance to keep up with the 19th and 20th Century Frogs.

Here is your French bracket. Berlioz is getting the top seed and is through to the second round.

Messian and Durufle refused to participate because they think this tournament idea is silly. Leo Delibes was too busy licensing his Flower Duet to yet another Hollywood production.

Fauré vs. Saint- Saëns

Dukas vs. Gounod

Massenet vs. Franck

Godard vs. Offenbach

Bizet vs. Chausson

Chabrier vs. Debussy

Ravel vs. Satie

In the first match Saint- Saëns dominated Fauré. While Fauré’s Requiem might one of the loveliest pieces of music ever written, Saint- Saëns has The Swan from Carnival of the Animals which is also lovely. Saint- Saëns also brings large scale works such as Samson et Dalila, his Symphony No. 3, and his piano concertos.

Dukas vs. Gounod was closer than we might imagine because Dukas got a lot of traction from his Sorcerer’s Apprentice becoming a Disney Icon. However, Gounod’s operas Faust and Romeo et Juliette carried him through to the next round.

Massenet vs. Franck was easily carried by Massenet. While Franck has his solid Symphony in D and Panis Angelicus, Massenet only needed to field his opera Werther to secure his spot in round two.

The composers through to the next French round after day one are: Berlioz, Saint- Saëns, Gounod, and Massenet.

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clavessin July 18, 2013 @ 3:09 p.m.

I tend to agree with Messian and Durufle on this one, but I just wanted to point out that dropping Rameau in favor of the likes of Gounod Bizet Satie etc is probably a rather marginal view of the relative importance of these composers. Not to mention dropping Debussy for your second round. The consensus seems to be more that the three greatest French composers are Rameau, Berlioz and Debussy.


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