Bryan Caplan raises the question, in a post that offers a very good description of my view on the arts and modernity.
My list is Bach, Handel, Purcell, Scarlatti, Rameau, in that order. What about Vivaldi? Corelli? They are next in line for me. Monteverdi comes in second if you count him as Baroque (I don’t). What are your picks?
And to pursue Bryan’s question, who are the five best punk rock bands? The Clash, The Sex Pistols, early XTC, Iggy Pop, and maybe The Ramones. Honorable mention goes to The Minutemen, Wire, MC5, Rancid, The Dead Kennedys, and The New York Dolls. X seems overrated to me, and Patti Smith and Sonic Youth and Velvet Underground I don’t quite count as punk, though I like their work and think it is important. For that matter I wonder if Eugene Chadbourne might count.
I don’t agree with Bryan that the fifth best punk rock group is better than the fifth best Baroque composer, but I will say this: Baroque style dominated European music for many decades, whereas most of the best punk was from an unrespected niche genre produced in about a five-year time window.