True there are no great composers anymore, only great compositions. This is due to the fact that, with each succeeding generation, more of the low hanging fruit of available musical materials is gone, and what is left is only usable for one or a very limited number of compositions, forcing creative minds to delve ever deeper into exploration, and forcing listeners to perpetually confront new musical language and syntax with every new piece. Steve's assessment is exactly right about the death of something in the mid 70s. Whether or not that something is classical music is not evident to me, nor is it important. What is important is noting this tendency described above. I expect that we will continue to mourn the time when a more universal musical language enabled more of us to become really committed to classical music. That is gone. Probably none of us alive will know what replaces it.