Midge Woolsey

Playlist For January 26, 2012

Comments [5]

Dick Lopez from New York City

Dear Ms Woolsey,

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed listening to WQXR for years, but always with one continuing wish: that the station would play more classical guitar music (especially by the Master, Andrés Segovia). Here—however and at long last—I wish to thank the station in its new incarnation—and you in particular—for indeed realizing that wish. You seem to be a champion of the instrument, for which I am grateful. Come the station’s next fund-raising drive, I will heartily express that gratitude. Kudos, appreciation and thanks again to you and your programmers for the growing air time you’re giving to the beautiful sound and music of the classical guitar.

Jan. 26 2012 04:22 PM
Neil Schnall

Hi Midge,

I do greatly appreciate your reply. I was not meaning to fault you in any way there.

I have noticed that the playlist now cites Berlioz every time they play his arrangement of "Invitation", previously a noticeable omission. I am merely pointing to the fact that an orchestration or other arrangement such as a transcripton to other instruments, while it may have its own merits, is a different entity than the original. Repeatedly airing a piece ONLY in an arrangement other than the original has the overall effect of misleading the audience.

The new issue of Gramophone magazine has a review of Liszt's Piano Sonata in B minor in a transcription for organ. Of course, WQXR rarely if ever programs that piece of standard piano repertoire at all in any of dozens of available recordings (which I cannot fathom, but that's another story). However, if did choose to air it, but ONLY in the organ arrangement, would that be right? I doubt it.

Why then do we only get the Gershwin for clarinet or string trio and never (that I have heard) for piano?

I realize, Midge, that you do not make these choices. I'm trying to prod the programmers. Your performance is always a class act. Thanks again.


Jan. 26 2012 03:55 PM

Hi, Ashlynn - I enjoyed it. Thanks for the good idea!

Hi, Neil - Let me see what I can do. I will put in a request for Weber's original version of Invitation to the Dance for solo piano.

I apologize for neglecting to mention Berlioz as the man behind the orchestration. You are absolutely correct about his credit.

Thanks for listening!


Jan. 26 2012 01:13 PM

Thanks for playing my request. You're the best, Midge!

Jan. 26 2012 01:01 PM
Neil Schnall

The Brahms F minor Piano Quintet is a great favorite of mine. Nice to hear it; but this is the third time I have heard it played within the past week. Brahms wrote a great deal of other chamber music.

Re Weber's "Invitation to the Dance", I could've sworn Midge said the requester asked for Weber's "Invitation to the Dance". Weber's "Invitation to the Dance" is a work for piano solo. What we got, what we ALWAYS get, is the Berlioz orchestration.

I have suggested on numerous occasions that this station's policy should be to air original versions at least as often as transcriptions. Obstinately, however, this station NEVER airs the original Weber; or, for another example, Gershwin's "Preludes for Piano" FOR PIANO. I guess I should stop banging my head against that wall. The continued and continuing lack of responsiveness does not inspire willingness to contribute or support.

Jan. 26 2012 12:33 PM

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