Romeo & Juliet

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Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Valentine's Day is fast approaching and we want to know who wrote the most romantic Romeo and Juliet: Tchaikovsky, Berlioz or Prokofiev? You told us it was Tchaikovsky and we played it today at 12 noon.





Comments [88]

I voted for Prokoviev, but Tchaikovsky won the vote. I had the opportunity to listen, then, uninterrupted to the Tchiakovsky version. What a pleasure. There were certainly no losers in this friendly showdown. What a positive force for humanity we find in classical music.

Feb. 09 2011 02:33 PM
Robert Marcus from Brooklyn, NY

If one is almost out of debt, it can be said that one Berlioz....

Feb. 09 2011 12:01 PM
Tom Avakian from Red Bank, NJ

Prokofiev depicts this tragic love with an emotional depth not achieved by either Berlioz or Tchaikovsky. The final pas de deux, with Romeo and the dead Juliet, is one of the finest artistic moments ever.

Feb. 09 2011 11:59 AM
Frank Young

I was listening in my car. I hope I got home in time to vote.

Feb. 09 2011 11:58 AM
Stan from Redding, CT

Berlioz is the most like Shakespeare's play.

Feb. 09 2011 11:57 AM
cr at work from Pomona

I agree with RP from NYC....PROKOFIEV exciting a piece of music. It was the first peice of classical music my kids liked when they were pre teens! And I love it.

Feb. 09 2011 11:55 AM
Laura from Hoboken, NJ

Prokofiev, without equal

Feb. 09 2011 11:54 AM
Wendy Riggs

Prokofiev is the most passionate

Feb. 09 2011 11:53 AM

Prokofiev, but of course!!!!

Feb. 09 2011 11:53 AM
David A. Johnson from Union Township, NJ

My vote is for Prokofiev. Not too florid, like Tchaikowski, and not too French, like Gounod.

Feb. 09 2011 11:52 AM
sonia nicholson from astoria queens

There is no argument it is Tchaikovsky hands down.My heart skips abeat whenever I hear it.

Feb. 09 2011 11:52 AM
Steve from NYC

Tchaikovsky, please. They're all wonderful but today a bit of "schmaltz and cliches" is what I'm in the mood for.

Feb. 09 2011 11:51 AM
annette from N. Bergen


Please party on without me. My husband is playing the banjo at a New- Orleans-style funeral right now.

I'm the groupie.

Feb. 09 2011 11:51 AM
Robert Crockett from Savannah, GA

Tchaikovsky has the best compostion, despite it's being so much better known ~ perhaps for a good reason!

Feb. 09 2011 11:51 AM

My fellow Manhattanite Mr. Lederman is spot on correct when he states "no contest" - Prokofiev! I second the motion.

Feb. 09 2011 11:49 AM
Betty Lederman from Manhattan

I agree with my husband, Saul


Feb. 09 2011 11:47 AM
Benita from Cary, NC

Tchiakovsky - though all of them stir the romance in your heart.

Feb. 09 2011 11:46 AM
pat from stl


Feb. 09 2011 11:43 AM
Gary from Dallas

Curve ball for me on this one - I thought it would be a Tchaikovsky vote for me - haven't heard either of the others in a while. Vote changed - Berlioz today, mon dieu......Great to listen to especially snowed and iced in again in Dallas 16 degrees, ice under the snow - what fun!

Feb. 09 2011 11:42 AM
Saul Lederman from Manhattan

No contest PROKOFIEV

Feb. 09 2011 11:37 AM
Counce Hancock

I vote for the Berlioz, for as many listeners have said, it is not that familiar to us, and therefore fresh. Delightful.

Feb. 09 2011 11:37 AM
Arden Anderson-Broecking from Connecticut

Romantic, poignant, and the harmonic structure like no other. I'm a little weary of both Tschaikowksy and Prokofiev, but bothhave wonderful moments, but ah, Berlioz!

Feb. 09 2011 11:34 AM
Gev Sweeney from Ocean Grove, New Jersey

I went with the Berlioz. It has the feeling of closed-door intimacy. TheTchaikovsy and the Prokofiev as public spectacles.

Feb. 09 2011 11:34 AM

Definitely Tchaikovsky!

Feb. 09 2011 11:33 AM
Mariano Torras from Park Slope, Brooklyn

Tchaikovsky, without a doubt.

Feb. 09 2011 11:33 AM
jess from New York

Prokofiev hands down. The other two are wonderful, but the agony and loveliness have a clarity at Sergeii's hand.

Feb. 09 2011 11:28 AM
concetta nardone from Elmont, NY

Prokofiev. The best.

Feb. 09 2011 11:17 AM
John Blasdale from Whippany NJ

I voted for Berlioz because -- surprisingly -- I scarcely know it and want to hear it. I consider Tchaikovsky's probably his best symphonic work; I vote for it in second place.

Feb. 09 2011 11:10 AM
Lynn S from Califon, NJ

Tchaikovsky! His music never fails to send me to a magical world. With the great Valery Gergiev conducting what more could one ask for.

Feb. 09 2011 11:09 AM
Margaret Cuskley from New York

It is a hard choice-but Tchaikovsky is so beloved

Feb. 09 2011 11:07 AM
Dirk vandenHeuvel/NYCity from New York

Hurrahs for Hector - he gets my vote - soft and lovely - a lover's melody. Happy Valentine's Day to all.
Dirk in NYC

Feb. 09 2011 11:04 AM
Anthony Gray from Closter, NJ

Berlioz by a landslide. His "Romeo et Juliette" is one of my favorite works in all music. Toscanini called the Love Scene the most beautiful music ever written. The entire work is magical.

Feb. 09 2011 11:02 AM
Christopher Reilly from Tampa, Florida

Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet Overture stirs my heart and isn't that what romance is all about?

Feb. 09 2011 11:00 AM
Carol Luparella from Elmwood Park, NJ

Of course it has got to be the Tchaikovsky! That is by far the best. If you can, please play the recording of Valery Gergiev conducting the Kirov Orchestra. Thanks!

Feb. 09 2011 10:58 AM
John Dixon from Old Greenwich, CT

Prokofiev, please.
Dirk (above) said it eloquently.


Feb. 09 2011 10:56 AM
Richard Mirenda from New York City

Although Prokofiev's music is more intricate as a full ballet, I still believe that Tschaikovsky's version is more beautiful in its sound structure.

Feb. 09 2011 10:56 AM
Nancy Passow from Englewood, NJ

Tchaikovsky is my favorite -- partially because I got to play it in high school; it's so beautiful!

Feb. 09 2011 10:56 AM
Norman from Rockville Centre

The fantasy overture by Tchaikovsky is the most emotional capturing the beauty and ultimate sadness of the tale.The love theme is exquisite. The version by Pappano and the Santa Cecilia Orchestra is the finest.

Feb. 09 2011 10:56 AM
Ernest Sergenti from New York

Tchaikovsky of course

Feb. 09 2011 10:50 AM
Mila Lipovski

Mila L., New Jersey
He is the greatest storyteller among the composers.

Feb. 09 2011 10:49 AM
Judy-Lynne from New York City

Perhaps it's because I love the ballet so much, I have to vote for Prokofiev, although I'd be delighted to hear any version.

Feb. 09 2011 10:42 AM
June Severino Feldman from NYC


Feb. 09 2011 10:39 AM
Gabri'El from Norwood N.J.

Prokofief.for music that beautifully expresses male strength, the tenderness of love, humor, and the bittersweet.

Feb. 09 2011 10:30 AM
Nan Hawley from New York City

Prokofiev is my favorite, but Berlioz gets my vote for most romantic.

Feb. 09 2011 10:25 AM
Antonio from NJ

No doubt, is Berlioz.
He said: "Love and Music can elevate man to the sublimest heights.
Why separate them? They are the two wings of the soul."

Feb. 09 2011 10:21 AM
Jeffery Triggs from Madison, NJ

Though less well known, Berlioz's Romeo is a great, moving, whimsical, and wonderful work, and in my opinion at least the best of the group.

Feb. 09 2011 10:21 AM
Priscilla from New York


Feb. 09 2011 10:20 AM
Tom McKay from Wayne, NJ

Definitely Tchaikovsky! It is so beautiful and so better known. That is why it is played so much on classical radio stations. Listening to it you can feel the tragedy unfold.

Feb. 09 2011 10:20 AM
RP from New York City

Prokofiev of course. Tchaikovsky is beautiful, but a little too sweet. Prokofiev is exquisite and much more exciting.

Feb. 09 2011 10:19 AM
Maggie from Morris Township, NJ

Has to be Prokofiev. Brings out the real meaning of hot summer nights! Even with the AC blasting!

Feb. 09 2011 10:19 AM
Carlos Bendayan from Caracas, venezuela

My vote from Caracas, Venezuela is for Prokofiev.

Hope your weather will get warmer

Bestr regards

Carlos Bendayan
Caracas, Venezuela

Feb. 09 2011 10:19 AM
Helen Mallon from Basking Ridge NJ

Prokofiev's version of this romantic tale offers more drama and beauty to the story than does the oft-performed Tschaikovsky interpretation. The latter version has grown tiresome in my hearing; I have yet to weary of Prokofiev's music.

Feb. 09 2011 10:18 AM
curtis w from baltimore

All are wonderful, but Tchaikovsky is the classic! Play Yuri Temirikanov's version with St. Pete!

Feb. 09 2011 10:15 AM
Marjorie from Bronxville NY

Prokofiev - so passionate! Long ago in London I saw Margot Fonteyn & Nureyev dance to this music & it was unforgettable.

Feb. 09 2011 10:15 AM
Richard Hensley from Belmar, NJ

Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet was one of the very first orchestra pieces I played back in 1973-1974 with the St. Joseph, Mo. Symphony Orchestra. No other version is so close to my heart.

Feb. 09 2011 10:14 AM
Madlyn from NYC

Most romantic? Tchaikovsky, absolutely. Just makes your heart ache with its beauty and rapture.

Feb. 09 2011 10:13 AM
Andrea from New York, New York

Prokofiev. No contest

Feb. 09 2011 10:11 AM
Karen in Hershey, PA

I vote for Berlioz!

Feb. 09 2011 10:10 AM
Charlie Rivers

Romeo & Juliet is how I found Prokofiev in the first place. I had heard Peter and the Wolf of course as a kid, but when "Mercutio" came on I fell in love with him.

Feb. 09 2011 10:01 AM

tchaikovski is always great barb gibbs

Feb. 09 2011 09:57 AM
Richard R from Englewood, NJ

All are great. Prokofiev's is best when accompanied by the ballet (especially, as I recall the Royal's Fonteyn and Nureyev). Was there, however, a greater romantic than Berlioz for sheer beauty of line and genius of orchestration? He gets my vote.

Feb. 09 2011 09:55 AM
Anna Taylor Sweringen from Brooklyn

Oh for a chance to push Midge Woolsey around, but politely. Prokofiev please. : - )

Feb. 09 2011 09:54 AM
chicory from Tulsa

Prokoviev please. Thank you.

Feb. 09 2011 09:52 AM
Rachel from NYC

Prokofiev please.

Feb. 09 2011 09:51 AM

The first time I heard Prokoviev's Romeo & Juliet it gave me chills up and down my spine, especially the opening of the balcony scene . Thirty years later it still does; is that love or what?

Feb. 09 2011 09:46 AM
Barbara Lorber from NYC

Unquestionably, Prokofiev.... one can hear Shakespeare's lines when his Balcony scene is playing; the yearning ids almost palpable. And one hears Shakespeare again in the terribly painful ending scene of realization and love lost in the sepulchre.

Feb. 09 2011 09:34 AM
MS from Miami Florida

Prokofiev #1 !!!!

Feb. 09 2011 09:34 AM

I personally adore the Tchaikovsky.

Feb. 09 2011 09:27 AM
Bill McCarter from Rumson, NJ

Berlioz was in love with an English Shakespearean actress, Helen Smithson if memory serves. He was probably the only one of our three composers who had some understanding of the play in its original English. His Love Scene is one of the supreme evocations of eros in western music.

Feb. 09 2011 09:10 AM from Hartsdale,NY

Sorry,I meant to say Berlioz for Romeo & Juliet 'cause we rarely if ever hear his rendition...
Thank you for allowing the correction.

Prokofiev, 'cause we seldom or never get to hear his rendition...
thank you for a great program.

Feb. 09 2011 09:08 AM
Bi from New York

Berlioz!!!, it takes you away and holds you in dreamland, lovely

Feb. 09 2011 09:03 AM
CL from NY

My voice goes to Prokofiev, but I had to chuckle at Spurgeon's comment on Tchaikovsky this morning... "Wait, wait.... here comes the theme! You can almost hear the bodices ripping... or maybe I just need bigger pants. "

Feb. 09 2011 09:01 AM
Mr.jean rinaldo

Prokofiev gets my vote.
Thank you WQXR for your great programming.

Feb. 09 2011 08:56 AM
Diane Neiss from NJ

All are beautiful but definitely Tchaikovsky for me! Introduced my now grown children to Tchaikovsky when they were tots. Memories!

Feb. 09 2011 08:54 AM
Tim Brown from Washington, DC

The contest asks for the "most romantic" R &J and for me this has got to be the Tchaikovsky. I know and love both the Prokofiev and Berlioz versions of the story but for Valentine's Day I go with what works best - roses, chocolate, and Tchaikovsky.

Feb. 09 2011 08:51 AM
Melinda Spooner from Poughkeepsie, NY

I am so glad that I have fellow Prokofiev fans in this vote! His score is agitating, dramatic, and it draws you in. Just like the lovers' romantic-tragic story.

Feb. 09 2011 08:46 AM

;I would have to agree with Ken that Bernstein's version would get my vote. For the three in the contest, Prokofiev gets my vote. What a choice. For the record (so to speak), it was Tchaikovsky who was the first classical composer to capture my love and yes it was the 1812 Overture which one never ever heard on FM radio in the 1950s when I was a child. The B side of those LPs always seeemed to be Capriccio Italien, a love of which I have never lost.

Feb. 09 2011 08:28 AM
Kerry from West Orange, NJ

Definitely the Prokofiev! It encompasses the full range of emotions, from the sweetness of first love to the ultimate tragedy of the lovers' death. It's one of my absolute favorite pieces of music, and I have several recordings of it. I think my favorite is Andre Previn and the London Symphony Orchestra, which to me is the most dramatic in my collection.

Feb. 09 2011 08:27 AM
Toni Ann Perry

Tchaikovsky! This was one of the first albums I purchased when I started to listen to classical music in the mid-70's. Brings back wonderful memories.

Feb. 09 2011 08:25 AM

the Prokofiev for me....evocative, theatrical, romantic, funny, and for me, the one most tied to the drama as we know it from Shakespeare

Feb. 09 2011 08:21 AM
Leslie Offutt

Tchaikovsky, hands down! There isn't a more beautiful, evocative piece than his Fantasy Overture to Romeo and Juliet.

Feb. 09 2011 08:19 AM
Tim Judd

On my old record with all three, I had to listen to Prokofiev last, the others just didn't match up after hearing that one. I'm for the Prokoviev version.

Feb. 09 2011 08:12 AM
Ken Nesdale from New York 10011

A most ravishing score of Romeo & Juliet is BERNSTEIN'S - yes, a/k/a West Side Story. Maestro Lennie's music is emotionally sweeping - even without Sondheim's lyrics which we post-classical QXR listeners will not fail to sing in our heads. So, Midge, reach beyond the obvious. The NY Phil has undoubtedly recorded a full Bernstein / WSS score - surely you can locate it before noon! Much appreciation - love the contests!

Feb. 09 2011 08:12 AM
John J. Christiano from Franklin NJ

I'm with Dirk...Prokofiev saw R&J as it truly was.... beauitiful, contentious and ultimately tragic.

Feb. 09 2011 08:06 AM

I think for "most romantic" it is Tchaikovsky.

Feb. 09 2011 07:58 AM
Diane from Tennessee


Feb. 09 2011 07:56 AM
Dirk from LES

Tchaikovsky is all schmaltz and cliches. Prokofiev knew how to write a piece that had drama, variety and bite. He gets my vote.

Feb. 09 2011 07:13 AM
Michael Meltzer

I think that the Tchaikovsky is so much better known that its not possible for the other two to get a fair shake, although at the same time, there are powerful reasons why it's better known.

Feb. 09 2011 01:32 AM

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