A Major Ubersight –

Monday, February 01, 2010 - 07:18 PM

This week during Symphony Hall we’ll be listening to Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos.

We’ll also hear the “New Brandenburgs” which are six works commissioned by the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra closely modeled after one of Bach’s six Brandenburgs. What’s ironic about Bach’s now famous Brandenburg Concertos is that he dedicated them to a prince who never gave them a second look, didn’t even send Bach a thank you note - a major oversight.

I’d like to hear what you think are the timeless, well crafted compositions written during your lifetime that deserve a second glance. Who or what do you feel we're overlooking on WQXR?

More in:

Comments [17]

Alan from New York City

The juxtaposition of the Brandenburg Concertos with the contemporary works they inspired underscored the utter lack of musical ability of the contemporary composers. Hard to imagine a more stark contrast. None of the contemporary works I heard gave me an experience I wanted to have. I would bet that none of these works will ever be played or performed again. They shouldn't have been played even once. Unfortunately, there is too much ugly, dehumanized, unlistenable and artistically worthless "music" on wqxr in the evening. I think the vast majority of classical music lovers would agree with me. Decade after decade of foisting these horrible products on the public has not been able to win the support of any but a tiny minority of the listening public. I would love to hear new music, but only if it is up to the standards of the great music of the past and if it can offer the kind of emotional experiences that that music offers. The effect of lowering standards is to destroy our cultural heritage.

Mar. 17 2010 11:36 AM

Huh, very interesting, thanks! (And I note they found stuff other than "In C.")

Feb. 25 2010 02:51 PM

Laura- you intrigued me about Terry Riley, so I took a look, just briefly. I think this is all on Q2, I used the Playlist calendar.

Terry Riley
Last played Monday, February 22 2010 at 07:56 PM
The Cusp of Magic: The Cusp of Magic
Terry Riley

* Wu Man, pipa
* Kronos Quartet

Nonesuch 360508
length: 10:04

* Buy from Arkiv Music
* Comment

Last played Monday, February 22 2010 at 12:43 PM
The Magic Knot Waltz
Terry Riley

* Terry Riley, piano

Celestial Harmonies 14018
length: 09:25

* Buy from Arkiv Music
* Comment

Last played Monday, February 22 2010 at 07:13 AM
Anthem of The Great Spirit: Peace Dance
Terry Riley

* Kronos Quartet

Nonesuch 79217
length: 11:01

* Buy from Arkiv Music
* Comment

Last played Friday, February 19 2010 at 11:50 AM
Return to the Ancestors
Terry Riley

* Terry Riley, piano

Celestial Harmonies 14018
length: 10:00

* Buy from Arkiv Music
* Comment

Last played Thursday, February 18 2010 at 06:09 PM
Premonition Rag
Terry Riley

* Terry Riley, piano

Celestial Harmonies 14018
length: 06:37

* Buy from Arkiv Music
* Comment

Last played Tuesday, February 16 2010 at 08:38 PM
Good Medicine: Good Medicine Dance
Terry Riley

* Kronos Quartet

Nonesuch 79217
length: 13:34

* Buy from Arkiv Music
* Comment

Feb. 23 2010 06:01 PM


Thank you very much, will give it a try!

Feb. 23 2010 10:09 AM


I think your best shot of hearing Terry Riley would be on Q2, the 24/7 eclectic music web stream. I listen to that stream a lot, and I know where you are coming from.

Best bet, read through some of the play lists.

Feb. 22 2010 06:56 PM
Laura H. from Woodside

I don't believe I've ever heard any Terry Riley on WQXR -- not even the more or less ubiquitous (at least in the circles I travel in) "In C." I wish that would change. I also want to echo Susan W's request for"Doctor Atomic," one of the best, most powerful works I've seen at the Met in 30 years or so of opera-going there.

Also want to note that I agree with Ursula regarding her "Give It a Rest" list although I would add "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik" to that list.

Feb. 22 2010 03:53 PM
Ursula from Nearby

I remember that during fundraising weeks Steve Post would threaten to PLAY "Pachelbel's Canon" until a certain number of called and pledged. A classical form of torture, and it worked.

Feb. 17 2010 10:27 AM


You might be interested to know that some years ago, the infamous "Canon in D" by Pachelbel (spelling is from Wikipedia) was banned outright at WNYC due to overuse.

Feb. 16 2010 08:07 PM
Ursula from Nearby

How about a "Give it a rest" List?
I'd like to start it off with:

The Planets by Holst
The Four Seasons by Vivaldi
the ballet music of Aaron Copland
Symphonies 4 and 5 by Beethoven
"1812" overture by Tchaikovsky

I think a minimum 6-month hiatus would clear the airways and refresh the brain. Then we'd be ready to listen again. Maybe 12 months.

Feb. 16 2010 01:54 PM

Your selection of music for the evening hours is horrific. What are you thinking! I turn on WQXR to relax and I am stressed out from screeching and yowling selections of new age rubbish.
Sorry, I need to learn how to fully express myself. I think I am too restrained.

Feb. 09 2010 08:36 PM

Nina - Yes of course, Bernstein. - thanks!!

Feb. 08 2010 08:17 PM
Nina from Sunnyside Queens

It's not about Bach but about the comment you just made after Ravel's Rhapsodie espagnole that the motif bam babababa bum be bum bum babum, which you said was from Gershwin. I think it's in Bernstein's West Side Story, no?

Feb. 08 2010 07:41 PM
SuzanneNYC from Upper West Side

Listening to Orpheus live broadcast. Heard your and Naomi Lewin's enlightening comments about the Stravinsky -- especially that this was your first hearing and that it wasn't perfomed as frequently as some of his other works. Which is true for the concert hall. However, fans of the NY City Ballet may know this music from Jerome Robbins's ballet The Cage which premiered in 1951 and was frequently performed in NYCB's rotating repertory. I have to say the ballet itself is not my favorite -- predatory insect-like women and a hapless male who strays into their domain (think praying mantis). This was the first time I'd heard the music alone, as a concert piece. The ballet associaition definitely affected how I heard the music. But I liked it much better without the ballet!

Note to WQXR: could you make in an interactive comments section or blog spot for live broadcasts. It would be interesting to communicate with other listeners -- and possibly the on-air hosts. Though I realize they have a lot to do during the broadcast.

Feb. 06 2010 09:01 PM
ward from New Haven, CT

I have never heard any Nicholas Lens on QXR. His trilogy ‘The Accacha Chronicles' is amazing stuff. I expect his other works to be similarly impressive.

Feb. 03 2010 02:00 PM
Carole from Flemington, NJ

I heartily second SusanW's request for John Corigliano's "AIDS symphony"! The only time I've heard it was three or four years ago when William Berger was hosting WNYC's "Overnight Music" and I've never forgotten how impressed I was with it.

Is it appropriate to ask if Mr. Berger is still active on the local music scene? He has remained one of my all-time favorite classical music hosts.

Thanks, Terrance!

Feb. 02 2010 09:32 PM
SusanW from NYC

I would love to hear more from composer John Corigliano. In particular, his Symphony No. 1, the AIDS Symphony. I can't recall the last time I've heard it broadcast on WQXR and would love to hear it played more often.

Likewise, excerpts from the brilliant John Adams' opera "Dr. Atomic"...so many wonderful and stirring bits of music can be aired from that piece. The Bhagavad Gîta Chorus is shattering. I rely on YouTube for my fix!

Thanks, Terrance!

Feb. 01 2010 10:23 PM
Lionel Party from NYNY

Whether or not Christian Ludwig sent a thank you note to JS we don't know. Most likely ChL looked at the score of the six concertos and thought this JS is nuts to send me music I can't perform because I don't have enough musicians in my ensemble. Then he shelved the score where it was preserved for us to enjoy.

Feb. 01 2010 08:11 PM

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