Anne-Sophie Mutter

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Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter is wrapping up her year as the New York Philharmonic's Artist in Residence. You chose one of her signature concertos -- the Beethoven violin concerto -- and we played it today at 12 noon.


Brahms Violin Concerto

Beethoven Violin Concerto

Previn Violin Concerto

Tonight at 6 pm, Anne-Sophie Mutter will be a DJ-in-residence on WQXR, presenting some of her favorite works by Brahms, Berg and Previn.

Comments [36]

Michael Meltzer

There are, to my mind, either of two ways to approach such an archive. One is with in-depth knowledge of repertoire backed by years of listening, if not performing experience. The other is with a vibrant musical curiosity and an enthusiastic spirit of exploration.
There is now a year-and-a-half of WQXR programming experience to be measured against either standard.

Jun. 01 2011 11:31 PM
Bernie from UWS

@Michael Meltzer - what gets me is the fact that the station probably has a vast library since they combined the WQXR and WNYC libraries into one entity. They must have such a wealth of music at their fingertips that never gets played on air.

Instead we get the Moldau and Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis because some focus groups tell them it soothes people or makes them "welcome back an old friend." It does a great disservice to their public radio mission, which is to also stimulate and education listeners and show them things they haven't yet heard. Ugh...

Jun. 01 2011 10:58 PM

It would be a good idea for SOMEONE at the station to take a look at the comments during the show, no? I wasn't the only one posting about the voting problem, and it's reasonable to assume that others had problems and gave up without writing anything. The vote was so close our castings might have made the difference.

I wouldn't be so concerned about this except that while the Beethovan is a masterpiece, we do hear it a lot. And, Mutter herself has high regard for the Previn since she's included it in her top 5.

Maybe you'll play the whole thing some time.

Jun. 01 2011 04:57 PM
Michael Meltzer

It is unfortunate that a well-meaning tribute to a deserving artist like Ms. Mutter has to become a site for the expression of the dissatisfaction of so many listeners who feel that their tastes and their wishes are being ignored.
I suggest that there is no malice on the part of WQXR, just ignorance. The programming department still seems to be on the wild goose chase for the "magic playlist" that will be the best classical programming and make everyone happy, once and for all. Its main search tool is name-recognition.
Until variety is understood to be what is needed, and that creating variety effectively requires an intimate and deep knowledge of repertoire and a keen judgment of performer artistry, whether in an immortal or a newcomer, programming will continue to flounder and the complaints will build and build.

Jun. 01 2011 04:38 PM
Neil Schnall

Previn's music is hardly avant garde. There's no good reason WQXR couldn't manage to fit the entire concerto into their schedule at some point. I have no reason to think they actually will, however. The day Jennifer Higdon's Pulitzer-prize winning violin concerto received its NY premiere performance recently, they begrudgingly offered only its shortest movement on the air.

The reason so many people on this page asked for the Previn is because they crave hearing something they have not heard repeated constantly.

The recently concluded fund drive, and the premia offered by the station, make clear that the station's desired audience expects nothing more than a commodified pre-packaged version of "classical music"; nothing challenging or even interesting; an ever-repeating loop of aural wallpaper to use to "relax", "keep us company", "soothe and comfort".

Unfortunately, the result for a frequent listener like myself is akin to punishment. When not plain bored silly, I find myself offended and revulsed. This is what happens when compositions I love to hear are trotted out over and over and over to the point where I hate them. I LOVE "The Moldau" - as I type this, it's playing yet again. I don't need to hear it ever day! Likewise "Espana", "Zigeunerweisen", the "Classical Symphony", "Candide Overture". OMG!!!!!

Jun. 01 2011 03:08 PM

I am sorry to be late with this post, but those of you who wanted to hear the Previn today might be interested to know that we will be playing one movement of it today in the 6 o'clock hour when Anne Sophie Mutter shares her Top 5 @ 105.

Thanks for participating in today's Showdown!


Jun. 01 2011 02:10 PM
Tim Brown from Washington, DC

WQXR is a terrific station, people, and Q2 is awesome. If you want boring classical music programming try WETA in Washington DC.

Jun. 01 2011 01:06 PM
Gerry DeChaves from Summit, New Jersey

Reading some of these comments that criticize the programming of WQXR, I would like to suggest that those who prefer avant garde music should perhaps tune into Q2, the alternative music source of the station. Granted it is not over the air but you can get it on the internet. I notice the majority of comments don’t complain about the quality of music. Please WQXR let it stay the way it is. Soothing and comforting to our ears and keeping us company all day long. Thoroughly enjoying Anne Sophie Mutter playing the Beethoven.

Jun. 01 2011 12:52 PM
Stuart Hobbs

I'm afraid WQXR has the same problem that other classical stations have. I live in Columbus, Ohio, & stream WQXR at work because our local station's webstream doesn't work well.

Both WOSU and WQXR play the same 50 pieces supported by what Virgil Thomson used to call the "Music Appreciation Racket."

I guess we will have to hope the Previn Concerto (which I have never heard) shows up on Q2.

Jun. 01 2011 12:28 PM
Fred from NYC

if these comments are any indication, you might try to balance out some of that Beethoven. Jon's comments are so true; I thought it would be a little different now that you are listener supported. But, it's always Beethoven and I've been listening for a long time.

Jun. 01 2011 12:17 PM
Neil Schnall

OK so they're playing the Beethoven. How novel!

There are serious questions about this frivolous endeavor, since several commenters specifically encountered "error" messages in trying to vote for the Previn concerto - not because they know and love it, but for the sake of hearing SOMETHING - ANYTHING new on this radio station.

It is clear, from a quick perusal of these comments, that many of us listeners are growing increasingly weary of the same pieces in the same performances day after day after day after day. WQXR claims they read the comments that are posted. There is scant evidence that they give them serious consideration. This station has apparently decided to risk alienating a portion of their listening audience by pandering to others.

Jun. 01 2011 12:15 PM

If you're seeing an "Error on page" message, try a different internet browser, like Firefox or Google Chrome. This only occurs in Internet Explorer. The comments here were counted in the votes.

You should see "Thanks for voting in the Showdown!" after you vote.

Jun. 01 2011 12:06 PM

Rats. The site's not letting me vote. I'd go for the Brahms.

Jun. 01 2011 12:00 PM

Same problem as Flute Lady! Pls. fix this so I can vote for Previn!

Jun. 01 2011 11:48 AM
Paula Whitney Best from New York City

Good Day!

Please play the Brahms. I heard her play it last year at Carnegie. She both looked and played superbly.

Many thanks!

Paula Whitney Best, MA, JD

Jun. 01 2011 11:45 AM
Michael from Manhattan

For a change of pace, the Previn please.

Jun. 01 2011 11:20 AM
Jon from Nassau County, NY

Previn please! No longer do I call this station a station of "classical music." It has diminished into the unfortunate realm of "classical favorites..." with music that seems to be chosen only from that 6 CD set of favorites that were being given out by the station for donating.

Jun. 01 2011 11:14 AM

I am all for the Beethoven concerto, so soothing to the mind and soul.
Hope many more of you outthere who share my sentiment will make the same request.

Jun. 01 2011 11:13 AM
Rita from NJ

Let's keep it in the family...the Previn,please

Jun. 01 2011 11:12 AM
Ruth H. Ryer from New York

Trying to vote for the Previn but when I click on the box nothing happens to indicate that my vote has been registered. Please, I've never heard the Previn -- you certainly don't play it very often if at all. Your website should have a box showing whether or not a vote is registered.

Jun. 01 2011 11:11 AM
Sue O'Dougherty

Beethoven : poster child for Pro-life movement.

Really. Not a musician just a constant listener so I always hear words that are not there...what an improbable, inauspicious, precious life.

Jun. 01 2011 11:08 AM
JAU from NJ

also trying to vote for the newer Previn piece & getting"error on page"

Jun. 01 2011 10:59 AM

The Brahms is most delightful!!!

Jun. 01 2011 10:51 AM
Flute Lady from Manhattan

This is frustrating! I've been trying and trying to cast my vote for the Previn, but I keep getting the message "Error on page" on my computer, and the vote doesn't register. I'm beginning to think that this is a conspiracy by the Beethoven fans! :-)

Jun. 01 2011 10:47 AM

I agree with the people who mentioned how repetetive the station is. I listen less now because of their greatest hits attitude. Their are always other options to pick up out of the area stations etc. Lets go Previn. Thank you

Jun. 01 2011 10:44 AM
Fred from NYC

The Previn, please; we hear the Beethoven everyday!

Jun. 01 2011 10:31 AM
Counce from CT

The Previn is not heard enough - Mutter's sound is lush.

Jun. 01 2011 10:12 AM
Antonio Hernández

Brahms concerto, please. Superb performers for a titanic work written by an overman composer.

Jun. 01 2011 09:39 AM
Flute Lady from Manhattan

I'm with Anne, Bernie, Judy, and Tim! Let's hear something contemporary for a change! Previn, please!

Jun. 01 2011 09:31 AM
Bill from Boonton, nj

The Previn please. I am not familiar with it and what a way to hear it for the first time.

Jun. 01 2011 09:27 AM
Peter from Queens, NY

Yes.... this seems like a no-brainer. Please play the Previn! I'm also a little tired of hearing the same works over and over again on this station (which I do love and support).

Jun. 01 2011 09:25 AM
Helmut Wilhart from Whippany, NJ

I would like to hear the Beethoven and I
hope Mutter plays the Kreisler cadenzas
as they are my favorite.

Jun. 01 2011 08:57 AM
Anne C from Bronx, New York

Previn, please. Love the Brahms, but I've never heard the Previn -- and there seems to be an overabundance of Beethoven on WQXR lately (at least when I'm at home and able to listen). So let's hear something new, by a composer who can actually benefit from having his work played.

Jun. 01 2011 08:22 AM
Bernie from UWS

I agree, the Previn would be nice to hear. Enough with the "greatest hits" programming WQXR. Why not introduce us to things we don't know so well? Now that you're a public radio station that should be a core part of your mandate (back me up here Michael Meltzer).

Jun. 01 2011 07:49 AM

Previn, please

Jun. 01 2011 07:25 AM
Tim Brown from Washington, DC

The Previn please! Rarely heard on the airwaves,give it an airing why not?

Jun. 01 2011 07:25 AM

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