WQXR's Classical Countdown of 2009

Friday, December 11, 2009

Continuing a favorite holiday tradition, WQXR announces the 2009 Classical Countdown. From now through December 30, we are asking listeners to vote for their favorite piece of classical music.

Our list of 50 pieces is a combination of top selections from last year's Countdown combined with audience favorites from The Gratitude Project. Now want to hear from you. To participate, please take our survey.

If you think we've left something important off our list, let us know in the comments area below.

We'll countdown your choices starting at 9AM on December 30 and running all the way through to New Year's Eve.

More in:

Comments [238]

Jill Slater

Please go back to the old way of doing THE CLASSICAL COUNTDOWN and ask listeners to simply select their favorites without asking them to choose from any list, especially since the list this year made little sense, even including operas, which should not be included unless you run a separate countdown for operas only.

Jan. 01 2010 10:46 PM
Jan & Bill from NJ

We appreciate the concept of the top 50 classical, but were very disappointed to see the omission not only of some of those mentioned in earlier posts, but also the scarcity of American composers. We cannot always live in European antiquity.

Jan. 01 2010 10:36 PM

Thank you for responses. Please continue to list your personal favorites that don't appear on Classical Countdown so they too can be counted.

We encourage users to email Listener Services (listenerservices@wqxr.org) or post on the Listener Services blog (http://blogs.wnyc.org/listenerservices/2009/10/16/listener-services-forum-wqxr/) with more general concerns about the station.

Dec. 31 2009 10:33 AM

U list is so incomplete!!!!!!! Where are Eine kleine Nachtmusik, Rossini, Verdi, Puccini, Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Ravel's Bolero - to mention just a few mishaps...

Dec. 30 2009 07:51 AM
chs from Riverdale

Would like to have seen Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade and Aaron Copeland's Appalachian Spring on the list. But you do play them from time to time.

Dec. 30 2009 03:18 AM
Monty from New York

You left out the most important composer of the 20th century, Dmitry Shostakovich off your list, shame! Add his Symphony No 5 or No 7.

Dec. 29 2009 11:52 PM
michael Isenberg from NYC

Even though I am not joining the chorus of where-is-Bartok & where-is-Shostakovich, I have to agree that the list of selections is limited. Classical music station cannot be all things to all people but.... an attempt is always appreciated.

If possible please add Olivier Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time.

michael isenberg

Dec. 29 2009 11:45 PM

I would like to second or third or fourth... the request for a larger selection to choose from in future year-end countdowns. I very happily chose Brahms' Symphony No. 4 as my first choice but I would have been inclined to follow it with Debussy's La Mer if it were available as an option. That being said, I have turned off the radio for a moment to turn on La Mer for myself, yet I will wait until tomorrow to hear the Brahms.

Dec. 29 2009 07:58 PM

Hope to see Sibelius' 5th Symphony in this year's favorites.

Dec. 29 2009 06:52 PM
Barbara L. Cruse from United States

I like the idea suggested previously of voting in categories next time. This would ensure that all types of classical music are included. I personally would like to see Copland and Bernstein on the list as well as something from Porgy and Bess and some of the great operatic choruses and arias.

Dec. 29 2009 06:52 PM

On Public Radio and on a tighter leash? How does that work?
Schoenberg's Gurrelieder; Berg's Lulu; R. Strauss's Ein Heldenleben . . . but that's just me.

Dec. 29 2009 05:20 PM
Anne from 11756

Some favorites:

Prokofiev "Alexander Nevski"
Vaugh-Williams "Sea Symphony"
Rachmaninoff "All Night Vigil"

We used to hear these occasionally on the old WQXR; not so on the new. Guess it's part of the new management's discrimination against choral/vocal music.

Dec. 29 2009 05:10 PM
Laura from Queens

-Steve Reich, Music for 18 Musicians
-John Adams, On the Transmigration of Souls
-Palestrina, Sicut Cervus
-Madrigals by Thomas Weelkes, William Byrd, John Wilbye, John Dowland, etc.
-Giuseppe Verdi, O Don Fatale
-Meredith Monk, Dolmen Music
-Franz Schubert, Various lieder

Dec. 29 2009 04:46 PM

I hope you'll include Mozart's "Clarinet Concerto" in your countdown.

Dec. 29 2009 04:30 PM
Carol S. from Brooklyn, NY

Copland "Appalachian Spring"
Elgar "Nimrod Variations/Lux AEterna"
Bach "Sheep May Safely Graze"
Vierne "Westminster Carillon"
Dan Locklair "Rubrics"

and I agree with others who ask for more opera and choral works. One is particular is Biebl "Ave Maria"

Dec. 29 2009 04:29 PM
Pete Drexler from Croton on Hudson

I think your list is quite comprehensive and the only musical pieces I would add are 1610 Vespers by Monteverde, Dvorzac's 2nd Slavonic Dance and Terpsicory (spelling?).

But my most compelling request is that the programmers of WQXR use the results of this year's (as well as past years' countdown votes) in allocating its playing time as to types of music played.

Pete Drexler

Dec. 29 2009 04:06 PM

Although Beethoven's IXth is one of my favorites it's getting tiresome to hear it at the conclusion year after year. Let's pick something else; Vivaldi:The Four Seasons, maybe or Bach:Magnificat or the Goldberg Variations.

Dec. 29 2009 02:12 PM

What about

Ives - Psalm 90
Mahler - Symphony of 1000
Poulenc - Gloria
Berlioz - Damnation of Faust
Berlioz - Requiem
Dvorak - Stabat Mater

Dec. 29 2009 02:07 PM
R Paaswell from UWS

Phillip Glass
John Adams
even Stravinsky
where is anything post romantic

Dec. 29 2009 12:42 PM

Yes - let us put in our favorites - forget the list - go back to the "write in your favorites" format of previous years. Will the selections above be what's played and all we're choosing is the order?

I'd like more Chopin, Beethoven 1st symphony, La Valse, the Trout ...

Dec. 29 2009 12:39 PM
Andrea from Manhattan

Today is pledge day, and suddenly there is the most gorgeous, glorious music~ some I've not heard in ages. Duh! Last night before bed (midnight) you aired Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto~one my favorites, but not on the list. Please add ballet music from "Swan Lake"!!!! How could you exclude that classic? And also "Serenade for Strings". You have left off so many other pieces I adore, and ignored so many composers, that it makes me shudder and wonder. And I do have a suggestion that may be useful to your maintaining your audience. Every so often, or at the end of the year, have listeners vote for their favorite: concerto, symphony, chamber piece, opera score, sonata, and miscellaneous (dance, tone poems, etc.) music such as "Sheherezade," "Sleeping Beauty,"
"Noonday Witch," that are equally worthy.
This could be done, for example, every two months. It would highlight ALL beloved music because it could all be included in one category or another, and it would keep listeners active and involved.
As things stand now, you have distanced or even angered loyal supporters. This is not the way to have "Listener Supported Radio." And although I will contribute, I will mark my check to be earmarked for only WQXR. I wish to donate to MY station, not WNYC, to which I never listen.

Dec. 29 2009 12:05 PM
Amy from Stamford CT

I'd like to see these on your list:

Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet
Ravel La Valse
Tschaikovsky - the Big 3 (Nutrcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake)
Schubert Impromptus

I never tire of the giants - Bach, Vivaldi, Mozart, Chopin, Beethoven, Brahms no matter how much play they get!! Of course, Ludwig's #9 is still closest to my heart.

Dec. 29 2009 11:13 AM

I'd add:

Prokofiev Romeo & Juliet
Debussy Reverie
Bach St. Matthew's Passion
Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto #1
Beethoven Piano Sonata Pathetique

Thank you.

Dec. 29 2009 10:03 AM
Wilma from New York City

I would like to see Mendelsohn's violin concerto included, it's my all time favorite piece of music! I'd also like to see the Brahms double concerto on the list.

Dec. 29 2009 10:01 AM
JSL from NJ

I'd like to see you include
Vaughn William's 3rd Symphony
and also
Mahler's 3rd Symphony
which are my two favoirite pieces.
And also Vaugh Williams "The Lark Ascending". (Thanks to Midge for playing the Lark recently.)

Dec. 29 2009 09:50 AM
Katie from NJ/TX

I'd love to see added:

Adams Short Ride in a Fast Machine
Brahms Piano Trio No. 1 op.8
Brahms Symphony No. 2!
Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 4!
Stravinsky Rite of Spring!

Dec. 28 2009 11:40 PM
L.Z. from Poughkeepsie, NY.

Add Bachs orchestral suites 1,2,3.Shuberts sy. 5. Griegs Pier gynt suites.Handls watermusic. Mozarts Sy. 39.Brahms sy. 1.

Dec. 28 2009 07:51 PM
Julie from NY

Gershwin's piano preludes; Bartok's Music for Celeste, Percussion and Strings: Stravinsky's Rite of Spring

Dec. 28 2009 06:33 PM

I would like to add the following to the list:

Symphonic Dances (Rachmaninoff)
Octet for Strings (Mendelssohn)
String Quartet 14 (Beethoven)
Piano Concerto 1 (Chopin)
Piano concerto A Minor (Schumann)
Concerto for 4 Violins B Minor (Vivaldi)

Thank you

Dec. 28 2009 05:33 PM
Jim Nicholas

I was surprised there was only one page of nominees. Where is Franz Liszt's "Les Preludes", and Gioachino Rossini's "William Tell Overture"? I'd also like to hear Anton Bruckner's symphonies # 7 & 8.

Dec. 28 2009 05:29 PM

I have voted for many years for the Leonora Overture 2 (instead of Fidelio, realizing its too long) I'd also prefer more opera like Va,pensiero, and Pavarotti doing 9 high c's in Donizetti's Fille du Regiment "Ah mes amis"

Dec. 28 2009 05:13 PM
jim from Dover, NJ

I too wish there were some opera arias; I would vote for O mi babino claro, vise del arte, the humming chorus, and a few more. There also ought to be some more pithy 20th century music from Adams, R, Straus, Stravinsky, and Shostakovitch. Please don't fill the time with 90% Beethoven and Mozart!

Dec. 28 2009 04:46 PM
DEM from NYC

I'm saving this one, in case there's a Gratitude Project next year, but the Elgar Sonata in G, Op. 28 (organ version) would be on my list.


Dec. 28 2009 04:30 PM
Laura from Queens

I don't really see a point of doing a classical countdown at this stage in musical history. With 400+ years and well over a dozen periods of music to choose from, it's a bit silly to try to pick the so-called "best" to play on one day at the end of this 21st century year, particularly when we know that all it means is that we'll simply be treated to the 237th rendition of Beethoven's Fifth this month. Yawn.

What might be a bit more interesting, at least, is to have people choose from classical recordings released this year. At least that way we might narrow the field while at the same time avoiding the same over-played stuff everyone is sick unto death of hearing -- maybe we'd even, mirabile dictu, have a few contemporary pieces to choose from. I mean, Pachelbel's Canon in D? You're not actually serious, right?

That said, I do congratulate you for leaving off Strauss's Don Juan, probably one of WQXR's five most overplayed.

Dec. 28 2009 03:44 PM

Although I chose a few of your pre-selected pieces, it was disappointing that arias and/or overtures from popular operas were not on your list. Last year I had requested "Va Pensiero" chorus of the Hebrew Slaves by Verdi and "Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5" by Heitor Villa-Lobos. Any chance that both or one will be included for our listening pleasure? My gratitude and loyalty to WQXR will continue forever if you do!

Dec. 28 2009 03:27 PM
Janna M. Amelkin

I basically like your list and did vote, but I would have liked to be able to add some choices. I am missing some of my favorites such as Prokofiev's
"Rome and Juliet," Gershwin's "An American in Paris" as well as Vivaldi's "Four Seasons." I would also have like to see included music by Isaac Albeniz and Pablo de Sarasate.

Dec. 28 2009 02:29 PM
arthur greco

what have you against great composers :verdi, rossini, puccini? almost zero playtime! you are a disgrace! the old wqxr was aware of the reality of the merit and popularity of these giants!

Dec. 28 2009 02:23 PM
Diane Ines

I was surprised at some of the inclusions on your list and the many omissions. Next year you should expand your list to include many more masterpieces or invite us to submit 3-5 favorites and compile the list from the submissions you receive.

Dec. 28 2009 01:58 PM
Eric Shtob

Mendelsohn Violin Concerto
Barber Knoxville Summer of 1919
Dvorak Cello Concerto

Dec. 28 2009 01:13 PM
Lanny Kaufman

Let's stop knocking WQXR. They will get to everyone during the course of 2011. Of course the top 50 can't include everyone's preference. Beethoven and Mozart are still the best. If they played everyone's favorites, the countdown would last until January 1, 2011.

Dec. 28 2009 11:27 AM
Dion from Texas

Why not Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition? Grofe's Grand Canyon Suite?

Bring back the scheduled daily play list.

Dec. 28 2009 11:07 AM
Linda Aro from United States

Missing a lot of British favorites - what about Vaughn WIlliams "The Lark Ascending" and Holst's "St. Paul Suite", or some Finzi or Butterworth? What about Latin Americans - Ginastera and Villa Lobos? And I also agree with the comment about early music - only Messiah for Handel? Surely not. (By the way - thanks for playing the Battle/ Marsalis duet from Samson this morning - that was from the CD I recommended for the gratitude project so I really appreciate your sharing that). What about 17th cent French music - Rameau, Lully, etc.? Let's cut back a bit on the Beethoven and Brahms and have a bit more variety next year. Thanks!

Dec. 28 2009 10:48 AM
herbert kellogg from Palisades, NY, Rockland county

Your list totally neglects my favorite types of classical music - namely:
chamber music, and

Why do you limit your selections in this way??

Dec. 28 2009 10:12 AM
Whitney Bagnall

I agree with many of the comments posted and add that your list ignores the realm of early music entirely. Why have you no selections from Arne, Corelli, or Hebden? Where is the Rameau? Early music performances can be found all over NYC, but not on QXR. Your list of choices is predictable and unsurprising.

Dec. 28 2009 08:19 AM
Mildred Rust from E. Brunswick, NJ

I'm glad to see SOMEONE added Trout Quintet and Schubert's other piano Quintet, and Mozart's Piano Concerto #21. Please add the Berlioz Requiem, which we never hear.
I like the new diversity, especially Choral Fixation. Please rehave something like "The Vocal Scene" - Robert Merrill, Richard Tucker, etc.

Dec. 28 2009 06:48 AM
Jacob Salomon from Brooklyn, NY

I was gratified to see two of my favorite symphonies on that list: Brahms #4 and Rachmaninoff #2. Plus Brahms Piano Concerto #2. (Does that count as 3 favorite symphonies?) I'd like to add to at list:
- Rachmaninoff's "Isle of the Dead"
- Sibelius Symphony #1. IMO, none of his others match this one for sheer emotional impact.
- Shostakovitch: Piano Concerto # 2 (What? No Shostakovitch on the list at all?)

I will add that I am SOOooo tired of Beethoven Symphony # 9 winning every year.

Dec. 27 2009 11:14 PM
Debra V. from Buffalo, NY

This is what I would add to the list:
The Prokofiev Violin concertos, Brahms and Beethoven Overtures, more Chopin, Faure (did I miss Faure?) and Liszt. Also add anything by Vivaldi, Barber, Elgar or Mendelssohn and perhaps the Symphony No. 8 by Dvorak. Mahler's 3rd Symphony is a favorite of mine that wasn't mentioned- I have fond memories of hearing Joe Alessi from the NY Philharmonic play the trombone solo many times over the years- each time captivating me. Also- there should be more choral works on the list and more concertos/sonatas. Schubert's lieder come to mind.

Dec. 27 2009 09:49 PM
Phyllis from Teaneck, NJ

Your list really stirred people up! But please don't listen to those who want more chamber music or string quartets.
Instead I really like the suggestion of Bach's Toccata and Fuge played by Canadian Brass. How about Bernstein's Mambo by the Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra? Or a couple of dances by Granados played by Alicia DeLaroccha (in memory of). And Albeniz's Asturias played by the State of Mexico Symphony Orch. And, of course Rodrigo's Concerto de Araquez.
These additions would put some change in with the classical standards.

Dec. 27 2009 09:45 PM
Michael Meltzer

The spread of commentary now contains a veritable candy store of quality musical expression and listening pleasure.
If the WQXR braintrust can make some educated guesses about what would be representative, you can come up with a countdown program we could all want to hear.
By the way, wasn't the B-minor Mass on the high end of last yearl's ranking? I may be mistaken, but I seem to remember Candice Agree playing the glorious "Sanctus" and another selection from it, somewhere around 15th or 18th.
Also, if you omit the Mozart Clarinet Concerto, you are leaving out the work whose slow movement is the kickoff for a whole century of romantic music to follow.

Dec. 27 2009 08:22 PM
herbert vaughan

How do you get to the listing?

Dec. 27 2009 06:08 PM
Peggy Saslow from LNew Jersey

I agree that listeners should not have to pick from a list. I love the "oldies". And my # 1 choice is Vladimir Feltsman playing Rachmaninoff's Variation on a Theme of Paganini. It was the first concert at Avery Fisher Hall for my 13 year old grandson and he was hooked. I have looked everywhere for the recording but cannot find it. You have played it and I keep hearing that I can buy it from WQXR, but I cannot find the means to do it on this site. I am sorry that your frequency is weaker - I lose the station so much sooner than before the switch. I will make a donation as soon as I get the phone # which I seem to miss whenever I have the means to write.

Dec. 27 2009 05:40 PM
Gerald Howard from New Jersey

There are some masterpieces that should be included in the top 50, namely: Stravisnsky's The Rite of Spring; Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra; Dvořák's Requiem Mass; Leos Janáček's Glagolitic Mass and dare I add Shostakovich's Symphony no.5 and my hand trembles as I write Gershwin's Porgy and Bess

Dec. 27 2009 05:28 PM
Jerry G. Ianni from New Jersey

The response to the concept of having to choose from a "pre-selected list" is so overwhelmingly negative that I just want to offer the comment that none of the countdowns from previous years have ever felt "natural" to me.

I enjoy the music of Beethoven very much, but I don't believe that he wrote 6 or 7 of the top ten classical music compositions ever written! I also enjoy the music of Mozart very much, and I do believe that one of his compositions should easily be included in the top ten.

Nevertheless, year after year, the previous countdowns always became Beethoven festivals at the end and Mozart only barely entered the top ten. So, I am not particularly disappointed that the previous format is being reconsidered.

My biggest issue with the experimental format being used currently is that the list is not sufficiently comprehensive, and it should also be more inclusive. By "inclusive", I simply mean that too many composers are left out entirely. I am 100% sure that at least one composition of Bartok, Stravinsky, Ravel, and so forth belong among the top fifty.

Here is an idea to consider for next year: ask listeners to rank 15 or 20 "pre-selected compositions" that are chosen to ensure that the overall playlist for the countdown has inclusive representation and then allow listeners to choose the rest based on popularity.

One other refinement to think about: in the "popular" section of the vote, expand from 3 favorites to 10 favorites with a restriction of no more than 2 from one composer to try to avoid the top-heavy Beethoven phenomenon of previous years. If only 3 favorites can be listed, it is very easy to generate a top-heavy situation because a composer like Beethoven is very popular. However, I don't think that most listeners would vote solely for 10 compositions of Beethoven (i.e., without including some other composers).

Dec. 27 2009 04:31 PM
Andrew A.

I would love hear the often neglected piece: Dvorak: STABAT MATER.

Dec. 27 2009 02:49 PM
Connie Kopperman from Pearl River, New York

I would add to my all-time favorites:

"Dona Nobis Pacem" - Ralph Vaughan-Williams
"Chichester Psalms" - Leonard Bernstein

Dec. 27 2009 02:21 PM
Baerbel from Weehawken, NJ

A pre-chosen list basically defeats the purpose.
Not a single Mendelssohn piece is on it.
Do you really care what your listeners would like to hear ?
The station and its programs are not anywhere near what they used to be.
I am so dissapointed. This used to be my favorite radio station. It is far from it now.
I would love to donate to keep the station alive.
But the progam has to change. And please, give us a whole day play list, what it used to be. What exactly is the purpose of displaying a list of pieces that have already finished ?

Dec. 27 2009 01:59 PM
Nessa from NYC

THAT'S THE LIST??? No wonder the station stinks. Where Schubert's D Flat Major Sonata (D960) And can we have some great musicians playing these selections? Where are Alfred Bredel, Pierre Laurent Aimard, Leif Ove Andsnes? How about Richter playing the Schumann Piano Concerto? How about Lorraine Hunt Lieberson singing anything but especially the Handel Arias? How about all of the Chopin Nocturnes with Pollini? And Lugansky playing the Etudes? The Diabelli Variations?

What give with you people? Everyone is unhappy. Don't you care?

Dec. 27 2009 12:09 PM
Frank from Lake Charles, LA

The choices provided appear to be the broadly-supported "A List". Let's broaden the Bach selections by adding the First Cello Concerto; or we could really go wild and suggest the entire Cello Concerti!

I'm thankful that I can get y'all on the web.

Dec. 27 2009 10:58 AM
Rachel Lawrence from Teaneck NJ

I feel cheated this year by having a pre-selected list from which to choose "my" favorites. Don't you trust your listeners to determine what pieces of music they love without feeding them your selections? I'm very disappointed.

Dec. 27 2009 09:24 AM
Dorothy Marks from Manhattan

When you moved and requested donations, I sent $250. in order to keep you on the air, under the assumption that your programming would be pretty much what it had
always been. Boy, was I wrong! And now I'm being asked to choose from a list of
your pre-selected favorites? I actually do like many of them, but it's just not the same.

It's more your programming in general that bothers me - you are losing your identity
and becoming a clone of WNYC - which I never liked (except for one program). Why
do we have to have five minutes of Garrison Keillor every day, and all that tuneless
contemporary "music?" I find myself listening to my satellite radio more and more.
And why can't you post the full day's playlist like you used to? I'm not especially
interested in what was played two or three hours ago, but I surely would like to know what's going to be played in the next few hours.

For these reasons, there will be no further donations from me. RIP, WQXR - it was nice
knowing you.

Dec. 27 2009 02:52 AM
Peter Ferdico from College Point, NY

After reading many of the comments, I think we can agree that a list of 50 or 100 or 200 or 1000 "Classical Favorites" would not include everyone's favorite. That said, am I the only one who was happy to see the Franck Symphony listed? But my list certainly would have included:
Bartok - Concerto for Orchestra
Beethoven - Archduke Trio
Brahms - Sym #1; Piano Con #1; Double Concerto
Haydn - any late sym and "Quinten" qrt
Mahler - Sym #4
Mozart - Mass in c; Violin Con #3; strings quintets; Haydn Quartets
Ravel - Piano Con in G
Schubert - Sym #9; Trout; Quintet in C
Schumann - Kinderscenen and Waldscenen
Tchaikovsky - Piano Con #1
Vivaldi - Four Seasons
...and so many, many more.

Dec. 26 2009 10:42 PM
Elmer Brunsman from Montgomery, New York

Greig's "Peer Gynt suite" "Morning" would be on my list. And the seldom, if ever, mentioned (why isn't it?" but to my ears "best" Mozart, "Symphony No. 29."

Dec. 26 2009 09:46 PM
Anthony from New York City

I would definitely add to a list of "favorites":

Schubert 9th
Bruckner 7th
Bruckner 8th
Bruckner 4th
Mozart PC #21
Mozart Symphony #39

Dec. 26 2009 07:53 PM
Anke L. Nolting

I agree with Bonnie Gustafsson's list and the comments of many listeners such as Steve Siegelbaum's, Norman Dee's, and Marianne's part about the allocation of our donations. I noticed that my monthly donation to WQXR shows up on my Amex statement as a donation to WNYC. I itended to give to classical music programming, NOT to WNYC.

Dec. 26 2009 05:40 PM

After years of not voting for my favorite selections, I recently succumbed to the call. No need to repeat previous comments about the list. But I note the lack of 20th century composers. What about Gorecki's Symphony #3 (or does it have too much political meaning)? Yes to Adams. A little Schoenberg. Where is Steve Reich? And on and on . . .

Dec. 26 2009 05:35 PM
Tom Castner

You've let us keep our classical music in NY by keeping WQXR, just please, be more open to what "we" as you listeners and supporters, need and want to hear. Let us choose - you have volunteers? Let them go through al lour favorites' list that we choose, not a boring list that someone in your new building has decided deserves to be 'best.'
You guys are stumbling a little bit out of the block. Contibutions come from satisfied listeners. Don't look down your noses at us.

Dec. 26 2009 05:25 PM
Peter Kerschhagel

Add to favorites:
Aaron Copland, Rodeo
Carl Maria vo Weber, Overture "Der Freischuetz"

Dec. 26 2009 05:21 PM
John C. Goodwin from Demarest, NJ

Please add: Lt. Kiji by Prokofiev, and anything by Thielman.
Thanks for trying. Thanks for keeping WQXR alive, keep working to improve. I liked it better when Bill McLoghlan was on earlier weekdays and later on weekends (St. Paul Sunday). Pipe Dreams is on too early. Bring back David Dubal.

Dec. 26 2009 05:17 PM
Ruth E. Ross

Love QXR. Brought to Classical music 70 or so years ago by parents. Additions to favorites: Yes to Schubert's Quintet and how about any of the 4 Braham's piano quartets and all the wonderful duets/trios/quartets from operas: duet - Pearl Fishers; duet from Don Carlos; Quartet(quintet?) from Lucia.

Thank you for all the wonderful programs esp. Bill McLoghlan

Dec. 26 2009 12:53 PM
Daniel N. Beshers

Do you consider WQXR now to be a "top 40" station? If not, find a way -- at least one is suggested already -- to let dark horses run and win occasionally.

Dec. 26 2009 12:46 PM
Matthew from NJ

No Ein Klein Nachmusik (sp?) ??

Dec. 26 2009 11:46 AM
Nick Punch from Darien

I would have loved to see Mozart Violin Concerto 5, "The Turkish"
Also Bach Cello Sonatas
Shostakovich Symphony 5
But there is so much to love!
The ABC in Australia has several types of favorites, favorite aria, concerto, symphony, etc.

Dec. 26 2009 10:55 AM
donald Steinman

There is no Shostakovuch... what about the Piano Concerto #3

Dec. 25 2009 02:34 PM
william pagenkopf from flushing, ny

I would like to hear a good performance of the last movement of Tschaikovkys
"Mandfred" overture. Many years ago I believe it was "Masterpiece Theatre" that put on a four or five day "Anna Karenina."
This music was so Russian, so tragic that it outweighed its Manfred connection as far as I thought. Typical Russian drama music.

Dec. 25 2009 11:14 AM
Michael Meltzer

Harry's solution is the most rational so far. There is not, and cannot be a list of "bests." Tastes shift and shift back. If you think you've observed in one year that every orchestra seems to play the Brahms Haydn Variations or Mozart Symphony #39, every pianist is playing the Liszt B-minor Sonata or Chopin Barcarolle, every chorus is singing Carmina Burana or the Faure Requiem , and then you don't hear any of those pieces for 3 or 4 more years, you are absolutely correct. Over the years I have watched the Chopin Polonaise in A-flat morph from war-horse to forgotten masterpiece to rediscovered treasure to war-horse again, ad infinitum. If WQXR plays too much Bruckner, people will ask for Arvo Part, and vice-versa. Besides, new composers and re-discovered obscure composers continue to emerge, happily. Every moment is unique.
If the listeners are permitted to offer their true personal favorites at a given time, the station can derive a countdown list that is a real birds-eye view of current taste, and wind up with a curriculum for the coming year's programming that will please most if not all.

Dec. 25 2009 02:28 AM
Harry from Brooklyn

Frankly, I've always hated the "Classical Countdown," which made for extremely boring listening. I know that warhorses gained their status by being masterpieces of enormously wide appeal, and I enjoy hearing them now and again. But a marathon of Beethoven symphonies, punctuated occasionally by Brahms and Tchaikovsky, is too much of a good thing.

As for operas, well, they tend to run 3 or 4 hours each, which is not practical for a broadcast scheduled for 12 hours, total. WQXR does broadcast a complete opera every Saturday afternoon.

At the same time, I'm not happy about this year's format, which forces listeners to choose from a terribly narrow list. I would suggest a middle path, offering listeners free choice while also assuring diversity in the countdown. Why not ask listeners to name their favorites in a range of categories -- symphonic music, chamber music, solo recitals (pieces or performers), opera highlights (arias, choruses, interludes), early music (medieval and Baroque), "wild card" (anything that doesn't fit), to suggest one range of possibilities. If voting starts early enough (say, right after Thanksgiving), listeners could vote in a second round, choosing among the top choices of the first round.

Dec. 25 2009 12:55 AM
Bonnie Gustafsson from Northern NJ

The comments are correct abouot this not being a true survey. It's a compilation. Several good ones are missing.

Brandenburg Concerti are listed as a group: Of the Brandenburgs, my favorite is No. 5 in D.

Mozart: Clarinet Concerto in A, Clarinet Quintet in A, The Magic Flute, The Marriage of Figaro

Schubert: "Trout" Quintet, Der Hirt am Felsen, String QUintet in C

Bach: Mass in B Minor

Vaughn Williams: Serenade to Music

Praetorius: Terpsichore

Monteverdi: Vespers of the Blessed Virgin

Offenbach: Tales of Hoffmann

Rimsky-Korsakov: Russian Easter Overture

Dec. 24 2009 07:52 PM
lea bleyman

I would like to add Copland's Appalachian spring and his Fanfare for the Common man. I deliberately skipped most of your choices, but I would have liked more opera.

Dec. 24 2009 05:32 PM
Lee Gelber from NY

Predetermined list is not a true poll. Among the missing for me are Mahler's 8th, Sibelius' 5th, Mozart Horn Concerti, Composers Bernstein, Copland and Bartok

Dec. 24 2009 02:53 PM
Gary Moses

You have become at hearkens back to the days of listening to rock on an AM station. You have no competition and choice as sister station WNYC has given up entirely on classical or new music.
Suggestion, why not program listener's favorite operas, perhaps on a weekly basis, or have an annual "Ring Day" like WBAI used to have.

Dec. 24 2009 01:03 PM
Steve Siegelbaum from Bronx

A month ago, I criticized what I termed your "dumbing down" of classical music. Now I see you've confirmed this with your list of "choices." Each listener has his/her own tastes, but can a list that omits arguably the greatest 20th century composer, Bartok, be taken seriously? Can a list that omits arguably one of the five greatest of all composers, Haydn, or that contains NO chamber music be anything but a sad joke?

Dec. 24 2009 10:09 AM
paula nelson from United States






Dec. 24 2009 09:56 AM
Serge Ledan from QUEENS, NY

Dear WQXR,
As a devoted and contributing listener, I am on my knees, begging you to take the following lines seriously: what is at stake here is more important than music selection. Look up the key words here throughout the comments: " LIMITED, RESTRICTIVE, UNPOPULAR, UNCARING (about the listener),WARHORSES, UNIMPORTANT, DISAPPOIINTING, UNTRUSTING,STANDARD ". Is that the way a public-supported station wants to be perceived?
Marianne adds a very troubling comment below: that our contribution does not really support WQXR but goes to a general WNYC fund. If true, how should WQXR contributors like me who have never cared for or listened ot NYC feel? Please can I have at least some assurance that my contribution helps WQXR in some ways, if not entirely???

Dec. 24 2009 08:37 AM
John Barell from NYC

I was struck by the very limited list of pre-selected choices. I thought in the past listeners created their own lists.

Where were Mozart's Symphonies # 35, Haffner, and Linz? Clarinet concerto?

Beethoven's late quartets?

Brahms' Symphony #1, first piano concerto?

Britten's Ode to Music, Sea compositions?

Frank Bridge Sea compositions?

Glazanov's The Seasons and Violin Concerto?

Holst The Planets?

Grieg Piano?

Schuman Piano? Symphonies? Quartets?

No Bernstein and no Copeland.

Richard Strauss' Til ------ and Thus Spake Z---

And what about jazz greats, Benny Goodman at Carnegie Hall? I know this isn't "classical music" by your definition, but certainly "classical" American music as are Bernstein and Copeland.

Too restrictive.

Dec. 24 2009 07:25 AM
M Goldschrafe

I have no taste since, I like Beethoven's late quartets best, so I won't waste time complaining.
Solutions; perhaps the names of pieces can be standardized by using the names as they appear at the Arkiv site.
Organization and tabulation can be done by volunteers, recruited from listeners, over the web.
Too late for this year, but a countdown can be held anytime.
I am always fascinated by the choices of listeners, I am sure you wish to please them. A comprehensive survey giving listeners several choices, if not many, would serve you throughout the year.
Public radio with public input, you could do worse, and it would engender a feeling of belonging which should lead to a desire to support.
Thanks for being there.

Dec. 24 2009 12:38 AM
Babs from New York

I'm no expert but I am trying to understand this new format. We are asked to choose favorites from a pre determined list made up by (not Jeff Spurgeon, did anyone ask him?)
I agree that a number of fabulous and predictable choices were included i.e.the Beethoven Violin Concerto in D and the Concerto for Piano #5 in E flat, Dvorak's New World, Gershwin's Rhaposody, Bach's Goldberg Variations, the Pachelbel Canon in D and Barber's Adagio for Strings.
It is after all the music that moves us and causes us to cry that makes a difference don't you think?
So, in the future, please consider adding the following to your limited list.
Beethoven piano sonata #14, the Mozart Clarinet Concerto in A (adagio), Copland's Appalachian Spring, Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E, Puccinin's Boheme act 1 and 3 especially, Mozart's Violin Concerto #3 and Violin Concerto in D, Bach's Air on the G string and Prelude in E flat minor and Mozart's Sull'aria from the Marriage of Figaro. Or, how about just letting all of us vote in our top 3 favorites just liike we used to. You'd save lots of time reading all these e mails!

Dec. 23 2009 11:46 PM
Nancy from New Jersey

I also found your list too limiting. Here are some of my favorites:
Brahms 3rd Symphony
Rodrigo Concerto de Aranjuez
Brahms F Minor Piano Quintet
Bartok Concerto for Orchestra
Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet
Ravel Daphnis and Chloe
Puccini Finale of Act One, La Boheme
Puccini E lucevan le stelle, Tosca
Mendelssohn Violin Concerto
Brahms Violin Concerto
Smetana Dances from The Bartered Bride
Khachaturian Flute Concerto
Nielsen 3rd Symphony
Bruch Violin Concerto #2
Paganini Violin Concerto #2

Dec. 23 2009 10:45 PM
Jane from New Jersey

I am in total agreement with those who did not like having a pre-selected list from which to choose. For example, one of Mozart's most popular pieces of music, "A Little Night Music" was omitted as was Brahm's 1st Symphony, and there was no mention of any music by Mendelsohn or Robert Schuman

Dec. 23 2009 06:58 PM
Peter Schulhof from NYC

Some people seem to be too quick to be critical in a non-constructive way. I assume that, given time and listener feedback, WQXR will make the appropriate changes regarding programming, countdown of favorites, look-ahead program listings, etc. While I have not voted for selections on the list, the following would have been my choices if I could vote for any composition:
- Dvorak's Piano Quintet
- Brahms' Clarinet Quintet
- Ravel's String Quartet
- Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra

Dec. 23 2009 06:31 PM
Freya Goldstein

I'd like to hear any of Brahms and/or Beethoven violin/piano sonatas, Schubert Impromptus, Schumann "Carnival", Bizet "Jeux d'Enfants," Handel sung by Lorraine Hunt Lieberson. Thanks.

Dec. 23 2009 06:17 PM
Ann Holt

Not enought Mozart---especially the Clariner Concerto inA!

Dec. 23 2009 05:39 PM
Phyllis Malone

Where are John Adams' and Borodin's work?

Dec. 23 2009 04:18 PM
Norman Dee from Manhasset

I fully agree that the pre-set list is too limited and already slants the favorites. May I add to this list the Mozart Mass in C Minor? Where are some of the great Bach organ works?

Isn't it wonderful that a list of great works could be so much larger?

Dec. 23 2009 04:07 PM
nancy from New York

A list of warhorses. What about:
Schuman's Piano Concerto
Bruck's Violin concerto
Mozart's Marriage of Figaro

Dec. 23 2009 04:05 PM
marianne from washington heights

It just occurred to me why we have this check off list. The station does not want to allocate any time or staff to compiling a listener-derived list. They really don't think it is important enough to do so. If we just check pre-determined boxes, the database program they use can compile the results in seconds.

I've written letters to the President of this station and the Board of Directors. Not one response.

I think we're only important during the fund raising drive. By the way, your donation to WQXR goes into the general WNYC fund. You are not really supporting WQXR to the extent you think. I am very conflicted over this, because I really would not listen to WNYC and don't particularly want to support it.

Dec. 23 2009 03:53 PM
marianne from washington heights

This is a really disappointing list. totally hackneyed, just like the playlists you perform daily. Classical mush and unpleasant modern pieces played daily. I've never turned off WQXR so much. Donating is a problem for me. I know that it's vital to have a classical music station, but after decades of faithful listening, I'm bewildered by the worse than mediocre programming. So much second-rate music -- and yes, second-rate performers. Who is the musicologist on your staff responsible for this?

I'd like to see the following on the list: Boccherini's Retreat from Madrid,
Dr. Arne's Glittering Sun -Morning,
Charpentier's Temple du Gloire
Handel's Water Music
anything by Purcell,
one of the Christmas Concerto's by Corelli,
Mendelssohn's Octet
Albinoni - Adagio
Beethoven - Waldstein Sonata
Dvorak - Dumky Piano Trio

You've left off some of the greatest composers -- they don't even appear. Where is Haydn, Lassus, Schubert?

Dec. 23 2009 03:45 PM
Avir Kagan from North Woodmere

Agree list method dissapointing ---???Where are: Overture to Marriage of Figaro-Romeo and Juliet (Prokofiev)-The Firebird-Four Seasons(sic!!)-Enigma Variations-Carmina Burrana-Trout--etc,etc,
I have listened for about 70 years-thanks for continuing

Dec. 23 2009 02:29 PM
Ellen Parker

Well, it's nice to see some passion about classical music!
If it has to be a preselected list, why not add the performers - they can make such a difference: I can listen to Uchida and Steinberg play Mozart sonatas for piano and violin that I might as well never have heard until they played them! And if /when you are talking opera, the performers become the reason itself!
But a list is better than no music...

Dec. 23 2009 02:19 PM
Joan Greenfield from New York

Here are my votes (that don't count):

Ravel: Piano Concerto in G
Reich: Different Trains
Stravinsky: Rite of Spring

Where did that list of 50 come from? The world of classical music is so vast - would that your programming had such range!

Dec. 23 2009 02:12 PM
Renee Weiss

I am hoping you will add Dvorak, Czech Suite, Rachmaninoff String Quartet #2, and Mendelssohn Violin Concerto Mvt 1

Dec. 23 2009 02:11 PM

Your list is different from mine ---
Brahms Academic Festival Overture
Beethoven Consecration of the House

Dec. 23 2009 02:03 PM
mike stone

Only the overpaid and brain cell starved management of WNYC could screw up a simple thing like a countdown of listeners' favorites. How hard would have been to have people send email or snail mails saying exactly what they liked and then get one of your many "volunteers" to compile it?

Dec. 23 2009 01:54 PM
David from NYC

Bach Magnificat
Mendelsohn Midsummer Night's Dream
Haydn Creation
G&S Iolanthe
G&S Mikado
G&S Pinafore

Dec. 23 2009 11:05 AM
Bobbi Schnur

How about the Bach Mass in b minor?

Dec. 23 2009 10:32 AM
Mark Ricklis from NJ

Joaquin Rodrigo and anything by John Williams (guitar).
It's sad to see all of the negative comments, but a prepared list just does not do the station or the listener justice.

Dec. 23 2009 10:27 AM
nbwilken from New York

Could you add some Elgar,e.g., Enigma Variations, also, some Britten? Vaughn Williams? Faure Requiem? Bernstein?

Dec. 23 2009 12:32 AM

I would add the following favorites:
Gershwin's Concerto in F; An American in Paris
Tchaikowsky's Piano Concerto 1; Serenade for Strings; Excerpts from Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake; Francesca de Rimini; Symphony 1;
Hamlet overture
Brahms Symphony 1, 2, 3
Grieg's Peer Gynt Suite
Beethoven Piano Concerto 4; Moonlight Sonata
Shostakovitch Symphony 9
Mendelsohn Violin Concerto
Mozart Eine Kleine Nacht Music
Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition; Night at Bald Mountain
Ravel's La Valse
Bizet's Carmen Suite
Strauss's Blue Danube Waltz, Die Fladermaus Overture
Borodin Polivetsian Dances
Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody
Rossini William Tell Overture,
Offenbach's Tales of Hoffman,
Almost anything by Chopin;
Dance of the Hours; Dance Macabre

Dec. 23 2009 12:31 AM
CJoseph from New York, NY

The "list" is yet another example of the banal programming which classical music lovers have been forced to "accept" since the purchase. Based on this list, there is no reason to tune in on Dec. 30th - nor at other times.

Dec. 22 2009 09:08 PM

The poverty of this predigested list of music astounds me. Why not let us put our own ideas forward, as in the past. I too love chamber music and there is basically none there. I would choose many Prokofiev works over "Peter", and on and on. I don't even feel like voting.

Dec. 22 2009 07:18 PM
Michael Meltzer

WQXR is now not-for-profit, but seems to still be following the first principle of American corporate mnagement: never, ever, EVER admit to a mistake.
It seems to be becoming evident that a pretty big one was made here. Perhaps it's not too late to fix it?

Dec. 22 2009 05:31 PM
art almeida

Let's find Bill Watson and bring back WNCN - I miss the glory days of classical FM.....and remember DeKoven? LOL.....I miss him too, funnily enough.

I know, Bill died, NCN died too....RIP

Dec. 22 2009 05:27 PM
Rosemarie Pilkington from Staten Island, New York

Why always the same old war-horses? There's nothing that even tempts me on this list. Instead of the same Brahms and Verdi Requiems (which I love, but come on!) how about Carl Jenkins's Requiem?
The Met museum is wonderful but we also need a MOMA.

Dec. 22 2009 05:11 PM
Jackie from Norwalk, CT

This predigested list is quite unappetizing. Where is chamber music? I prefer any one of the Beethoven quartets to the choices given. Lieder? Only one piano piece by Chopin. How about Elgar's Enigma Variations, surely his greatest work?

Where is Benjamin Britten? Poulenc?

Only Debussy's Clair de Lune? What about La Mer, Iberia, excerpt from Pelleas, etc.

Why don't you let people make their own choices? I believe that's what the old WQXR did.

Dec. 22 2009 05:04 PM
Ted Fleischaker from Indianapolis

Typical of the "new" WQXR a lot of total CRAP on that list...no sign of Arrival Of the Queen of Sheba, Mozart overtures or half the things I loved on the original station. If this is what "public" WQXR is about I mostly will pass and have honestly all but quit listening...BOO to the programmers! Glad with the net we get a lot of better choices! WNYC'd be better off to pull a 1996 playlist and just repeat it in toto for 2010 than what I have heard since October! Cummon guys really.....

Dec. 22 2009 04:52 PM

That list blows!!!!!!!!!!!

Dec. 22 2009 03:34 PM
Harriet J. Brown from Bayside, NY

First of all, I wish we could have had the old format for the Classical Countdown, and I wish it were on December 31 and January 1.

Why wasn't Carmina Burana on that list?

Dec. 22 2009 02:57 PM
Chris Hasselkus from New Jersey

My favorite piece of all time is not listed. It's Tchaikovsky's "Serenade for Strings". The old station wouldn't play it nearly enough to the point where I emailed them frequently to do so. Also, the new station doesn't put it's playlist up beforehand, so listeners don't know what is going to be played until after the fact.

Dec. 22 2009 02:23 PM
Dorothea Anastasio

Obviously I'm in the minority, and while I like Beethoven, his 9th is not my no.1 favorite. A predetermined list is convenient for voting, but not desirable. I was disappointed not to see Prokofiev's score to Romeo & Juliet, Allegri's Miserere, and Vaughan Williams' Lark Ascending, to name only a few. Please re-think your method, but thank you anyway, for continuing the survey each year.

Dec. 22 2009 11:07 AM
Teresa from NJ


Bach's cello suites
Mozart's Linz symphony
Liszt piano concertos - Hungarian Fantasy
Vivaldi's Four Seasons

Limiting choices with pre-selected list, I agree with some comments above, is less than ideal -- i suppose you do this to save time?

Also, not convinced you should include the Gratitude project choices. Those were chosen and submitted with different criteria than a "top" list

Dec. 22 2009 06:23 AM
Dorothy S. Wigod from New York

Oh, dear. Alas, etc.
I must stand with the nay-sayers. A pre-selected list, without even the option of rating the selections from 1-50! Oh, woe. And without the Trout, the Mendelssohn Octet , and about 20 omissions others have listed.. , oh, lackaday.
Oh, Dear WQXR,
We are,of course, grateful that you continue to exist, and will be more grateful if you resume the old classical countdown for 2011.
Happy New Year

Dec. 21 2009 10:20 PM
Denise Otis from X

I am deeply disappointed in this list. Although I voted, it was particularly sad to be presented with such a banal list when I have been so pleased recently to hear composers like Takemitsu and Messaien, who never used to be played on WQXR. Perhaps if it is too difficult to process open ended suggestions, the station should just forget about the Classical Countdown and come up with a more imaginative kind of listener participation.

Dec. 21 2009 09:55 PM
Liriope from Brooklyn

I agree with many above that the choices were too limited. Here's some things I would like to hear: Strauss's "Four Last Songs", Brahm's "Alto Rhapsody", some of Bach's "St. Mathew Passion",Faure's "Requiem", and how about Duke Ellingtons "Black Brown and Beige"?

Dec. 21 2009 09:38 PM
Ronald Clairmont from 150 west 55th street NYC

No listing for the B-minor Mass, but one for Peter and the Wolf (which I do like)? I stopped looking.
Who compiled this list??

Dec. 21 2009 06:59 PM
Michael Meltzer

The speed with which the objections are collecting, the obvious high taste level of the objectors and the omission of so many obvious potboilers indicates two things:
1. Offering a pre-set list doesn't sit well with your public,
2. Whoever had the job of preparing it shouldn't have had the job.
Soliciting free choice, although it it surely a lot more work to sift through letters, postcards, e-mails, etc., is your opportunity to really get to know your listeners' tastes, the core , the fringes, everything from soup to nuts.
You have defenestrated that opportunity. These comments represent only those listeners who will happily argue the point.
A much larger portion are simply alienated, you lose them. Remember your mission!

Dec. 21 2009 06:00 PM
Bob S from Chestut Ridge NY

Your survey list is a synopsis of what we regularly hear all year long. It proides not room for the real classics that are classic but not as popular.

My vote: Liszt - Les Preludes

Dec. 21 2009 05:36 PM
Jill Brotman from United States

What happened to all of the violin concerti? (Mendelsohn, Brahms, Bach, Saint-Saens, Sibelius, Bruch, Beethoven, et alia)
How about Mozart piano concerti?
A little Verklarte Nacht, anyone?
Madame Butterfly?
No Ravel and a pedestrian selection for Debussy!
I don't know what your limit is, but for all the pieces I love that you've listed, the list does seem somewhat spartan.

Dec. 21 2009 05:19 PM
amy martin

How about some opera. Has everybody forgotten Tito Gobbi?

Dec. 21 2009 03:44 PM
Susan Wright from northern New Jersey

My favorite was not even listed, yet every year some part of it has been played . Why the change in how the choices are selected? I would have put down Act 1 of La Boheme which isn't even listed this year

Dec. 21 2009 03:16 PM
Stephen Margolies from Westwood, NJ

This list is VERY disappointing. For example it's missing the Brahms Violin Concerto, and there is no Mendelssohn at all. Certainly the Scottish Symphony (3rd) should be a candidate, possibly his violin concerto as well. This will be the first time in years that I will not be voting for my favorites since the list you present consists not of my favorites but of what YOU deem my favorites should be drawn from.

Dec. 21 2009 02:33 PM
Yme Woensdregt from BC, Canada

Let me add a few other pieces

Shostakovich, Symphony 5, 10
Shostakovich String Quartet 5, 8
Poulenc, Organ Concerto
Guilmant, Organ Sonatas
Widor, Organ Symphonies
Bartok, String Quartet 6

Dec. 21 2009 02:23 PM
Esther Spaulding from New York

I like the new location and programing. Choices for the "Countdown" The Three 9th Symphonies, Beetoven, Schubert and Dvorak, always a pleasure to hear.

Dec. 21 2009 02:20 PM
Adrien Synnott from New Jersey

It looks like very little chamber music got on the list; it's mostly full orchestra symphonic-type works. I want Schubert's "Trout" Quintet!

Dec. 21 2009 01:55 PM
M. Jones from Bronxville NY

Altho I voted, I too am disappointed because my top three favorites are not on the list: Prokovief's Romeo & Juliet; Mahler's 9th & Dvorak's Bagatelles.

Why the change? It's no fun when the picks are made for us!

Dec. 21 2009 01:45 PM
Nancy Wight

My favorites are Handel's Messiah; Dvorak's Romance for Violin and Orchestra; the piano quintet. They aren't on the list! Why?

Dec. 21 2009 12:32 PM
Lilly Knuth from Garden City, NY

The choices should be left entirely to the listener. There are several composers and pieces I love that are not on the list. Perhaps it just easier to do it this way for the station, but not for the listener who wishes their favorite pieces to be played.

Dec. 21 2009 11:50 AM

I am happy that Chis Bannon of WQXR recognized the problems many of us have had with this list, in his comment posted on Dec. 17. I'm sure you will figure out something better next year.

He added this:
"Feel free to add suggestions here in the comments field. We're collecting those, too, and will do our best to fold as many as we can into the final countdown."

Judging from the continuing irate comments, it doesn't seem that people understand that they can, in effect, get a vote in by putting their choices in a comment. (It's a terrible way to do it, but at least it's something.)

Maybe the station can just quote his statement as-is on the web site, so a reader can figure out what to do.

You've tweaked the wording a few times, but it still doesn't say, in plain English, "Vote in the comment section for anything that is not in the list." The missing thing is that you'll take the comments into account in the countdown. That really should be made clear, somehow.

That said, here would be my votes (none of which are on your list):

Stravinsky - Rite of Spring
Prokofiev - Symphony # 5
Orff - Carmina Burana

There could be so many more, but these will do for me.

Next year, please don't give us a list, even a good one. That's a horrible way to collect favorites.


Dec. 21 2009 11:47 AM
Ed Donner from Bohemia, New York

I agree with most of the people leaving comments. First of all the signal is way to weak. I live on Long Island and can barely recieve it in central Suffolk County. Plus the countdown should really be up to the listeners, not a hand picked list of what you thank we would like to listen to.

Dec. 21 2009 11:24 AM
steven eyerman

two other favorites i would add:
1. Brahms violin concerto
2. Grieg Piano concerto

Dec. 21 2009 10:35 AM
Maria Laura

I agree with some of the comments; but I am also very very very grateful to WQXR and WNYC. Where would classical New York be without them?

Dec. 21 2009 10:10 AM
Ed from New York City

I agree with the other remarks. The list, as it is now, has been handpicked to get certain results and since Beethoven's 9th has always been number 1, I wonder why it has to be included on your list once again.

Why no Mahler 8th, why no vocal music by Elgar and you only include the Tallis Fantasia by RVW out of his large number of compositions many of which are far more important.

I never voted in this "survey" and see no reason to start now.

Dec. 21 2009 09:33 AM
Michael Meltzer

I:'m sorry, for the first time in years, I'm unable to vote, for the following reasons:
1. In the past, you have asked for 3 choices. I have always included what I consider one of the most momentous symphonic works of the 20th century, the Bartok Concerto for Orchestra. You omit this from your list.
2. For my other two choices, the Beethoven 7th and the Mozart Requiem, your format doesn't permit me to instruct you to delete my vote if you select the Leonard Bernstein recordings. The Bernstein Beethoven is tedious and boring and doesn't dance, certainly not by comparison with Cantelli, Van Beinum, Simon Rattle or Toscanini.
His Mozart Requiem is a circus, beginning with the soprano entrance, Te decet hymnus, where we are expecting a voice with the purity of an angel. Leontyne Price comes barreling in like Brunhilde. Ms. Price, in her operatic roles, borders on
genius, but she just doesn't fit here.
3. Without Candice Agree to announce the choices, it just ain't the same. Sorry folks, you lost me.

Dec. 21 2009 09:15 AM
ellen from East Hampton, NY

How about giving one spot for a favorite of our own? you can collect from the list of comments above me.

Ever hear of 20th century composers? Not too many on your list.

I will probably create a playlist of my own to play. Unfortunately, this will benefit anyone but myself.

Dec. 20 2009 06:46 PM
Mary Louise Murray-Johnson from Heidelberg, Germany

This is not a survey. The choices are yours. The choices are limited. It is almost as if you are afraid of your listeners.
The "Classical Countdown" used to be "real". Why can you no longer give us the freedom to choose our true favorites?
We might even be ahead of you in finding a desired musical rarity that you would not have thought of.

Dec. 20 2009 05:52 PM
James Lamb from Staten Island, NY

Slim pickins and reading these comments, most of your listeners are insulted. Give us more credit. What about vocal music? Songs by Tchaikovsky, Strauss, Schumann and so forth are not considered. Perhaps this should be re-thought for 2011. Best to you all for a great holiday season and new year.

Dec. 20 2009 04:28 PM
Jane from New York

Found the selection rather limited. Would like to see Elgar's Enigma Variations and Dvorak's Cello Concerto in B Minor, Op. 104.

Dec. 20 2009 04:16 PM
California fan from Northern CA

What? No Schumann? I agree with people who've suggested that the listeners create their own favorites next year, if possible. That said, great job overall, WQXR. Thanks for being consistently wonderful, and now commercial-free!

Dec. 20 2009 02:18 PM
K.E. McCleary

I much prefer having your supporters make the selection. This seems another example of dumbing-down.

Dec. 20 2009 02:10 PM
Madeleine Tress

Your list is always the tired and true. What about Shubert's Octet or the entire Cantaloube Songs of the Auverge cycle? Beethoven's Razumovsky String Quartet.

Dec. 20 2009 01:59 PM
GraceAnne from The Bronx, NY

Thomas Tallis's Spem in Alium, oh please.

Dec. 20 2009 01:22 PM
Hans-Hartwig Ehlers from New York City

All your choices are great, however, you take all the fun out of the whole affair by choosing your own. Who are we the listeners/ supporters? Why should anybody vote if his/her favorites are not on on your list? Dare I make a plea for one of the greatest musicians that ever lived? Maria Callas ?
Now there is one of many that I could think of.....
May be you arrange it somewhat more fairly next time ? Thank you for trying....

Dec. 20 2009 12:42 PM
Andrea from Astoria, NY

Disappointed in your limited selection. There's not much thinking involved when the selections are pre-determined. All that you are getting is a refinement/repetition of what was already selected last year and at Thanksgiving. What's the point of that except that it facilitates your contest?

Happy holidays anyway.

Dec. 20 2009 11:56 AM
G. W.

Please get rid of this ridiculous and restrictive list. WQXR serves listeners of many and varied tastes and such a list serves no valid purpose. Where, for example, is Strauss' Death and Transfiguration to name but one example!

Dec. 20 2009 11:25 AM
NMA from Brooklyn

I agree that it's difficult to vote on a pre-determined list of 50 out of thousands. Tens of thousands.

I have to add to the list Elgars Enigma Variations. And I was surprised not to see it there. I believe this to be one of the most profound collections of music written.

Dec. 20 2009 11:23 AM
ME Box from Hackensack, NJ

I was saddened I couldn't place my own choices for consideration so I voted for all the requiems in the list.

Dec. 20 2009 11:06 AM
Gary from NJ

With all the classical literature available, how can I possibly make a selection based on a pre-determined list? There are a number of pieces that are more dear to me than anything on the list. No vote from me, thanks.

Dec. 20 2009 11:04 AM
Steve Lerit from Morristown, NJ

A few random thoughts:
>The predetermined countdown list creates an obvious selection bias rendering the results less than meaningful, especially if tastes change over time.
>Bill McGlaughlin's program is wonderful, but it is broadcast too late in the evening for those of us who have to wake up early.
>I completely agree with another listener who noted that (1) Your line-of-sight signal is weak, especially at night and (2) Bring back David Dubal.

Dec. 20 2009 10:25 AM
Penelope Thompson from Mahwah

This felt like an exam where you answer with what the teacher wants you to say - so very much is missing. I love The Lark Ascending, Aaron Copeland and other Elgar pieces,and many many others Please handle this differently next year

Dec. 20 2009 10:13 AM
Barbara Mullin

I liked it better when we could simply give our favorites. I love all of the Beethoven concerti and you only list his 5th.

You didn't have a preselected group in the past and it worked out very well.

Dec. 20 2009 09:02 AM
Bardin Levavy

I liked the process better when someone could vote for whatever he liked. I agree with those who listed favorites not on the self-defined "Top 50." The choices should be fully free - and, for interest, the results should be tallied and printed. I would be interested in seeing how many different pieces attracted votes nd how many votes were attracted to each.

Dec. 19 2009 05:49 PM
arden broecking from Fairfield County, Connecticut

Okay, your list is pretty much standard repertory, and that's fine. That being said, I'd like to hear the Richard Strauss "Alpine" Symphony, the complete "Rosenkavalier" or at least the complete third act Trio, Siegfried's Rhine Journey and Funeral Music, of Wagner, some arias and Swedish songs by Jussi Bjoerling and Birgit Nilsson, and "Der Winterreise: sung by Thomas Quasthoff. Quasthoff should definitely be on there somewhere, oh and maybe the Beethoven "Missa Solemnis."
I know there's resistance to vocal music, (can't think why) nut I also didn't see "Carmina Burana" on that list, and it's a knockout, especially the Thielemann recording. Thanks for being on the air!

Dec. 19 2009 05:07 PM
Emily from West Orange, NJ

Yes absolutely to the Trout, Mendelssohn octet, Death & the Maiden. Also Schubert lieder (may I single out "shepherd on the rock"?), Saint Saens cello concerto in A minor, and most defniitely, Beethoven sonata for cello & piano in A major. Also, anyone for early music?

A further note: symphonies are wonderful, but for those of us who don't get out and about much (three kids, long hours at work, blah blah), radio is a lifeline, and symphonies don't sound that great coming out of a smallish box. Not compared to the real thing. What does sound good is chamber music - from piano and vocal, to any instruments in any combination...

Dec. 19 2009 04:35 PM
L Lieberman from Fort Lee, NJ

Bartok's First Violin Concerto should be on your rediculous list. The new "QXR" is a waste of time.
You should be helping listeners broaden their horizons--not narrow them!! Please do not ask me to support you!

Your line-of-sight signal is weak, especially at night.
Bring back David Dubal.
NPR doesnt have to be "Pablum"--do they make it anymore?

Dec. 19 2009 03:29 PM
Thom Taylor from New York, NY

I was very pleased to be able to vote for Gustav Mahler. I would like to put a word in for Howard Hanson's Symphony Number Three and his very lovely "Pastorale for Oboe, Harps and Strings," Op 38. I thank WQXR for continuing this tradition and recommend that the new management listen to the the comments this vote is generating. We the people have good tastes in music. What the public likes to hear and needs to hear has no boundaries. Classical music's diversity and scope should never be limited.

Dec. 19 2009 02:17 PM
John Strong

I cannot take the survey as printed because too many of my favorites, such as the sibelius 5th) are not there, and too much of what is there are far from my favorites

Dec. 19 2009 01:43 PM
Shelly Spritzer from manhatten

Beethoven's 9th. it is the most glorious music ever written.

Dec. 19 2009 01:37 PM
S. Taylor from New York

This list is a very sparse group of favorites to choose from. I kept thinking I was missing a page or two. Why have you stopped asking the listeners to send in their favorites and then go from there?
I am adding Sibelius' Symphony No. 5 and Grieg's Piano Concerto in A Minor Op. 16.

Dec. 19 2009 01:16 PM
J M from NYC

"Forced choice" questionnaires have their place, but this is not one of them. Reminds me of those magazine surveys that give three choices, none of which provides your real answer, and "none of the above" is not even an option! As with so many others who commented, my favorite composer, Ottorino Respighi, wasn't even on the list. I love many of the works listed, but checked none and submitted the unchecked survey to Survey Monkey. Maybe everyone should do that.

Dec. 19 2009 12:45 PM
Mary Heller from Poughkeepsie, NY

Everything on the list is great, of course. However, where in heaven's name is Mahler's Symphony #1? Franz Liszt's "Les Preludes"? Bruckner's "Te Deum".......etc. The list just isn't inclusive enough.

However again....THANK YOU for continuing the tradition. The staff at WQXR are doing a great job in keeping most of what we love about your station.

Dec. 18 2009 11:07 PM
Ed Wlody from Staten Island, New York

I can't believe what was left off -
Tchaikovsky's B-Flat Major Piano Concerto
Schubert's Trout Quintet
Mendelsshohn's Octet
Mendelsshohn's Mid Summer Night's Dream - German or English
Beethoven's Choral Fantasy
etc., etc., etc.

Dec. 18 2009 08:20 PM
H.T. Wallhauser from Millburn NJ

What can be the thinking behind this meagre list? Just to take one composer--Richard Strauss--Why would you list the Rosenkavalier waltzes without one of the major tone poems? It simply doesn't make sense.

Dec. 18 2009 07:58 PM

It's obvious and no surprise that Beethoven's 9th symphony will always be the number 1 voted choice of all time and that will never change. I too was wondering whatever happened to Schubert's Trout Quintet and also Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture.

Perhaps WQXR's library got combined with WNYC, it was not always possible to keep every CD. Perhaps WQXR should give away CD that any duplicates WNYC already has, they don't need any duplicates.

Dec. 18 2009 07:54 PM
John Flory from Morristown

Where were

Why so much

Dec. 18 2009 07:48 PM
J T Moran from Jackson Heights

Yes, indeed. Let us name our three favorites as in the past and see how well our choices did.

Not happy about the loss of Clayel Dalferes(sp?) and the reports of events around the town, including the ads by various music venues, churches, museums, etc., not to mention regular newscasts on the former WQXR.

Dec. 18 2009 04:17 PM

Something is wrong - I found only one page to vote on. I hope that is not what WQXR intended.

I may pledge after you get an excellent list up, at least 400 strong.

Dec. 18 2009 03:05 PM
savta11 from United States

I find myself in agreement with most of the comments about the limitations of the list you posted. Brahms wrote 4 symphonies; Beethoven 9. Why leave some out? Where is Faure's Requiem? I guess the choices are better than nothing (not too much better) but I like the old way of choosing 3 and then listening for what made the list.

Dec. 18 2009 02:42 PM
Bruce Chodosh from Woodbridge, NJ

Your list is much too limited. There must be a good reason, but it falls far short of getting a reasonable consensus of what pieces of classical music are most appreciated by your listeners.

Dec. 18 2009 12:51 PM
Bhaskar from Little Egg Harbor, NJ

Was it so difficult for WQXR staff to put together a list of 300 or 400 items, which would truly reflect the wide range of music created by composers and also loved by listeners. This list is anaemic and deperately in need of a transfusion before anyone wiould even bother to take it seriously. Even though I can think of hundreds of items, I will mention only one - Max Bruch's Kol Nidrei.

Dec. 18 2009 12:12 PM
Stanzl from NYC

Just look at your list. It is so limited. The playlists should have broadened after the move, not narrowed down. There's so much repetition,

We were supposed to have more time to play longer pieces with fewer interruptions. What happened.

Really? One Wagner selection.

Did the QXR music library make the move or is it in dead storage somewhere?

Dec. 18 2009 11:27 AM
will burton from ocala fla

Guess you have to start somewhere-Erik Satie
Gymnopedie No. 1

Dec. 18 2009 11:02 AM
Sisko24 from metro New York City

I voted for some pieces on this list, but many of my favorites were left off. Shostakovitch Symphonies 5, 7, 9, 10 and 11 weren't there, nor were Richard Strauss' Alpine Symphony, Festival Prelude and Zarathustra, Copland's Organ Symphony, Still's Afro-American Symphony and Sousa marches (any and all of them).

My best hope is that WQXR will add these and other works throughout the end of the year as they do the countdown. My worst fear is they will only consider the listing they had.

Dec. 18 2009 10:53 AM
Mike Handelsman from Brooklyn, NY

I just want to call your attention to a newly discovered composer, whose oeuvre is understandably overlooked as a result of his obscurity. He is so little known, that the absence of any of his works from the list of 50 is quite understandable. His name - JOSEPH HAYDN. It's time both station and audience should know about him.

Dec. 18 2009 10:41 AM
Lord Belchmore

Must humbly ask question; "How does one make countdown without Vivaldi?"
Also, the existing list looks as though it were made by people with a low excitement threshold. I say hit them with the Canadian Brass' version of Bach's toccatta and fugue in D minor and loosen some dental fillings!
Thank You. I must now resume the search for my missing powdered wig.

Dec. 18 2009 09:38 AM
Shari from NYC

The purpose of the "countdown" was to have us choose the programming for a day or two. Dvorak's "American" Quartet... How can that not be in the list?
And as noted in the other comments many pieces both familiar and less known "favorites" are missing.

Dec. 18 2009 08:40 AM
sandra from New York City

Since the move up the dial, it seems that the programmers thought classical music lovers were a very homogenous group of old fogies who only want to hear the same 12 pieces again and again every week. The comments on the survey have told them otherwise!

Dec. 18 2009 08:30 AM
Jordan Rab

Yikes! How can you list ONLY 'Clair de Lune' as Debussy's sole piece in your 'Classical Countdown'? That's a slap in the face, to say the least. Just one composition? What about 'La Mer'? 'Afternoon of a Fawn'? Arabesque #2? etc.??

Dec. 18 2009 08:23 AM

Just plain silly.

Dec. 18 2009 08:04 AM
Peter Brancazio from Flushing, NY

What a bad idea! How could you ask your listeners to choose from a preselected and very limited list? The results will definitely not reflect the musical tastes of your listeners. Who decided to include only one Puccini opera, and no Verdi or Mozart? Why no Bernstein, Copland, Vivaldi, just to name a few. PLEASE don't do this again next year!

Dec. 17 2009 05:44 PM
Don Dunsmore from new jersey

Sadly I feel a whole new set of people are making decisions for the station. WQXR got the dirty end of the stick in the move. The same music is being played time & time again. I think I have heard 'Le Mer" more times in the past few weeks than in the past few years. I am tires of what one of the on air personalities called "alternative orchestrations". I look forward to the classical countdown as I will hear "classic WQXR">

Dec. 17 2009 05:33 PM
Lauren Scott from Manhattan

I particularly missed seeing Prokofiev's Romeo & Juliet and La Valse. Don't give us the 50 top hits to choose from. Put in more contemporary music. Was there any Bernstein, or did I miss it?

Dec. 17 2009 04:00 PM
Alice Pidgeon from White Plains, NY

What about the Flower Duet from Lakme?

Dec. 17 2009 03:10 PM
June Severino Feldman from NYC

Well, MY favorite was there... and I have to say that I really love the new WQXR. Have heard music from so many more contemporary composers - some of which I'd not been familiar with at all. But none of them, even the more well-known ones, were on this list which is definitely a disconnect. I guess it was worth a try, and there must have been some careful thought behind conducting the countdown this way. But I have to agree - it's kind of a dud.

Dec. 17 2009 03:01 PM

More Mozart! There's a lot more to choose from than just the Requiem and the last two symphonies.

Dec. 17 2009 02:50 PM
Bohdan from Cranford NJ

You left out my #1 favorite Carmina Burana

Dec. 17 2009 02:33 PM
marian b from NYC

I agree with the listener that suggested "shaking us up." How about some modern composers? I would loved to have seen Howard Shore's score for Lord of the Rings on that list. It was good enough for Renee Fleming to participate in and I believe it's worthy of being played on WQXR.

Dec. 17 2009 02:06 PM
Judy Siegman from Brooklyn, NY

You're obviously having growing pains, but I wish there were less hoopla about how great you are. The survey felt political: names chosen by those in power amongst which we had to vote. Few of my true favorites: the g minor Quintet of Mozart, K.516, or Schubert's C Major Quintet, or Beethoven's last Quartets or his Hammerklavier...A dearth of chamber music altogether, not to mention Bach's St. Matthew's Passion. I'm supporting you financially and hoping for the better, if not the best, but in truth, I often choose WKCR over your offerings, and WBAI on Sunday mornings.

Dec. 17 2009 02:01 PM
Curt from River Vale, NJ

Orff's Carmina Burana...

Dec. 17 2009 01:57 PM
Linda Macari from New Jersey

I, too, echo many of the other comments about the limited choices. My missing favorite is Bach's Mass in B Minor and other choral works. I am also mindful of the fact that we all need to continue to support WQXR with our dollars -- I know that all gifts are welcome, no matter what size. Our office has just utilized "Spare Change for Toys for Tots"....amazing how those pennies add up to dollars. Blessed holidays to all.

Dec. 17 2009 01:14 PM
chris bannon from new york

Thanks to all of you who've submitted ideas. We here at the station agree that the survey monkey is a crude tool, but we needed some relatively easy way to collate the results in time for New Year's. It isn't perfect, and I agree that we'll work on improving this system in time for next year. If you know of software that might be helpful, please let us know.

Feel free to add suggestions here in the comments field. We're collecting those, too, and will do our best to fold as many as we can into the final countdown.

Have a great 2010!

Dec. 17 2009 10:47 AM
Gloria from Hartsdale, NY

Please add Schubert's Quintet in C, D 956. It is my very all time favorite and people should get to know it.

Dec. 17 2009 09:30 AM

I agree with what everyone else has said. So many great pieces and great composers have been excluded!

Dec. 16 2009 10:25 PM
Martin H Sokol

Your music choices read like a "Who's Who" of compositions. They are all great. If the intent of this survey was to determine listener's tastes, I think WQXR would have been better served to limit choices and adding more diversification to permit broader musical tastes. Music lovers like many forms of music including jazz, 40's, 50's (my generation) songs. A world class museme presents paintings and art from all centuries and generations. Music is no different. It does not have to be only classic classical. Jazz, generational music (the best of the 40's, 50's, 60's, or, all time favorite show music e.g. Porgy & Bess, Show Boat, etc.) However, be careful not to cross into contemporary music that you can hear on other radio stations. WQXR should be a radio station presenting what your experts consider to be the best classical music (all music which has withstood the test of time) composed from past years and not limit it to what is called "classical music" of the Masters.

Dec. 16 2009 08:33 PM
Pat Galaskas from Nassau County, NY

They're all correct -- the list is much too limited and unbalanced. Also, you're asking those who comment to identify themselves but voters are not identified. I could go back and vote for my favorities many times-there's an idea! Maybe Beethoven's #6 or the Bach Brandenburg Concerti could beat out Beethoven's 9th this year! :)
I do understand that limitations of staffing to analyze the results of the previous free-form format may have been a consideration. This format lets the computer simply shoot out a list for you already rank ordered. Maybe for 2010 you could do several of these surveys over the course of the year (1 per month?) each on a different period or nationality. That way you'd get a much broader representation and you could just choose those with the highest number of check marks for the New Year countdown.

Dec. 16 2009 07:46 PM
Harriet J. Brown from Bayside, NY

I only wish that the Brahms Violin Concerto, Puccini's La Boheme, and other works by Verdi were on that list.

Dec. 16 2009 03:48 PM
Barbara Greer

wow! what happened to copland's appalachian spring? the old format was much fairer and i always looked forward to hearing unfamiliar music (not featured in the top 50)...know it's the first year with the new station but hope you'll consider revisiting the original version...anyway, i'm here to stay!

Dec. 16 2009 12:19 PM
Joan Stern Kiok from United States

I agree with most of the comments. We should not have been limited to those 50. I suggest that next year (assuming you are still on the air) you go back to the original format of allowing us to make three choices of our own, not from the Music 101 list.

Dec. 16 2009 11:29 AM
Richard Crook from NYC

It was always a pleasure hear personal favorites make the list (even if #1 was predictable). Who's in charge of the list of selections? Further step to dis-enfranchisement of loyal listeners.

Dec. 16 2009 10:33 AM
Sal Amram from Harrison, NY

Very disappointed not to see any works by Berlioz,except Symphonie Fantastique.
What about HAROLD IN ITALY? Could you please add it to your list, I am sure that many of us devoted listeners of WQXR
would love to hear it. Thanks for continuing
the tradition.
Sal Amram

Dec. 15 2009 10:17 PM
Paul Kaufman

I was very disappointed to see that my choices for "favorites" were limited to the favorites of those who created the list of choices. While all the selections listed are truly masterworks, there are so many more from which I would have liked to choose. It's too bad that WQXR is now a "top 40 (all right - 50)" station, right up (down) there with the rock and easy- listening stations. Next year, please give your listeners a REAL choice.

Dec. 15 2009 09:33 PM
Carolyn Westerdahl from New Jersey

I miss the chance to vote for Bach's B-minor mass, especially the Sanctus. There were 4 Rachmaninoff selections and only 3 for Bach and Mozart. There was nothing by Bizet or Berlioz. And no Trout. Let us vote free style next year

Dec. 15 2009 06:16 PM
M. Rosner

The real issue here is that you have a prescribed list of music which you will play, countdown or not, and will not go beyond that for fear of alienating your established audience. But isn't it your responsibilty to help your listeners grow by exposing us to music which ranges beyond the basic "list?" And I'm not talking about late Shostakovich quartets or Alban Berg. But why not program Sibelius' 3rd, 6th or 7th? Or Prokofiev piano and violin concertos? Or almost any Beethoven piano sonata? Or the Schubert great Quintet in C, the Brahms piano trios and quartets, the last Schubert sonata, or any number of pieces by Dvorak and Janacek?
How many times can you play Rhapsody in Blue but not the Concerto in F or The Moldau but not The High Castle? When did we last hear Villa-Lobos? We love you; you're all we've got....but we want more out of the relationship!! A greater loss than alienating us would be putting us to sleep. Music need not always be relaxing. Shake us up a bit, please.

Dec. 15 2009 06:13 PM
Alejandro Nolasco from Bronx, NY

I agree with Bob that having us vote on a pre-set list (whose list?), as opposed to us actually writing in our real favorites, somewhat delegitimizes the process. Having 5 or 10 free spaces for us to pen in our actual favorites, however esoteric, would give us the sense of 'real' participation. Also, I agree with other listeners that omitting Schubert's Trout Quintet is regrettable. But, then again, so is not including any Schumann or Haydn or Vivaldi. To me, though, this list is not a list without Liszt.
For the sake of evenhadedness, I was pleasantly surprised to see Smetana's Moldau.

Dec. 15 2009 05:09 PM
Hal Klinger

The list of 50 is the new WQXR's first real blunder. This is a list for Music Appreciatioin 101, not one of the greatest classical music stations in the world. Please, go back to the "classical" way of doing things.

Dec. 15 2009 04:32 PM
Deirdre from Nyack, NY

Is this what public radio has done to WQXR?! I expected better than this!

Dec. 15 2009 04:32 PM
Wmbos from Pennsylvania

This is an embarrassing list from a station that purports to champion classical music (which, from this list, seems to have all but ceased with the end of the 19th century). Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra, possibly the greatest orchestral piece ever written, isn't even on the list. Very, very sad.

Dec. 15 2009 04:26 PM

should have provisions for "write ins" inccluding shorter works and opera exerpts

Dec. 15 2009 02:28 PM
William Leo Coakley

Very poor selection. Leave it to listeners' choices.

Dec. 15 2009 12:57 PM
John Dixon from Old Greenwich, CT

Terrible list, as so many have said.
Only Prokofiev is Peter and Wolf. Come onnn!
No Shostakovich.
Even for the few who get multiple selections (Mozart, Tchaikovsky,.....), some of the best are left out.

Dec. 15 2009 11:42 AM

You've got to be kidding.

Dec. 15 2009 09:02 AM
Peter Kirn from New York, NY

I'm mystified. I can understand the monumental task it must have been to go through entries by hand. And of course, any list this short is likely to offend someone.

But let's imagine for a moment the surreal picture of this non-existent hypothetically classical listener:

"Why, yes, I adore Classical music. Oh, but please - no string quartets, certainly not the quartets of Haydn, Beethoven, or Schubert, and absolutely no solo literature or chamber music."

Does someone have some odd form of amplification that melts the moment it comes in contact with a solo instrument?

So, we get Smetena but not a Bach Prelude and Fugue or the "Trout."

For younger listeners, I'm sorry, but WQXR loses relevance in the age of the Internet - with access to real music, to actual repertoire, to whole pieces of music. The segregation of major portions of the literature to Q2, far from remedying the situation, only calls it into sharper relief. I adored getting to listen to human voices as DJs growing up. Sadly, that luxury today comes at the expense of access to the music.

Dec. 15 2009 01:15 AM
mort rosner from Teaneck, NJ

Echoing everyone else, you have opted for a low common denominator, very common at that! To note some omissions of beloved pieces: Schubert's Trout Quintet, Dvorak's and Brahms' Piano Quintets, Dvorak's Cello Concerto, Prokofiev's 3rd Concerto, the Shostakovich 5th, Brahms' 2nd Symphony, Mahler's 4th, Sibelius 5th, Daphnis and Chloe, and the Grieg Concerto. Maybe it's time to retire the Franck Symphony and add some Copland and Stravinsky, perhaps Petrouchka this time. I'll be listening and hoping you'll sneak in a Beethoven Sonata!

Dec. 14 2009 11:25 PM

This new format undoubtedly saves you money, but as almost everyone has noted, it ain't worth it. Look, Mozart was the titan of the 18th century, so more of him (OK, Bach's a close second and way up there on the all time list, so give him more, too); Beethoven is da man of the 19th --and of all time-- so add all his piano concerti; and The Rite of Spring was THE classical music composition of the 20th, and belongs on the all-time list.

If the 9th isn't # 1 always, then Virginia, there isn't a Holiday Season no more..

Dec. 14 2009 06:02 PM

Your list is way too short. Go back to the old way of doing it. There are too many favorite options missing. We all know from past years that Beethoven will dominate the top ten, so why not open the field up? I always like and am surprised sometimes by some of the pieces that end up being played.

Dec. 14 2009 04:39 PM
Elaine Siebanaler from Nanuet NY.

Needless to say that I for one am not satisified with the new format for the Countdown. What happened to Schubert's great 9th Symphony,and the Trout Quintet,
Dvorak's Cello Concerto, Tschaikovsky's
Piano Concereto, Copland's Appalachian
Spring, Off's Carmina Burana, and especially Mendelssohn this year with his
Violin Concerto
I have kept copies of the countdown for five years and so much is missing. I am a senior and have been listening to WQXR since my late teens. Hopefully next year it will be back to what most of us a use to.

Dec. 14 2009 01:24 PM
Betty Greitzer

Unless you let listeners write in their real favorites, we're going to be stuck yet again with uninterrupted Beethoven for the last 5 hours of programming.

Definitely not enough chamber music choices. Not even room for Schubert's Quartetsatz or Ravel's Introduction and Allegro?

Given my druthers, I'd vote for Sibelius Symphony No. 3 or 5, Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde or Des Knaben Wunderhorn, Stravinsky's Dunbarton Oaks Concerto or The Rite of Spring, and many of the choices already mentioned. And why trot out Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings yet again when his Knoxville: Summer of 1915 is infinitely more interesting?

Time to rethink, I think.

Dec. 14 2009 12:00 PM
Arnold from Long Island

This is not the way it should be done. That being said, how do we know after we all select "our favorites" in years past, they don't just go with their own pre determined playlist. How can there be ONE choice for Chopin?

Dec. 14 2009 09:25 AM

Gosh - what happened to Brahms' first?
Did I miss it.

Dec. 14 2009 07:52 AM
Len Nedzela from Manhattan

I agree with many of your listeners' comments that the list is rather pedestrian and has significant omissions. Why not give those of us who haven't yet voted the opportunity? You'd likely have more satisfied listeners and more satisfying musical programming over the holiday.

Dec. 13 2009 02:59 PM
Dan from Parsippany, NJ

Yes, this list certainly is far too limited. How does a depressing--and overplayed-- piece like Elgar's Cello Concerto make the list and a transcendent piece like Dvorak's Cello Concerto not? Admittedly, my favorites never have made it in the past--Ravel's Daphnis et Chloe (complete, not just the second suite), Bruckner's 7th Symphony and Rachmaninov's 3rd Symphony. One has the impression that you chose the voting format simply because it's easier for you. Fair enough. Although many of our other choices would not win, as in most true elections, we could support other independent candidates. At least we'd have the feeling of true participation.

Dec. 13 2009 01:42 PM
Barbara Hoyt from Long Island, New York

I agree with the previous listeners in that I would like to choose personal favorites. Did I miss seeing the Trout Quintet?? I love the music from The Red Poppy Suite.....oh so many favorites. I have been a listener for as long as I can remember and I am a Senior Citizen.

Dec. 13 2009 12:48 PM

The old format was also limited. We were only able to send in a limited number of suggestions.
We went through something like that over Thanksgiving when we heard some of the suggestion's that people sent. The results we heard sounded very much like the old Classical Countdown. I think the new system will allow for more input.

Dec. 13 2009 10:32 AM

I agree this list is far too limited. None of my actual favorites made it here: Mozart's Overture to "The Marriage of Figaro," Holst's "The Planets" or Bernstein's Overture to "Candide."

Dec. 13 2009 09:25 AM
Karl from Ossining, NY

Please return to the old format. There are just too many great pieces missing. I am prevented from selecting music from a Mendelsohn, a Papa Haydn, other pieces from Handel. Where is Mussorgsky?
I could go on and on.

Dec. 12 2009 10:49 PM

Didn't we used to be able to send in our own favorites (our actual favorites), instead of clicking from a list? I think sticking to somebody else's pre-set list really makes the whole thing less valid.

You could even just have a few empty spaces at the end for people to make their own suggestions.

You really can trust your listeners a little more, you know. You would still get a good list, and it would be the real thing.

Just a thought.

Dec. 12 2009 08:56 PM
Janet from Long Island

I'm sorry we cannot chose our own favorites. I am sorry we are limited by the one's chosen by whom ???? I wld add Gershwin's Concerto in F (I think), Mozart's 21st symphony..... Elgar's Enigma, PeerGynt; these are just some of my favorites La Boheme.....some Broadway show tunes..... I've been listening to QXR since Duncan Pirnie had the 5 o'clock hour when I was making dinner prep. For me it's the only game in town.

Dec. 12 2009 08:22 PM
Ira from Pennsylvania

How about a string quartet or two on the list? Beethoven's opus 59's or Schubert's D Minor (Death and the Maiden) come to mind as my favorites.

Dec. 12 2009 03:19 PM
Floridahawk from Suntree Florida

Every year deserves the repeating of the joyous sounds of the final movement of the Beethoven 9th symphony.

Dec. 11 2009 10:36 PM
Harry from Brooklyn

I was so hoping this "tradition" would die a quiet death. By limiting choices, management apparently hopes to spare us endless hours of uninterrupted Romantic symphonies. But there are so many more festive ways to ring in the New Year than roasting old chestnuts!

Dec. 11 2009 10:27 PM
George Jochnowitz from New York, NY

Although I voted for three pieces I love, I didn't have the option of choosing Mozart's 29th Symphony, Offenbach's Orpheus in the Underworld, or Rossini's William Tell Overture. I don't understand why there is a pre-selected list to choose from.

Dec. 11 2009 09:08 PM

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