WQXR's 2012 Classical Countdown

Saturday, December 08, 2012

For three weeks in December, we asked listeners to vote for their favorite pieces of classical music. After receiving thousands of votes, we counted down the top 105 favorites from Dec. 29 through New Year's Eve. Below is the full list.

To find out what recordings were played, please consult our playlist pages: Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday. Thank you to everyone who voted.

105. Edvard Grieg: Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, Op. 46, "Morning."

104. Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 1 in C Major, Op. 21.

103. George Frideric Handel: Water Music Suite No. 2 in D, HWV 349, "Hornpipe."

102. Jean Sibelius: Symphony No. 5 in E-flat Major, Op. 82.

101. Georges Bizet: Pearl Fishers, "Au fond du temple saint."

100. Samuel Barber: Violin Concerto, Op. 14.

99. Johann Sebastian Bach: Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D, BWV 1068, "Air on the G String."

98. Sergei Rachmaninoff: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43.

97. Anton Bruckner: Symphony No. 8 in C Minor.

96. Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker (featured: "Waltz of the Flowers").

95. Gioacchino Rossini: Barber of Seville, Overture.

94. Johann Sebastian Bach: Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, BWV 565.

93. Sergei Prokofiev: Romeo and Juliet Suite No. 1, Op. 64.

92. Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 3 in D: (Featured: V. Lustig im Tempo und keck im Ausdruck; VI. Langsam. Ruhevoll. Empfunden).

91. Richard Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier, "Waltzes."

90. Giacomo Puccini: Turandot, "Nessun dorma."

89. Dmitri Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5 in D Minor, Op. 47.

88. Leonard Bernstein: Candide, Overture.

87. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Sinfonia concertante in 86. E-Flat Major, K. 364.

86. Johann Pachelbel: Canon in D.

85. Ludwig van Beethoven: Missa solemnis in D Major, Op. 123: Kyrie.

84. Edvard Grieg: Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 16.

83. Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake, Op. 20 (featured: Act I Pas de Deux).

82. Sergei Rachmaninoff: Symphony No. 2 in E Minor, Op. 27: III. Adagio.

81. Frederic Chopin: Piano Concerto No. 1 in E Minor, Op. 11.

80. Giuseppe Verdi: Nabucco, "Va, Pensiero" ("Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves").

79. Franz Schubert: String Quintet in C Major, Op. 163: II. Adagio.

78. Maurice Ravel: Bolero.

77. Carl Orff: Carmina Burana (featured: "O fortuna, Fortune plango vulnera").

76. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 21 in C, K. 467.

75. Max Bruch: Violin Concerto No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 26.

74. Igor Stravinsky: L'Oiseau de feu (The Firebird): Suite.

73. Leonard Bernstein: West Side Story, "Mambo."

72. Felix Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 4 in A, Op. 90, "Italian."

71. Johann Sebastian Bach: Concerto for Two Violins in D Minor, BWV 1043.

70. Jean Sibelius: Finlandia, Op. 26.

69. Arnold Schoenberg: Gurrelieder (featured: "Song of the Wood-Dove").

68. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Symphony No. 40 in G Minor, K. 550.

67. Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture, Op. 49.

66. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Don Giovanni K. 527 (featured: "La ci darem la mano").

65. Felix Mendelssohn: Octet in E-flat, Op. 20.

64. Johannes Brahms: Violin Concerto in D, Op. 77.

63. Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 14 in C Sharp Minor, Op. 27, No. 2 "Moonlight."

62. Antonin Dvorak: Concerto in B Minor for Cello, Op. 104.

61. Gustav Mahler: Symphony no. 4 in G major.

60. Jean Sibelius: Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 47.

59. Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Major, Op. 58.

58. Brahms: Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 68.

57. Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition.

56. Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4 in F minor, Op. 36.

55. Mozart: The Magic Flute Overture.

54. Holst: The Planets, Op. 32.

53. Faure: Requiem, Op. 48.

52. Bach: Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major BWV 1007.

51. Mahler: Symphony No. 9 in D Major.

50. Brahms: Symphony No. 4 in E Minor, Op. 98.

49. Bartok: Concerto for Orchestra.

48. Puccini: La Boheme.

47. Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Op. 14.

46. Vaughan Williams: The Lark Ascending.

45. Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5 in E Minor, Op. 64.

44. Vaughan Williams: Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis.

43. Saint-Saens: Symphony No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 78, "Organ."

42. Verdi: Requiem.

41. Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto in E Minor, Op. 64.

40. Igor Stravinsky: Pulcinella Suite.

39. Edward Elgar: Enigma Variations, Op. 36.

38. Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto in D, Op. 35.

37. Bedrich Smetana: Má vlast, "Vltava" (The Moldau).

36. Jean Sibelius: Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 42.

35. Johann Sebastian Bach: St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244, Selections.

34. Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6 in B Minor, Op. 74, "Pathetique."

33. Richard Wagner: Tristan und Isolde, "Prelude" and "Liebestod."

32. Igor Stravinsky: Le sacre du printemps (The Rite of Spring).

31. Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat Minor, Op. 23.

30. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Clarinet Concerto in A, K. 622.

29. Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade, Op. 35.

28. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Le Nozze di Figaro, K. 492, (featured: "Hai gia vinta la causa! ... Vedro, mentr'io sospiro," "Voi che sapete," "Porgi, amor, qualche ristoro")

27. George Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue.

26. Johannes Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat, Op. 83.

25. Johann Sebastian Bach: Mass in B Minor, BWV 232: Part I and Part II.

24. Sergei Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor, Op. 30

23. Mozart: Serenade No. 13 in G Major, K. 525 "Eine kleine Nachtmusik"

22. Mahler: Symphony No. 1 in D, "The Titan"

21: Johann Sebastian Bach: Goldberg Variations

20: Franz Schubert: Piano Quintet in A, Op. 114, D. 667, "The Trout"

19: Brahms: German Requiem, Op. 45

18: Mahler: Symphony No. 5 in C-sharp minor

17. Beethoven: Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 61

16. Handel: Messiah

15. Barber: Adagio for Strings, Op. 11

14. Mozart: Symphony No. 41 in C,  K. 551, "Jupiter"

13. Vivaldi: The Four Seasons

12. Mozart: Requiem Mass in D Minor, K. 626

11. Copland: Appalachian Spring

10. Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 in E-Flat Major, Op. 55 "Eroica"

9. J.S. Bach: Brandenburg Concertos Nos. 1-6

8. Beethoven: Symphony No. 6 in F Major, Op. 68 "Pastoral"

7. Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 18

6. Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-Flat Major, Op. 73, "Emperor"

5. Mahler: Symphony No. 2 in C Minor, "Resurrection"

4. Beethoven: Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67

3. Dvorak: Symphony No. 9 in E Minor, "From the New World"

2. Beethoven: Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92

1. Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125 "Choral"


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Comments [169]

graham barkham from manhattan

You guys got it wrong. It wasn't the top 105 at all. It was the top 110(105 plus 5) You shortchanged J.S. Bach, as you have in the recent past, by lumping all the Brandenburg Concerti as a single item. I'm interested to know how that worked. If a bunch of listeners set forth the Sixth Brandenburg as their favorite piece of music, how did that affect your calculus? Did you weight an average to arrive at a mean? Did you subject any other composer to a collective slot? Not Beethoven, of course. Do we need an auditor to certify the fairness of your count?
On the other hand, during the Fall, 2013, you give us 48 hours of only J.S. Bach, which was pretty glorious. I'm both hot and cold on your programming.

Jan. 02 2014 11:57 AM
Mary Stevenson

I would, like many others in your comments, like to see some music appear that is not so familiar, If QXR introduced something not so well known every day with a little piece of its history to go along with it, You might perform a music education service for your listeners

Jan. 01 2014 12:57 PM
Bill Cunliffe from New York

I enjoyed this, but am shocked that there's NO Robert Schumann, anywhere! Not the Traumerei, the Piano Concerto, or any songs. This year seems the same.

Dec. 31 2013 03:54 PM
chris from Whitestone

I bet some of the Beethoven symphonies will make the top 10( once again, we will see what happens). In my opinion, I believe that all of the Beethoven symphonies represent a message in bringing in the new year, and that message is different for all. Anyways, hope everyone enjoys a happy, healthly with little to no fear that is filled with nature, and of course peace!

Dec. 31 2013 12:28 PM

Ed from Kissimmee:

I have to agree with several of the posters that there is too much of the same old, same old. Many listeners conceive of themselves as classical music lovers, but only know the works of a handful of comperes; ie: Beethoven, Mozart, Brahms, Bach, etal. While I like the work of many of these composers, especially Bach, I feel that we get plenty of them. And Bach's "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring?" Please!! I also agree that maybe the method of choosing needs to be changed. I especially like the suggestion of one poster who suggested by century, but maybe, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Twentieth and Twenty First Centuries might be better. I also agree with playing transcriptions, WQXR is not light (or is lite?) Classical music. By the way, Clayelle must be looking at a different list than I am. The past two pieces are not what she announced as being their placing on the list.

Dec. 29 2013 05:01 PM

You're expanding your list, because there are too many deserving pieces. Here's an idea to free up 7 or 8 slots: combine all the Beethoven symphonies on the list into one long slot. After all, you've done it J.S. Bach in the past.

Dec. 12 2013 01:19 PM
Aldo from Mexico

2013 was the year of both Wagner's and Verdi's bicentennial, I hope at least one of them makes the top ten.

Dec. 03 2013 08:47 PM
PJM from yonkers

how about more organ music during the day. not transcriptions for the organ

May. 22 2013 02:23 PM
kathleen beakley jackson from new york, ny

What a joy to have Bach nonstop! (I frequently think he's the only composer we really need.) Thank you!

Mar. 27 2013 01:20 PM
Rosanna from NYC

The classical countdown is boring: Beethoven symphonies ad nauseam every year.

Jan. 08 2013 02:08 AM
Jesse Joseph from New York, NY

I just want to say "same old, same old". I love practically all of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries music and some of the 20th century;s music. But, how about some other "favorites" such as Michael Haydn, Johan Christian Bach, Raff, Witt, Arriaga, and even Bruckner who barely makes the list every year. How about some real favorites who are not great for a change but they still fit into the favorite definition.

Jan. 06 2013 06:29 PM
Herb Meyers from New Rochelle, NY

I did not send in my choice for WQXR's Musical Countdown this year -- and I am even late with this comment. Had I sent my choice, it would have been Mahler's Symphony Nr. 2. Glad I had a few Mahler pals who helped to bring it to the 5th place on your list. Luckily, I caught your broadcast just in time and listened to the whole performance. I have several recordings of the piece, but had never heard it conducted by Alan Gilbert. I loved it. I thought his slow pacing, especially in the first movement, and bringing out a lot of instrumental details was a pleasure to listen to.

I also love Beethoven's 9th, but I may become most despised WQXR listener when I say that I hope that, one of these years, another musical work will challenge this piece. Being No 1 every year becomes boring.

WQXR does a great job -- keep it going.

Jan. 04 2013 10:20 PM
Anne from New York City

Surprise! Right on the heels of "Beethoven Awareness Month" (as if any WQXR listener WASN'T aware of Beethoven) listeners heard numerous WQXR "ads" for the classical countdown that featured the choral movement from Beethoven's 9th Symphony. I wonder which of their many favorite pieces of music was at the top of their minds during December?

Jan. 04 2013 04:21 PM
Peter F. from Rosendale, NY

I haven't read every single comment made here, but I did not come across any suggestions that the particular performance - as well as the composition - should be part of the countdown voting next year. I think most of us would agree that an outstanding interpretation by a conductor, orchestra, singer, or ensemble can transform an ordinary listening experience to an absolutely inspiring one. Why not let WQXR's listeners weigh in on their favorite recording of works that they love above all others?

Jan. 04 2013 04:02 PM
Robin Henry

If you didn't continually play old war horses and ventured into such as Scriabin, Messiaen, Part, Satie, etc. your listeners would get a bit more adventurous too. We have all been Beethoven-ed to death.

Jan. 04 2013 03:42 PM
Jeremy Wall from Cyprus

I cannot believe that Elgar's cello Concerto didn't make the list!

Jan. 04 2013 02:42 PM
Steve from New York, NY

As to any comments about the predictableness, etc. of the top pieces...maybe it was "same old, same old". That being said, the top of the list contained so many pieces that I enjoy (Beethoven's 6th, 5th and 9th Symphonies, his "Emperor" Concerto which I missed most of, unfortunately, the Bach Brandenburgs, etc.) So, it was a pleasure to be able to hear this great music, esp. as I was stuck at home not feeling well instead of going out New Year's Eve.

Thanks, WQXR!

Jan. 02 2013 10:22 PM
Peter Ferdico from College Point, NY

When I first started to listen to WQXR in 1962, they had a survey of the most popular symphonies (30), concertos (30) and operas (25). Although I have been enjoying the countdown for the past 15 years or so, may I make a suggestion. Why don't you separate the works into various categories. Keep the three categories from 1962. I would add chamber music (a big oversight in the earlier survey), orchestral pieces (overtures, Pictures at an Exhibition, etc.), vocal music (Masses, oratorios, selected opera arias, Alto Rhapsody, etc.), sonatas, piano pieces (other than sonatas, of course), and lieder (including song cycles). This way, Schubert's String Quintet (# 79) would not have to complete against Ravel's Bolero (# 78). (Full disclosure: the Schubert was my #1. The Ravel piece didn't make my list.) You can play the top ten or 15 of each category, but please publish the top 50 or even 100 on your web site. (Haydn and Mozart can fill 100 great symphonies between them.) By the way, a piece can make both lists. For example, Nessun Dorma can make the vocal list and Turandot can make the opera list.

I hope I have been of help.

Jan. 02 2013 08:25 PM
Daryn Kent-Duncan from New York City

It's unbelievable that only one Chopin and nothing of Lizst was on the list.

Jan. 02 2013 11:59 AM

Schubert symphonies are awful.

Jan. 01 2013 07:17 PM
Jeffrey from Brooklyn, New York

I continue to concur w/ many who demur. Such as Bob from E. Brunswick and Richard from White Plains. But what I hadn't noticed until someone else pointed it out was the lack of either Schubert's 8th OR 9th. The "Italian" but not the "Unfinished"? Bolero but not the "Great"? Sorry, that's just wrong.

Jan. 01 2013 03:12 PM
Brians6460 from Jersey City

How is it that Mozart with 12 works on the list, has zero in the top 10, while Beethoven with 11 total has 6 in the top 10, of which 5 are symphonies and 4 of those were in the top 10 last year. I dont see the point of compiling every year, if essentially the same works appear consistantly in the same spots.

Jan. 01 2013 02:53 PM
Bob from East Brunswick, N.J.

Well, this turned out to be an uninspiring, completely predictable list. No one can ever say that the works selected (at least most of them) are not "great," it's just that their greatness has been tarnished and worn down by overexposure. Dvorak wrote some great music, but the "New World" symphony is not one of his greatest. Its appeal rests on the cloying and banal strains of "Going Home." There is something destructive in over-sentimentality. Dvorak's "Piano Quintet" and "American" String Quartet are better, more original and inventive works. Chamber works did not make out well on this list;big, often lumbering warhorses did. Most of the voters only seem aware of the existence of the "easy listening" favorites, works, in a way, canonized because of their immediate popularity and accessibility. Too often, people scream "Oh, I've heard that" and listen intently. When something unfamiliar shows up, they shut down instead of listening and appreciating its beauties. Monteverdi didn't even show up, and, according to history, he was one of the composers who altered culture. Haydn didn't even make it onto the list. What's up with that? Yet, practically every note Beethoven wrote showed up. The "Chorale Fantasy"? C'mon, it's a curiosity at best. The twentieth-century didn't make out too well. Sibelius' 5th got shoved to the back of the bus, even though it's a stronger symphony than the 2nd. The symphonies of Vaughn-Williams and Nielsen got ignored (of course), and they wrote far better music than Grieg or Smetana ever thought of. Poulenc got ignored, no doubt because of underexposure. Anyone who has ever heard his "Gloria" has loved it; for that matter, most of his music is so deceptively light and playful that it has huge appeal. Even "The Dialogues of the Carmelites," a serious opera, is enchanting. By the way (fact), Smetana hated "The Moldau." It's all anyone wanted to hear of his and he felt that his more important, substantial works were ignored because of it. Again, this is a fact. It's like popular singers or rock bands. They have a hit and the public only wants repeats of it; it doesn't matter what else they have to offer. Have those who adore "The Moldau" ever listened to Smetana's String Quartet in e minor? You might be surprised. I'm grateful that one WQXR stalwart didn't appear on the list, though - Schubert's Overture to "Rosamunde" (or "The Golden Harp"). I can't believe how often this not-so-great piece is programmed. At any rate, there are tons of great pieces out there, begging to be listened to. If Beethoven is your passion, listen to the String Trios. As far as chamber music goes (which WQXR does play a fair sampling of), try works by Faure (String Quartet, Piano Quartet), Stravinsky ("Ragtme"), even an obscure composer, J.C. Arriage, whose first String Quartet is amazing. Gabrielli is amazing. So are Janacek ("Sinfonietta") and Hindemith ("Symphonic Metamorphosis," "Clarinet Concerto").

Jan. 01 2013 02:21 PM
Richard from White Plains

The violin and requiems seemed to dominate this year, perhaps in tune with the plaintive cries the world made at the end of 2012. I loved the music, all 105 choices. But I did miss Schumann's a minor piano concerto. Mozart's A major piano concerto. Beethoven 's Pathetique Sonata. Maybe 2013 will return the piano to center stage.

Jan. 01 2013 02:08 PM
David from Ardsley, NY

One comment I forgot to make: If we can vote for our top 10 (rather than top 5) the selections would be broadened and possibly there would be a wider variety of pieces chosen> I agree that not including Schubert's 8th or 9th symphonies was a colossal and undeserved surprise.

Jan. 01 2013 01:52 PM
David from Westchester from Ardsley, NY

It seems to me that there is arbitrariness in grouping - the Bach Brandenberg concertos, Vivaldi's four seasons count as one selection and, presumably, a vote for any one of them counts as a vote for all. Why is this different from the Beethoven quartets or more specifically the Rasumovski quartets, Brahms symphonies, etc. where they, in effect, compete against each other As many other comments point out, Haydn is so diversified, that nothing of his gets played. Why not combine some of the Haydn votes and play a representative of his music (I love his Symphony #49). I would rather have the top 90 or 100 than 105 (so corny: we know WQXR is 105.9; otherwise we wouldn't be listening to the countdown) if it would mean pieces like Carmina Burana could be played in their entirety. I loved the Beethoven month in November. How about each year a different composer's month - Mozart, Bach, Brahms, etc.?

Jan. 01 2013 01:32 PM
Peter Weis from Long Island

Shocked of some of the pieces that turn up on the countdown and the ones that didn't. Really surprised that Fanfare For The Common Man did not show up.

Jan. 01 2013 12:25 PM
Graham from Saturna Island

Jeffrey, either you're spoiled or I'm sheltered. Perhaps both. As a new listener I guarantee that if you'd suffered, as I have, through the sad demise of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's classical music station, you would find WQXR's 'pablum' diet as enlivening as Thomas Pynchon found Rossini. (In case anyone needs to be reminded: 'The point is, ... a person feels good listening to Rossini. All you feel like listening to Beethoven is going out and invading Poland').

I am as dismayed as anyone by the predictable way in which the supposed suspense of the countdown was inversely matched by decreasing interest in listening to the warhorses trotting out, but unlike you look forward to a new year in which I expect to hear many complete performances of music well outside the dreary limits of Top Twenty sameness. The fault is in the expectation of anything other than that from a 'countdown' sort of event.

If everyone voted for Haydn's Piano Sonatas or Brahms' String Quintets wouldn't we get as bored with them as we are with the New World Symphony or Beethoven's Ninth?

Jan. 01 2013 10:30 AM
Carrie from NYC

Hey, what happened to Wagner??? Surely he should have been on the list.

Jan. 01 2013 10:13 AM

Thanks for all of your comments on the Countdown. For more on the results, you can also read this analysis:


Happy New Year!

Jan. 01 2013 09:29 AM
Hendrik Sadi from Yonkers, NY

I can't understand why Grieg's piano concerto in A minor was not on the list. It is such a powerful, lyrical piece. I consider it his best.

Jan. 01 2013 09:14 AM

I can understand not playing a whole opera, but there are highlight recordings that give more than one aria and do a credible job at capturing the essence of the work. As said, playingonlya movement of the Mahler 9th is a poor choice. now that WQXR is non-commercial, time should not be a constraint.

On another point, I remain completely amazed that Vivaldi's Four Seasons and Bach's Brandenburg Concertos remain on the list. The only thing more amazing is the craze for Baroque music.

Jan. 01 2013 08:57 AM

I'd be happy with six through two (pretty sure #1 is a foregone conclusion).

Maybe Debussy and Sir Arthur Sullivan will make the next Countdown. RVW's Serenade to Music" would be nice, too.

Jan. 01 2013 02:51 AM

I'm with Harry, I really would like to know
the 6 thru 1.
"Happy New Year" fellow WQXR listners

Jan. 01 2013 02:21 AM
Harry in Mineola

Hi all - it's now 2:10 AM. For those of us who weren't able to listen to the last couple of hours of the countdown (for whatever reason), it would be nice to see the rest of the list (#6 to #1) on the website, please:-(

Also, while we all KNOW who the composer of the Eroica was, it would still be nice to list the composer, as is done for all the other entries (see #10 in the list above).

Happy New Year one and all!

Jan. 01 2013 02:12 AM

Codrin: I hope you see this. The Rach 3rd you asked about was Ashkenazy with the Concertgebouw Orchestra under Haitink.

Jan. 01 2013 01:05 AM
Carol Luparella from Elmwood Park, NJ

Ringing in the New Year with WQXR and Beethoven's 9th Symphony - it doesn't get any better than that! Happy New Year everyone!

Dec. 31 2012 11:22 PM
Bernie from UWS

I agree with Jeffrey on the point about WQXR's regular programming. It feels like they're scared of loosing their (aging) audience more than anything. Never mind that they represent NEW YORK, a city where the innovative is supposed to flourish and arts and media aspire to push boundaries. Never mind that they're PUBLIC RADIO, where commercial concerns are far less an issue than in the for-profit landscape. Never mind that the classical music world desperately needs a shot in the arm.

All of that seems to be beyond QXR's programming mandate. The reason why so many chestnuts show up on this countdown year after year is that the station has kept its listeners' tastes so narrowly circumscribed. If this is all radio listeners know, that's what they'll vote for.

Dec. 31 2012 11:19 PM
lidia from Brooklyn

Jeffrey, I understood exactly what you said, and I was simply arguing that I think the station might play what it plays because most listeners enjoy hearing whatever classical music they're playing as attested to by our mostly unchallenging choices. That Vivaldi/Albinoni/Corelli stuff is a lot more popular than Bartok and Monteverdi, so if we folks are donating money and tuning in every day, then maybe they don't feel they need to change. I also think you don't understand why there have to be those annoying breaks during the day. They can't stay on the air without businesses buying airtime so they obviously need a place for these to appear.
I don't mind hearing part of a work as long as it's something beautiful, but if excerpts really bother you so much maybe you should just listen to cd's. One more thing - what is that Suk Serenade is that you keep mentioning? I actually listen a lot, and I'm not really familar with that nor do I ever hear a Suppe Overture. I would actually like to hear a Suppe Overture because they are fun.

Well, everyone will have their own opinions about how they like to hear music but I basically like being able to flip on the radio and hear beautiful classical music, instead of the other junk or endless talk that is on every other station. There are pieces I like too which I haven't heard often on the radio, so I have them downloaded on my itunes. Now we can all take a deep breath and guess what piece is coming up next!

Dec. 31 2012 11:16 PM
bach5861 from brooklyn, ny

what are Copland and Gershwin doing here?

Dec. 31 2012 11:13 PM
Dennis from New Jersey

Jeffrey from Brooklyn is exactly right about the regular daily playlists. With the former QXR (pre-public station status) there was some interestingly different music from time to time. I've noticed that the breadth of the music choice has narrowed considerably since the changeover to a public station. Jeffrey's note that Rodeo gets lots of air play--spot on. It's a nice piece, certainly. But along with the Fingal's Cave overture and all the other too-frequently played pieces, it (and they) get far too much air time. Let's hear some more Monteverdi, more Chopin ballades and scherzos, Shumann and Wolf songs, more early Stravinsky choral works, more choral works altogether (especially 20th century ones), and much more 20th century music, for heaven's sake. Broaden the playlist, and bring it into the past 50 years!

Thanks for reading my vent.

Dec. 31 2012 11:06 PM
Jeffrey from Brooklyn, New York

Lidia, MY fellow Brooklynite, while I appreciate your puckish sense of humor, I have to point out that you rather misrepresented what I said, changing it into something silly indeed. I neither “resent” Beethoven’s 5th, the Brahms Piano Concerto #2, Mahler’s 4th, etc, nor do I consider them unchallenging – quite the contrary. I’m glad the greatest pearls of the classical necklace have a chance to shine. (Though that makes me all the more annoyed that they can’t all be played in full. As several people noted, just start the countdown earlier.) In short, my remarks were NOT about the countdown, which is a small fraction of the listening year – they pertained to the year-round programming, particularly during the day. Even there, I’m not saying ONLY play long pieces. But please DO correct the over-playing of certain pieces and composers (Suk and Dvorak Serenades, Suppe overtures, Appalachian Spring). Don’t NOT play them – just don’t over-play them. In short, change it up. Play some underplayed composers. Play other stuff from composers who do get airtime (like the Schumann violin sonatas, Faure chamber music, etc). Play a bit less of the Vivaldi/Albinoni/Corelli stuff – but NOT none at all. All of these wishes pertain to the regular programming, not the countdown; to the station’s choices, not those of us, the listeners.

As far as the countdown goes, it’s what it should be – except for the excerpting. Of course Beethoven’s Ninth is (I’ll bet good money) going to #1. It should be: while taste is subjective, the Ninth has a fair claim on the status of “greatest piece in the Western canon.” I look forward to a continued spirited exchange w/ you based on what I actually said. Meanwhile, enjoy the Dvorak – I love it.

Dec. 31 2012 10:48 PM

You people are all drunk. Happy New Year!

Dec. 31 2012 10:28 PM
Lidia from Brooklyn

Jeffrey, my fellow Brooklynite, you rail against unchallenging music and excerpts, but maybe you should stop and consider how all these dreadfully familiar pieces got into the top 105 in the first place. We the listeners voted them in so perhaps most of us like these well-known works you seem to resent, maybe we even like them better than stuff you would deem more worthy of your listening time. You see only the negative as the common element in these comments and you miss the fact that most people are enjoying themselves when they listen. The silly breaks are not only for ads for the station, they are messages that note the businesses that help support the station and keep it on air. I guess you haven't considered that either, only how you might show off your integrity by insisting that only really long, uninterrupted pieces are worth listening to. Maybe you would like them to play an entire opera instead of dismembering it into arias or overtures. Okay enough said, I'm going back to this awesome and totally unchallenging Dvorak symphony.

Dec. 31 2012 10:18 PM
Gev Sweeney from The Jersey Shore

Hey, peeps, I just lived through Superstorm Sandy and a protracted length of time without power. I'm not complaining about the Countdown. I'm hearing interpretations I've never heard before -- performances that turn a familiar work into uncharted territory.

Dec. 31 2012 09:34 PM

Kevin from Manhattan makes an excellent point, coupled with a fine suggestion, in reaction to my lament over the exclusion of Haydn's work from the countdown. It is indeed a good bet that the combined votes for the Oxford, Surprise, Military, Clock and London Symphonies exceeded those for Carmina Burana or Faure's Requiem. In this regard, Haydn may be a victim of his very prolificacy. The public's perception of Haydn is also poorly nurtured by an attitude of dismissiveness towards his works - EVEN IN CONCERT! (especially in the chamber category.) A string quartet - even a late work - is presented only as the program opener, often with a rushed, casual, indeed a "mailed in" treatment. On the other hand, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra has given Haydn symphonies - even the middle ones - recording quality performances every time I have attended their concerts.

Dec. 31 2012 09:28 PM
Jeffrey from Brooklyn, New York

To the extent there's anything in common in these comments, it seems to boil down to two things. First, the dreadful sameness of the playlists, at least by day. Second, the practice of showing contempt for great works of art by playing excerpts, in effect dismembering them. Both of these seem to relate to a certain boring, timid sense of what a classical station does – apparently a deeply ingrained attitude at QXR. These same complaints have appeared frequently in the comments over the years, yet I don’t see that the station has changed. It makes one wonder if the station even reads them. One wonders further who runs the station, and why they’re so out of touch. Essentially QXR has become a sort of aural wallpaper, pabulum for old people. Or rather – since I’m almost in that category myself – what they think old people want to hear. Never challenge, always give people the familiar. And certainly don’t tax their ears by playing extended works, or not too often. Instead, have lots of silly breaks so you can air ads for – WQXR. Which is ridiculous: guess what, we’re already listening to you! You’re not going to attract ONE new listener that way.

There are several consequences of this. For one thing, the same pieces are played over and over. Pines of Rome. Suk Serenade for Strings. Rodeo. And other “lite” classics. Even the programming of non-lite classics is repetitious: e.g. Schumann’s 4th is played many times, likewise Tchaikovsky’s 4th and 5th. Meanwhile, I don’t know that I’ve ever heard a Schumann string quartet. For another thing, there’s all too much innocuous “authentic” 18th c. stuff: similar sounding pieces that go by in 15 minutes and leave little impression. In addition one can’t figure out why the panjandrums think we lack the Sitzfleisch to listen to an extended work. Then too, some composers are deeply underrepresented, such as Bartok and Monteverdi. Elgar on the other hand would seem to be a sort of fixation.

There are many ways to sum up this kind of programming: tame, dull, repetitious, timid and deeply patronizing are some that come to mind. For myself, if there were any other classical station in the city, QXR wouldn't get much mindshare. Above all, it’s bad business strategy: again, how are they going to bring in a new audience?

Dec. 31 2012 09:16 PM
julie from Brooklyn

Yay! Bartok finally made it. I've been voting for only Bartok for years so I was happy to hear the Concerto for Orchestra. I see that the Q2 list includes the 4th Quartet and the Music for Strings Percussion and Celesta. Maybe they'll be included in the regular list one year soon. How about more Bartok during the year?

Dec. 31 2012 08:49 PM
Helene from Valley Stream

I noticed that even if there were the same pieces selected as before, WQXR found some interesting recordings that shed some light on the music. After I sent in my vote for Messiah, to my chagrin there were, I think, two or three live performances on the air. I was happy to hear a chamber performance of excerpts during the countdown, more than a nice compromise.

Dec. 31 2012 08:43 PM
Carol Luparella from Elmwood Park, NJ

Thank you, WQXR, for this Classical Countdown! Expanding it to include 105 works over a four day period has been a great improvement, because we have been able to enjoy a wider variety of listener favorites. Also, I completely agree with Peter O'Malley that this proves that WQXR can play longer works in their entirety when you want to.
Having said that, the only complaint I have about the Countdown was that for some strange reason, you chose to play only one movement from the Mahler 3rd and 9th symphonies and the Rachmaninoff 2nd Symphony. There is no excuse for doing that! If you have many long works on the Countdown, all you have to do is begin it earlier and go for four and a half or five days if necessary. Isn't it worth the time it takes to listen to great works in their entirety?
Maybe you could make a New Year's Resolution that whenever you play a symphony, regardless of how long it is, it will be played in its entirety!

Dec. 31 2012 07:41 PM
Elle from NY

@Meredith, speak for yourself, I loved every one of the Brandenburg performances ("the most un beautiful" version I've ever heard" - you didn't even notice that different performers' recordings were played for each Brandenburg) and I also enjoyed the Eroica very much. (I think Beethoven specified some of these quicker tempos, no?) I don't think the inclusion of some fresh takes on these pieces "ruins" the countdown, it adds variety.

Dec. 31 2012 07:26 PM

@Meredith: "I’m afraid to hear the 9th, later … what will that be like?"

Gosh, do you tink we'll hear the 9th? {{thunk!}} Sorry, I fainted a little.

Dec. 31 2012 07:09 PM
Frederick from Westfield

It would be interesting if WQXR would post lists from previous years so listeners can compare them and see what changes over the years (and what doesn't).

Dec. 31 2012 06:19 PM
Debi Unger from Bradley Beach, NJ

A Happy and Healthy New Year to all of WQXR announcers, staff and listeners. Next year, I hope Haydn will be well represented on the list, as well as the Beethoven Op.109,110, and 1ll piano sonatas. But I was thrilled to hear all six Brandenburg Concerti and the Mozart Sinfonia Concertante.

Dec. 31 2012 06:10 PM
Meredith from nyc

The Eroica was ruined by the super fast tempo. Especially the funeral march was distorted …. I had to turn it off until the next movement started. The brisk tempo destroys the whole purpose and meaning of the funeral of a great hero. The rest also had a metronomic rhythm that hid the complete expression of each phrase as they flew by in hyper fashion.

Same with the Brandenburgs—the most un beautiful version I’ve ever heard….. too fast, march like pacing, and the authentic instrument tone was unpleasant. That flute grated my nerves so much, I had to turn it off. Shame for ruining these pieces.

This early music trend has had some positive effects to an extent, by lightening up the orchestra and using a bit more sprightly tempos …better than dragging dull tempos. But it often has gone too far in ruining expressiveness, and using ugly, toneless instruments for no reason other than authenticity. What were all the technological advances in instruments for? I’ve heard some early music sounds that reminded me of bathroom plumbing pipes.

For some, the early music trend is the highest value. But others don’t want music that was composed for beauty and expressiveness to be ruined with rushed speed and toneless sound. The phrases must be given full value.

Please use judgment in the next Countdown. There are many recordings in the middle ground of interpretation that don’t go overboard. Sure, play the early music versions at times in regular programs, since it gives an occasional different slant, but don’t ruin the Classical Countdown with them.

I’m afraid to hear the 9th, later…what will that be like?
ay pick the selections but wqxr picks the recordings.

Dec. 31 2012 06:02 PM

Yes! Aaron Copland. (Not my selection, though.)

Dec. 31 2012 05:36 PM
Kevin from Manhattan

Like Mike from Riverdale, I, too, am disappointed by the non-appearance of Haydn. However, it is understandable if Haydn's work, generically speaking, is a favorite more than any individual work of his is. I'd venture to guess that Haydn was more frequently nominated than Orff, Faure and Vaughn Williams combined, but the votes were too dispersed among his myriad works. But there is a "work around" to this apparent "unfairness." Just as selections are chosen from whole operas, a representative (or the single most frequently nameed) string quartet or symphony by Haydn might have found its way onto the list if my guess was correct.

Dec. 31 2012 04:32 PM
Still Codrin from Long Island

Ignore me I'm dumb and cannot read instructions. Thank you WQXR for posting the whole playlist. (It can be a wee bit buggy sometimes though.)

Dec. 31 2012 04:05 PM
Codrin from Long Island

I would love to find out which interpretation of Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3 WQXR chose to play, but it seems impossible to find out now... Please update the playlist so those of us who missed certain pieces can join in on the fun.

Dec. 31 2012 03:47 PM

While I realize that, "The selections are favorites because of their enduring beauty," I'm still surprised at the lack of any Debussy or Copland.

Maybe they'll still show up.

And I still hope that the programmers take the non-top 105 pieces, suggested by listeners, for broadening the listening public's horizon in the new year.

Dec. 31 2012 02:39 PM
Dillon Welch, Student at UT Austin

I think it's really great that you've expanded to 105 pieces this year. This is a fine number to stay at. However, since several of the pieces higher up on the list got the abridged treatment, I think next year the countdown should start on the morning of the 26th, right after Christmas. That way you have almost a week to play more, if not all of the pieces (excluding entire operas) in their entirety. KING FM in Seattle (where I'm from), when they used to do their Great 98, would spend Monday-Saturday of a week in November playing complete works. I'm really pleased with the Countdown this year, but I think making this small modification will make it that much better.

Dec. 31 2012 02:36 PM
TW Scalora from NWNJ

@Mindy from Bronx. Brava!!

Dec. 31 2012 12:22 PM
Peter O'Malley from Oakland, New Jersey

One thing this whole process proves, especially as we get closer to the end, is that, when it wants to, this station can play long works in their entirety. Today, for instance, I am listening to the Beethoven violin concerto after having heard the full Brahms "Requiem" and all of Mahler's Fifth. Yes, there was a brief "send us money" announcement, and, yes, they failed to play complete works higher up in the "count" (such as "Carmina Burana", which got a paltry two opening numbers played), but, without the need to put in commercials, the station can do more of this than they in fact do during normal times, especially in the daytime. Why is that? I don't need the silly promotional announcements to tell me what this station is (I am listening to it, after all), and the other filler that kills off the possibility of longer pieces during the weekday.

As to the selections, the whole nature of the countdown capitalizes on the Top 40 approach that is in fact fostered by the station's own programming, which repeats certain works (often "lightweight" ones) far too often, and does not expose listeners to the variety of what is out there to choose from. As I have mentioned before, WKCR (89.9, at Columbia), in its more limited classical prgramming time, plays a much wider variety of stuff than you are likely to hear no QXR in a typical day, since it is aiming more at the occasional listener (as I infer from e-mail correspondence from the station) and trying to build audience (perhaps without offending by challenging them??) rather than exploring what is no doubt an extensive audio library.

Dec. 31 2012 11:23 AM
Mindy from Bronx, NY

I think some of the commentators are missing the point of the Countdown--that these are listener selections, not WQXR selections. The commentators may find the listener selections unbearably pedestrian and, if so, are free to listen to something more to their liking, including much of WQXR's programming during the other 11 and 9/10s of the year. The selections are favorites because of their enduring beauty. If their popularity trivializes them for some of the commentators, it says more about the commentators than the quality of the work. Play on, WQXR!

Dec. 31 2012 09:09 AM
Ronald Aaronson from Armonk, NY

I am going to go out on a limb and predict that Beethoven's Ninth Symphony will come in as number one again (and it's really hard to argue with that). But if you really want to hear something equally monumental on a totally different scale, I recommend the ciaccona from Bach's Violin Partita No. 2 in D minor. Brahms said of this work, "On one stave, for a small instrument, the man writes a whole world of the deepest thoughts and most powerful feelings. If I imagined that I could have created, even conceived the piece, I am quite certain that the excess of excitement and earth-shattering experience would have driven me out of my mind."

I mention this work as it will probably not be part of the Countdown.

Dec. 31 2012 06:59 AM
Ronald Aaronson from Armonk, NY

I understand that for certain extremely long pieces (for example, an opera) you can only play excerpts. But to play only one movement of a work such as Mahler's Ninth Symphony is a sacrilege. Perhaps you need to start your countdown a day earlier to do all the works complete justice.

Dec. 31 2012 06:43 AM

What's up with three #28s?

Still no Aaron Copland? No Debussy? (I've given up hope on Arthur Sullivan or Missa Luba.)

Dec. 31 2012 01:23 AM
Mike from Riverdale, NY

Congratulations WQXR for expanding the list from some 40 to 105. But perhaps next year you might consider devoting all of December to a countdown of about 1000 pieces for the chance, however slight, that one symphony or one string quartet by the 18th century DEVELOPER OF BOTH FORMS may find its way onto the list. It might even be worth the effort to find playlists of European stations which have similar New Year's countdowns. I would wager that Josef Haydn's works would be found even on the shorter works.

Dec. 31 2012 01:03 AM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ


HE WAS FLEETWOOD, an iconic persona with charisma galore !!!

Dec. 30 2012 08:37 AM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

WOW ! LEONARD BERNSTEIN AND RAPLH VAUGHN WILLIAMS MADE THE LIST ! I sang the American premiere of his opera SIR JOHN IN LOVE with maestro WIILLARD RHODES conducting and PHILIP BRENTANO stage dfirecting.
The story is basically the SHAKESPEARE MERRY WI4ES OF WINDSOR. GREENSLEAVES, a melody dating back before 1564 when SHAKESPEARE was born figures prominently in his play MERY WIVES OF WINDSOR and VAUGHN WILLIAMS orchestrated it so beautifully that it become a nightly featured theme introducing a radio program starting at midnight every night with a rich baritonal host. In the VAUGHN W3ILLIAMS opera it is sung by a mezzo. I have frequently included it on my solo programs, considering it a gem. I am a romantischer heldentenor. I have sung four solo concerts in the Isaac Stern Auditorium of Carnegie Hall. As part of my Ten Language Solo Debut concert at the Isaac Stern Auditorium of Carnegie Hall, As an opera composer myself ["Shakespeare" and "The Political Shakespeare"] I fully comprehend the assumed urgency of recognition of the still living. I am the director of the Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute in Boonton, NJ where I train actors in all the Shakespeare roles and big-voiced singers in all the Wagner opera roles. My singing of TRISTAN, RIENZI, LOHENGRIN, GOTTERDAMMERUNG SIEGFRIED, SIEGFRIED, SIEGMUND, WALTHER VON STOLZING PARSIFAL, ELEAZAR, FEDERICO, ORFEO and OTELLO can also be heard at RECORDED SELECTIONS on my three websites, www.ShakespeareOpera.com, www.RichardWagnerMusicDramaInstitute.com and www.WagnerOpera.com.

Dec. 30 2012 07:55 AM

Woo-hoo! Vaughan Williams made it! Maybe there's still a chance for Serenade to Music.

Dec. 29 2012 07:38 PM
Barry O'Neal

Wow! Bruckner made the list, and at 97. I am impressed with your listeners. They may be more sophisticated than the programmers at the station! I don't usually vote, because it seems pointless for me with my primary interest being in 20-21 century music. Schoenberg GURRELIEDER on the list! Thank you Bill McLaughlin. His playing of it over several nights is surely the reason this arcane item made the list. Maybe by next rear Havergal Brian will make the list (hah, hah). So far only 3 Beethoven pieces have turned up. Could it be that the obscene overkill of November's Beethoven awareness month is beginning to make a mark? I hope so. Beethoven (pace your announcers) would have appalled at the saturation of his music in November. Enough! If you do that next year I will consider not contributing to WQXR. Give us more Tippett (thanks for the dose the other night), Suk (beside the SERENADE and SCHERZO FANTASTIQUE), Bax (beside TINTAGEL), Ades, MacMillan, Boulez ( when was the last time WQXR played a Boulez piece?) and Berg!

Dec. 29 2012 07:10 PM
LJ from NYC

Just finished listening to Lark Ascending and have to admit I was moved to tears. So much unbelievable beauty throught this Countdown. To those who complain about what did or did not make the list - you should be very grateful that all these pieces exist, that there are enough people out there who love classical music and are willing to support this classical station (sorry to the commenter who felt our choices don't usually go beyond "a 4th grade general music class" level) and you should be humbled by the incredible display of genius and humanity expressed in this music. Thanks WQXR (and my fellow listeners!)for these 105 and everything else you bring us throughout the year!

Dec. 29 2012 06:55 PM

Hmmm, we're about halfway through and not a single composer among my five has made the list (much less the compositions). I hold out a little hope for "Fanfare for the Common Man" and Debussy's "Faun," but not my other three.

Do the WQXR programmers glean our unplayed selections for future programming? That might bode well for the future.

Dec. 29 2012 05:09 PM
Linnaeus from Wilds of Long Island

Considering the great ladlings of Delius that WQXR gives us of late, I suppose that that he does not show up on the list (does he?) tells us something about brainwashing. And I LIKE Delius.

And if I never hear "Dawn on the Moskva River" again--another "fail" on the list--I'll die... well, maybe not happy, but at least content.

Monteverdi's "Vespers of 1610." Now THERE'S an epic fail to not be seen on the list. But I suppose that the jostling among the warhorses pushed this masterwork into outer darkness.

Dec. 29 2012 05:07 PM
Steve from Manhattan from New York, NY


I recently rediscovered WQXR, and have been listening to it while I work from home. I first knew the station in my childhood,('60s and '70s) including on the car radio on 1560 AM (e.g. when my mother and I would drive out to Long Island to see relatives during the workday). In those days, Bob Sherman had a morning show that I believe was called "The Listening Room". The 1560 frequency supplemented 96.3 FM.

I love the station, and as far as I'm concerned, I can never hear enough of Bach, Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven and other composers of that era.

As to my votes for the countdown:

1. Bach: Brandenburg Concerto #5 (Piano version). I grew up on Rudolf Serkin's fantastic performance with the Busch chamber players from the 1930's on old 78rpm records. I believe that Adolf Busch played violin, and Marcel Moyse, flute in this recording.

2. Mozart: Piano Concerto #24. Another piece that I remember from the old '78s. When I run outside, while I never take headphones, I sometimes "listen" to Classical music in my head, and this concerto is one of my "go-to" pieces.

3. Beethoven: "Triple" Concerto. (For piano, violin, cello, and orchestra). Glorious...maybe not that well known, but a favorite of my late father, and I came to love it as well. Stirring and beautiful.

4. Beethoven: "Chorale Fantasy" for piano, chorus, and orchestra,. Many consider this piece to have been precursor to the Ninth Symphony. I came to love it as per another Serkin recording. In addition, at the Marlboro (VT) Music Festival, this piece was the traditional finale of their summer season, with Serkin at the piano.

5. Beethoven: Symphony #6 ("Pastoral") I'd always enjoyed this piece, but when coming ouf of a tough time when I was in college, the 5th movement, the shepherd's song after the storm), to me symbolized hope, and the symphony (in particular the finale) remains a favorite to this day.

Thank you again WQXR. I hope you stay on the air for decades to come.

Happy New Year.

Dec. 29 2012 01:47 PM
Bob from East Brunswick, N.J.

Well, there sure haven't been many surprises! Schoenberg was a shock, and it was nice to see the Mendelssohn "Octet," Barber's "Violin Concerto," and a Shostakovich symphony, but a whole lot of predictable selections have tiredly appeared. The Pachelbel "Canon"? The ubiquitous "Moonlight" Sonata? Boring. It seems that the majority of the folks who vote for this list spend their time listening to "Greatest Hits" CDs and have never ventured outside 4th grade general music class. There's an awful lot of great stuff that has never made it onto the list (music by Monteverdi, Bloch, Griffes, Nielsen, Berwald, Honneger, Byrd, etc.). It's a shame that the list is comprised of so many "tame" selections.

Dec. 29 2012 01:32 PM
Josh from New York City

Good luck with The Classical Countdown. One more change with the new station: Nimet does not play her show's theme music anymore for an unknown reason. Please let Nimet know that I would like her to play her New York @ Night theme music more often. Thanks

Dec. 29 2012 05:41 AM
Rick Wahlberg from Novato, CA

Last time I listened to WQXR was sometime in the early '60s with my Dad when we lived in Ridgefield Park, NJ. It was 1560 AM then, I think. Just discovered by streaming recently. Listen to it alot now and love it. I'm in my 60's now! Keep it up.

Dec. 29 2012 01:08 AM
Carol Luparella from Elmwood Park, NJ

To Kenneth:
I agree that the Bruckner Symphony #8 should have ranked higher in the Classical Countdown - at least somewhere in the top 10. However, I am just happy that it made it into the Countdown at all, given the fact that WQXR very rarely plays Bruckner, and if they do, it is usually in the very early hours of the morning. If listeners were exposed to Bruckner's music more often on this station, I'm sure you would see more of his works in the Countdown.

Dec. 28 2012 10:01 PM

I've been listening to the Classical Countdown for several years now, and I love it. My only complaint is that when it comes down to the last five or so, it's always the same -- Brahms Violin Concerto, Beethoven's 9th Symphony, and Stairway to Heaven.

And as we wiiiiiiind on down the road.....

Dec. 28 2012 07:39 PM
mary tatar from new york

would cd's be available of the entire classical countdown collection that is on the radio right now.


Dec. 28 2012 04:37 PM

Bruckner 8th at #97??? Probably should have been in the top 3 somewhere, it's that great. LOL, I'm sure the Dvořák 9th came in or near the top 3!!!
Really, somehow WQXR should be broadening people's appreciation. Instead, it just panders for the most part (overnight is excellent!) to the most common listener. Sad, I've listened for 40 years, and remember when this station was great. I learned so much about classical music from it, I can't even begin to tell. Poulenc Organ Concerto in the middle of the afternoon! Never happen now. This in NYC, can't you do better??? Yeah, you should.

Dec. 28 2012 02:08 PM
TW Scalora from NWNJ

Here's a thought. Why not ask for our favorite period pieces? One each from
period? This will certainly assure a greater variety?

Dec. 28 2012 11:34 AM
Winnifred from New York City

It's good of you to have the annual countdown; I look foward to it, despite the results being predictable. It appears people are not curious enough about music - they seem unwilling to appreciate / look for the unfamiliar. I have voted for the first time, and know I have no chance of having my choices played.

As a side note - you might consider not giving in to political correctness - it's Christmas, not "Holidays". The Jewish holidays have been over for some time, now it's Christmas. Be firm enough to say Merry Christmas and Christmas Carols, rather than "Happy Holidays" and "Holiday Music". When the New Year comes round, it'll be "Happy New Year". If anyone gets offended by hearing "Christmas Carols' and "Merry Christmas", they have enormous problems and may need professional attention.

Your Christmas Day programming was good. On most other days you might try putting some effort into varying the music a bit, particularly during the day.

Thank you for the music.

Dec. 26 2012 12:26 AM
daniel from Mexico City

1. Mozart, "Dissonance" quartet
2. Bach, Art of the Fugue
3. Bach, Sonatas and partitas for violin solo
4. Beethoven, "Hammerklavier" sonata
5. Schubert, "Winterreise"

Dec. 25 2012 03:05 PM
John Gillen from Staten Island, NY

Beethoven: Symphony #3 "Eroica"
Brahms: Symphony #4
Schubert: Symphony #9
Charles Ives: Symphony #2
Prokofiev: Symphony #5
As you can see I tend to like "big" including Big Bands from the "pop era." When I was just a teen-ager on first playing a recording of the Eroica I wondered how a composer as great as Beethoven could create something with so many discords. It is now my favorite piece of music.

Dec. 25 2012 12:26 PM

Beethoven's 9th symphony is forever the ultimate composition.
Dvoraks New World Symphony
W A Mozart's 49th symphonu
Aaron Copelands "Appalachian"
And anything from Papa Bach

Dec. 25 2012 11:27 AM
Allen D Boyer from West Brighton, North Shore of Staten Island

We would vote for:

Mozart, Symphony No. 40 (ideally as recorded by Karl Boehm and the Berlin Philharmonic).
Mozart, Horn Concerto No. 3
Mozart, Eine Kleine Nachtmusik
Beethoven, Ninth Symphony
Fr. J. Haydn, Cassation for 4 horns in D major, H 2/D222 (recorded by Ab Kloster) (possibly spurious, but a marvelous piece of music)

Merry Christmas and a happy 2013 to all.

Dec. 25 2012 10:47 AM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

Since my childhood at age 10, when on WNYC I heard the Rhine Journey and Siegfried's Funeral Music from Gotterdammerung with Toscanini conducting his New York Philharmonic version before the Symphony of the Air much later recorded version, I have been an ardent fan of Wagner's oeuvre. I started vocalizing with my child's voice on the music I studied from the Wagner partiturs [full orchestral scores] and piano vocal scores of Wagner's operas that were donated to the Jersey Avenue Main Library of Jersey City by the President Franklin Delano Roosevelt administration as part of their Works Project Administration. Wagner's music convinced me that I JUST HAD TO COMPOSE AND SING. Because of that ALLADIN'S LAMP inspiration, I have made a career as a Wagnerian heldentenor and an opera composer. My cousin MICHAEL BLANKFORT wrote both the books and screenplays for the 1953 film THE JUGGLER Hollywood film made in Israel starring KIRK DOUGLAS and the 1950 Hollywood film BROKEN ARROW starring JAMES STEWART and JEFF CHANDLER [Cochise]. The music for THE JUGGLER was composed by opera composer GEORGE ANTHEIL, in whose opera VOLPONE I sang the tenor leading role [Mosca] in its professional world premiere in NEW YORK in 1953. ANTHEIL, famous for his opera TRANSATLANTIC and BALLET MECHANIQUE looked exactly like Peter Lorre. I am a romantischer heldentenor. I have sung four solo concerts in the Isaac Stern Auditorium of Carnegie Hall. As part of my Ten Language Solo Debut concert at the Isaac Stern Auditorium of Carnegie Hall, I opened my three hour concert with the Invocazione di Orfeo from Jacopo Peri's opera EURIDICE composed in 1600, the first opera, composed in the same year as Shakespeare wrote HAMLET. Also, at this same three hour long solo concert are my singing of Florestan's monologue "Gott! welch dunkel hier!' from "FIDELIO" and "Sound an Alarm" from Handel's "JUDAS MACCABAEUS." They can be heard from my live performance on my three websites, www.WagnerOpera.com, , www.ShakespeareOpera.com, and www.RichardWagnerMusicDramaInstitute.com. They received rave critical notices in newspapers and magazines. My voice teachers were the legendary MET OPERA singers Alexander Kipnis, Friedrich Schorr, Frieda Hempel, Martial Singher, John Brownlee, Karin Branzell and Margarete Matzenauer. As an opera composer myself ["Shakespeare" and "The Political Shakespeare"] I fully comprehend the assumed urgency of recognition of the still living. However, it's important to revere and enjoy the MASTERPIECES of art, music, literature, architecture and science in its multiple formats . I am the director of the Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute in Boonton, NJ where I train actors in all the Shakespeare roles and big-voiced singers in all the Wagner opera roles. On my websites one may download, free, at "Recorded Selections" my singing of Siegfried, Gotterdammerung Siegfried, Tristan, Siegmund, Parsifal, Lohengrin, Rienzi, Walther von Stolzing, Otello, Eleazar and Florestan.

Dec. 24 2012 05:10 PM
barbara Greer

i know that i would still love it if i could hear it in northern westchester...i pad works...car radio and home (excellent) sound system..no possible way..sad..

Dec. 23 2012 08:51 PM

I voted for Vaughan Williams (Serenade to Music, VOCAL VERSION), Copland (Fanfare for the Common Man), Debussy (Faun), Sullivan (Iolanthe Overture), and Haazen (arr.) (Missa Luba).

Maybe one will be played.Maybe two.

Dec. 21 2012 10:21 PM
bruce bolter from chelsea

No Beethoven? A countdown without Beethoven is like a day without sunshine!

Dec. 21 2012 04:31 PM
kriss from Piscataway, NJ

Did we not vote for 20 in the past? Five choices is very limiting, and I'm afraid that many great composers and pieces will necessarily be omitted.

And please, no more Beethoven for awhile! Give the great composer a much-needed rest. We would love to hear some of the less well known composers and works.

As far as awareness is concerned, how about a month for Mozart, Bach, Brahms, Sibelius, Mendelsohn, etc.? If other composers had more exposure, their works would be more likely to be included among listeners' favorites.

Dec. 21 2012 11:38 AM
Margaret from Hackensack

I have many more favorites, but I haven't heard these two gems for a long time. We need to get classical music into every school, every grade, every home; only then could we produce geniuses instead of killers.

Dec. 20 2012 12:47 PM
Catherine from Sidney BC

Please omit anything by Beethoven on this year's list. We have had a major overload of Beethoven!

Dec. 20 2012 08:38 AM
Peter V. Fiorentino from Rosendale, NY

An interesting enhancement to your "Classical Countdown" would enable us to specify a preferred recording of the work submitted. I think that most music lovers would agree that performance and/or sound quality makes a huge difference to the overall impact of a great piece of music.

Also, thank you WQXR for keeping your relay transmitter active at FM 103.7 in Poughkeepsie, NY for listeners in the Mid-Hudson Valley. I think you should publicize this frequency on your web site for those listeners up here who may not know that they can receive you on their FM sets.

Dec. 20 2012 12:15 AM
Nancy from Denville,NJ

I could listen to nothing but Fischer-Dieskau sing anything you would be pleased to play for the rest of my life.

Dec. 19 2012 09:48 PM
Joan Swain from Basking Ridge, NJ

The joy of WQXR is discovering new musical performances that often become new favorites. After half a century of listening to this wonderful station, I am still being surprised---and pleased. Times change. And now I listen on my Wifi radio or computer. May you always be there for metropolitan area music lovers.


Dec. 19 2012 05:58 PM
Sandy from NYC

The Durufle Requiem has got to be one of the most moving and beautiful compositions ever written. PLEASE play it at some point and include it in the 2012 countdown.


Dec. 19 2012 12:05 PM
John from CT

MY FIVE FAVORITE CLASSICAL PIECES? How would one decide such a thing - maybe if you only know ten pieces? The pieces on my list wouldn't, I suspect, be on anyone's list of the five greatest pieces of classical music. But they are FIVE OF MY FAVORITES - pieces I would go to hear before Beethoven's 9th or Handel's Messiah for instance.

Incidentally, I agree with John from CT (who shares my moniker), that your signal is weak here (actually non-listenable in my area). Ironic that your sister station, WNYC, has a much greater range - especially since they devote so much air time to NYC politics. Or is that your step-sister station?

Dec. 19 2012 12:36 AM
Anna Boyle Daniher from Hackettstown, NJ

My Father was an origal WQXR listener. He would have been 100 years old today. He was not an educated man but thought of WQXR as "Listening to that good music". He was right. Thank you for decades of listening, and giving me reasons to take piano lessons. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you.

Dec. 17 2012 01:39 PM
Debi Unger from Bradley Beach, NJ

If I were shipped off to a desert island and were given time to pick five recordings, I would take all the Bach Brandenburgs, all the Rasumovsky Quartets along with the last five as well. And I would take Haydn's Creation, both Brahms piano concerti and Mozart's Marriage of Figaro. I think I could listen to these pieces of music forever, even though I would miss some of my other favorites.

Dec. 17 2012 10:30 AM
Frank from UWS

@Julie - completely agree. Bartok's "Dance Suite" and Romanian Folk Dances are very delightful, the Music for Strings Percussion and Celesta is a masterpiece, and so is the Concerto for Orchestra. All are tonal and completely accessible works.

@Morty - agree too. Copland's concertos deserve to be heard more, as do his Piano Variations and Music for the Theatre. So there might be a dissonant chord or two in there once in a while. We can handle it. We're New Yorkers!

Dec. 17 2012 08:16 AM
Julie from brooklyn ny

We need more Bartok! And other 20th century greats!

Dec. 16 2012 08:34 PM
Morty Rosner from Teaneck N.J.

Beethoven Piano Sonatas and String quartets never make the countdown, so I listed the middle period sonatas and Rasoumovsky quartets as single entries.I think the composer would concur with my thinking. Regarding WQXR programming: I can understand why you limit most daytime programming to shorter pieces (advertising) and why you must cater to a very broad audience. That said, there is no logical reason for you to program pieces like Don Juan, Academic Fest.Ov, Appalachian Spring so often. These same composers wrote other music which listeners might want to hear such as Strauss's Symphonia Domestica, Brahms's Haydn Variations, or one of Copland's concertos for clarinet or piano. Dvorak's wonderful chamber music also deserves exposure as do all the Prokofiev concertos. I can tolerate another Semiramide overture but also need a Waldstein or Les Adieux sonata as well as a mix of contemporary fare. Don't make the mistake of ignoring your seasoned listeners who serve as the base of your P.R. Viva WQXR !

Dec. 16 2012 12:27 PM
Bruce Birkenhead

I first saw Alexander Nevsky in 1941 with one of the most powerful movie scores ever written. In addition, after seeing the film my family and I knew that Russia would prevail once again against the Germans.

Dec. 14 2012 02:20 PM

Maybe next year you'd consider grandfathering in some pieces that are perennial favorites(Beethoven Symphonies, for example). I'd think you'd get some more variety that way.

Dec. 14 2012 10:02 AM
william pagenkopf from Flushing, NY

For the one that wanted Barber's ADAGIO. He told me he was,me too, it being used for funerals as a dirge.
Remember being int Carngie when Eleanor Roosevelt died.
A nice remembrance them but one gets too much of it.
Leave it as first written, string guartet.
Music is built upon previous composers like a bit of theiveryl However Dvorak is an outright gangster. Same 16 bars from a Medlessohn octet in same key and on and on.

Dec. 13 2012 04:18 PM
Miles from Montclair, NJ

Limiting favorites to only five is a well nigh impossible task, given the extent of the universe of beautiful music by so many composers through the ages. My attempt to do so, I'm afraid, resulted in a list of five "warhorses", because in the final analysis they are such for a reason: they are the masterpieces of masters -- and deservedly so. So my list consists of the finest works (in my opinion) of Beethoven, Brahms, Dvorak, Mozart and Tchaikovsky. I would have preferred to have been asked to pick my 100 favorites to do other works and other composers justice --- but I suspect even that would pose a challenge!

Dec. 13 2012 03:30 PM
Arnie Kohn from Monroe, NJ

I have been listening to WQXR since the early 1950's. The buttons in my car are all set on symphonic music stations, but WQXR is my favorite. I listen to the others only when I am out of its listening area. I feel a certain kinship to all of the announcers and appreciate all of their comments. I do notice a certain pattern of selections and I suggest some variations. For instance, the only piece you play, composed by my good friend, Arnold Rossner is a flute suite. His other music, and especially his trombone sonata are really good listening.

Dec. 13 2012 02:39 AM
Earle Mullen from Grand Junction, CO

I disagree with the anti-Dvorakian. The more I hear his (AD's) works, the more I admire them. As a teenager starting on classical music, my favorite composer was Tchaikovsky - the mournful melodies, simple harmonies and familiar orchestrations assuaged my youthful angsts. But now I seek deeper fare and Dvorak, along with Mahler, Beethoven et al, satisfy that need. Chacun a son gout.

Dec. 12 2012 10:44 PM
John J. Christiano from Franklin NJ

I have no radio reception in this "dungeon" they call an office, so I rely solely on my desktop to get WQXR. Recently my PC had to go back to the IT dept for cleaning. Oh, the withdrawl pangs!!!!

The hell with the database and the spreadsheets....give me back my Beethoven!

Only 5 selections for the countdown.....you must be joking!!!!

Dec. 12 2012 04:53 PM
william pagenkopf from Flushing, NY

Both Debussy and Dvorak only write two measure melodies an then everything followng is a variation on such.

You play too much of Dvorak and other lesser lites.

Dec. 12 2012 10:31 AM
Ralph Maccio from UES

I agree with Louise on this one. I'm a 20-something who loves classical music but honestly, I can't stand the sound of WQXR during the day. All too often I hear short pops pieces, Suppe overtures, Dvorak dances, Bizet overtures, Bach's Anna Magdalena ditty, Holst's Jupiter, Vaughan Williams Greensleeves... Nice melodies but not enough meaty fare that you can really sink your teeth into.

Never mind the fact that contemporary music is an afterthought at best too. When's the last time we heard Adams, Glass, Golijov, Reich, Rouse, Tan Dun, Stucky or even Higdon during the day? Evenings are a different story because Terrence actually picks some interesting stuff. Can someone please promote him to the day?

Dec. 11 2012 10:07 PM
Louise Weiss from Manhattan

Enough with The Moldau! I'm thoroughly sick of it. Yes, I know it's Hatikhva (sp.?) What's really depressing is that you're saying your audience is old Jews. Guilty as charged, but I'm still sick of it.

Dec. 11 2012 02:45 PM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

Since my childhood at age 10, when on WNYC I heard the Rhine Journey and Siegfried's Funeral Music from Gotterdammerung with Toscanini conducting his New York Philharmonic version before the Symphony of the Air much later recorded version, I have been an ardent fan of Wagner's oeuvre. I started vocalizing with my child's voice on the music I studied from the Wagner partiturs [full orchestral scores] and piano vocal scores of Wagner's operas that were donated to the Jersey Avenue Main Library of Jersey City by the President Franklin Delano Roosevelt administration as part of their Works Project Administration. Wagner's music convinced me that I JUST HAD TO COMPOSE AND SING. Because of that ALLADIN'S LAMP inspiration, I have made a career as a Wagnerian heldentenor and an opera composer. My cousin MICHAEL BLANKFORT wrote both the books and screenplays for the 1953 film THE JUGGLER Hollywood film made in Israel starring KIRK DOUGLAS and the 1950 Hollywood film BROKEN ARROW starring JAMES STEWART and JEFF CHANDLER [Cochise]. The music for THE JUGGLER was composed by opera composer GEORGE ANTHEIL, in whose opera VOLPONE I sang the tenor leading role [Mosca] in its professional world premiere in NEW YORK in 1953. ANTHEIL, famous for his opera TRANSATLANTIC and BALLET MECHANIQUE looked exactly like Peter Lorre. I am a romantischer heldentenor. I have sung four solo concerts in the Isaac Stern Auditorium of Carnegie Hall. As part of my Ten Language Solo Debut concert at the Isaac Stern Auditorium of Carnegie Hall, I opened my three hour concert with the Invocazione di Orfeo from Jacopo Peri's opera EURIDICE composed in 1600, the first opera, composed in the same year as Shakespeare wrote HAMLET. Also, Florestan's monologue "Gott! welch dunkel hier!' from "FIDELIO" and "Sound an Alarm" from Handel's "JUDAS MACCABAEUS." They can be heard from my live performance on my three websites, www.WagnerOpera.com, , www.ShakespeareOpera.com, and www.RichardWagnerMusicDramaInstitute.com. They received rave critical notices in newspapers and magazines. My voice teachers were the legendary MET OPERA singers Alexander Kipnis, Friedrich Schorr, Martial Singher, John Brownlee, Karin Branzell and Margarete Matzenauer. As an opera composer myself ["Shakespeare" and "The Political Shakespeare"] I fully comprehend the assumed urgency of recognition of the still living. However, it's important to revere and enjoy the MASTERPIECES of art, music, literature, architecture and science in its multiple formats . I am the director of the Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute in Boonton, NJ where I train actors in all the Shakespeare roles and big-voiced singers in all the Wagner opera roles. On my websites one may download, free, at "Recorded Selections" my singing of Siegfried, Gotterdammerung Siegfried, Tristan, Siegmund, Parsifal, Lohengrin, Rienzi, Walther von Stolzing, Otello, Eleazar and Florestan.

Dec. 11 2012 11:34 AM
Abby Farber from Little Neck, NY

I also grew up with WQXR playing in my home - my parents always had it on. There are pieces of classical music that I may not know by name BUT I do know they were theme songs for some of QXR's older shows. I am so very happy that the station is commercial-free now, and that you can play longer pieces in their entirety instead of excerpts or snippets.
QXR is now part of my children's lives....my son and I enjoy it every weekday when I drive him to school. I'm happy with your repertoire and agree with other posters - if one wants more contemporary music listeners should either request it OR listen to Q2. I give as generously as I can to both WQXR and WNYC. We are lucky to have these two excellent stations. It would be a calamity if QXR had to switch formats or go off the air - I cannot imagine living without it!!!

Dec. 10 2012 07:26 PM
Arthur Yeager from Edison, NJ

One of my selections was Charles Ives 2nd symphony because it is just plain fun. Ives was an ultra-original composer whose rugged individualism permeated his scores while his music sang proudly of America.

Dec. 10 2012 05:03 PM
Frank Beck from New York

Just a reminder that, in these tough economic times, some loyal WQXR listeners have had to reduce their support for the station. That means that those of us who can afford to offset those reductions with larger contributions should do so. Imagine how much colder and greyer a New York winter would be if we didn't have a great classical music station! (And Mozart sounds pretty good during the other seasons, too.)

Dec. 10 2012 04:13 PM
Sarah E. from Bronx, New York

Asking me to pick just five of my favorites is like asking a mom with is her favorite child. Nothing can be harder. I cannot pick a great five from Handel many works, do I go with his's Dixit, Isreal in Egxet, Saul, or the old relidable, Messaiah. or something quite different like His Gullie Caser. (Sorry abount the spelling.) I can pick from so many works, so I tend to go with pices that I donot hear often. Thank You.

Dec. 10 2012 03:39 PM
Lisa from Pine Brook, NJ

I love WQXR because it is my music educator. I love the variety and the comments made about composers and compositions. I can't get it on my home radio, but intend to save up and buy a laptop computer to have in my kitchen, solely for the purpose of listening to WQXR online! Keep up the good work.

Dec. 10 2012 08:58 AM
Fred from Queens

Classical Countdown? UGH!! SO BORING! Long before that I'll be with WKCR listening to their weeklong Bach Festival.

(How does the countdown really differ from your usual programming?)

Static is the only variation I get with WQXR, and that's listening in MONO.

Dec. 09 2012 08:37 PM

Friends: To all those lamenting the sale of the frequency, please be reminded that WQXR did not sell the frequency, the NY Times did. NYPR saved the day by bringing WQXR on board at a frequency that was both available and affordable. They are true heroes and I thank them with all my heart. For those who wish for more contemporary fare, please check Q2. And for those who wish to hear lesser known classical selections, you may always request them online (as I often do).
I listen to WQXR everyday, all day. I am a proud Sustaining Member, as well as a Listener's Legacy Member, and I hope all of you are as well. Wishing you safe and happy holidays, and a healthy New Year.

Dec. 09 2012 06:02 PM
FRED GARRISON from HIghlands, New Jersey 07732

I'll be brief, but I don't think you're going to like what I have to say. GET RID OF YOUR MUSIC PROGRAMMER! I'm tired of hearing THE CHAMBER VERSION of THE SAINT-SAENS: CARNIVAL OF THE ANIMALS. And how many times are you going to play FAURE'S: DOLLY SUITE (Piano or Orchestral Version) And don't forget JUPITER from THE PLANETS conducted by ANDREW DAVIS. I listen a lot and all you're doing is playing the same works by the same performers. All you change is the time of day you play them. Why don't you get on a computer and listen to WWFM in Trenton, New Jersey or WRTI in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Maybe you'll catch on to what I'm talking about. Yeah, WRTI where GREG WHITESIDE is now working. You had some nerve canning him if he didn't leave on his own. You do all this crap and you want my support? The only support you're going to get from me is one of my USED jock straps. Hope this wasn't too uncivil for you!

Dec. 09 2012 03:59 PM
Bob S from Rockland

Evem though itwas a commercially sponsored program, there was no true reason to drop Temple Emanuel on Friday evenings. The choral music and cantorial music was in line with any classical presentation. Other NPR affiliates have no problem with religious broacasts. Is this the secular world WQXR is promoting.

Dec. 09 2012 02:27 PM
lefty44 from Rutherford, N.J.

You asked for "Classical" composers and pieces, but my favorite QXR progamming was Woody's Children and The Vocal Scene.

Dec. 09 2012 02:15 PM
Jerome Shapiro from Monmouth County, N. J.

Have a segment devoted to the opera stars of yesteryear, Tucker, Merrill, Bjoerling, Callas, etc. In all other respects, I completely enjoy WQXR programming.

Dec. 09 2012 01:14 PM
Bernie from UWS

My vote is for John Cage's 4'33".

Dec. 09 2012 11:48 AM
Lee Knuth from Garden City So NY

I have been listening to WQXR for over 50 years. One of my favorites was Piano Personalities. It would be wonderful if it could be resurrected in a special program.

Dec. 09 2012 11:43 AM
Charles-Eric Gordon from Plainview, LI

Please do bring back the Office Hour and perhaps the news at 6:00PM.
A stronger ignal to better serve Long Island is also on my "wish list" although I know that at a public radio station there are financial issues involved as well as possible regulatory one. Keep up the great work. I have listened to WQXR since approximately 1963 when my mother introduced my brother and I to it.

Dec. 09 2012 10:49 AM
Josh Diaz from Larchmont, NY

I Love WQXR. I've been listening to the station since 1999. When WQXR got bought by NYPR, There were a lot of broadcast changes on the new station such as:
There is no more station id Gong at the top of hour (I am kinda glad)
The Office Hour is no longer aired at 10AM
Symphony Hall recently got dropped from the playlist for an unknown reason
Reflections from The Keyboard is no longer airing at 10PM on Wednesday.
I am glad that The Classical Countdown is still going on from the old station. I am definately going to listen to WQXR during this event.
I will vote for 5 pieces

Dec. 09 2012 07:09 AM
Tony from Bayonne

I love WQXR. It's like an old friend; always welcome in my house, but like other people have pointed out, I also miss the old frequency with the stronger signal. I am so glad that we're out of Beethoven 'awareness' month. I love Beethoven's music and never get tired of listening to it, but Beethoven 'awareness' month? Really? I think anyone tuning in to WQXR is pretty aware of Beethoven and to me it makes him sound like a disease; like 'breast cancer awareness' or 'aids awareness.' I cringed for a month each time I heard 'Beethoven awareness.' I wouldn't, however, have a problem with Beethoven 'appreciation' month.

Dec. 09 2012 01:52 AM
Irene Roberts from New York City

I have been listening to WQXR since its inception. It was the only station we listened to growing up. I am now 84.
The radio near my bed is permanently tuned to it so I can listen to it 24 hours a day.
It was the thing I missed the most the years I lived in Hawaii.
My children grew up listening to WQXR and still listen to it.
We all love the station.
Thank you for the gift of wonderful music.

Dec. 09 2012 12:19 AM
burt & sally lewis

so hard to choose, but we tried.

Dec. 08 2012 09:58 PM

Musing on many of the comments.... Since the frequency changed, I cannot listen to WQXR on a radio in my kitchen: There's constant static, and often interference from air traffic control at JFK, 10 min. from my house. Frustrated, one day I complained aloud that I'd have to get a computer into the kitchen just to listen to WQXR. And then I realized that the iPad my sister had just given me would be my kitchen computer! Now all I have to do is find a dock or speakers so the sound isn't tinny. Next musing: To the wishers for contemporary music, again computer listening is the answer and Q2 music. And for me, unfortunately, Operavore is only background music, since it's hard to keep track of the selections.

Dec. 08 2012 07:48 PM
12-String Frank from Staten Island

WQXR is fantastic. But I would love if they played some other composers like Rautavarra, Bantock, H. Brian, Bax, and lots more of Holst + Vaughan-Williams. Even the piano concerto of Keith Emerson. Also, I wish WQXR had a weekly show devoted to classical guitar like WNCN did in the past. Think it over guys. Merry Xmas!

Dec. 08 2012 07:36 PM
Ann Cucchiara from Hillsborough, NJ

I love WQXR! I have turned on my entire elementary classroom and my teaching team to classical music thanks to you! "Listening to classical music on the radio" is the number one reward for my students and they work hard to earn it! Keep up the good work. We learn so much from your programs, too.

Dec. 08 2012 06:23 PM
Steve from Erwinna PA

I wish WQXR would increase the strength of its signal to where it used to be. Also, I wish WQXR would revive some of its old theme songs and programs. e.g., Piano Personalites, Symphonic Highlights, Cocktail Time, Nights in Latin America, Music from Spain, The World of Jazz, MidMorning Concert, etc

Dec. 08 2012 06:02 PM
Mary Louise Murray-Johnson from Heidelberg, Germany

My favorite program of all time was George Jellinek's " The Vocal Scene". When he retired from WQXR in December 2004 I lost part of my soul - He lived another 5 years. To this day I miss his knowledge, his charming presentations and his beautiful Hungarian accented English.

My five musical choices, as sent to you above, reflect my love of opera and oratorio - "Die Meistersinger", "Der Rosenkavalier", "Eugene Onegin", Wagner's "Ring" and Bach's "St. Matthew Passion".

As an aside - I regret the Metropolitan Opera no longer presents "Die Fledermaus" on New Year's Eve - to many of us that is the only appropriate opera for December 31. I also want your listeners to know that I think the Met's current production of "Haensel und Gretel" is a travesty and a horror. Luckily my four children grew up wth the Met's magical previous production. I used to get tears in my eyes when the 14 angels floated down from the sky.

Thank you to Alicia Bliffeld of NY for her comments regarding Fabio Luisi - 2 very informative paragraphs!

Dec. 08 2012 05:44 PM
Phyllis Aquino from Montville, NJ

I filled in the five pieces and my name and accidently hit something and it all went away! So I filled it in again without my name thinking it may not have been sent. Now I hope I didn't send it twice!!!

Dec. 08 2012 04:51 PM
Philip Levine from Queens NY

when I feel "hostile" I listen to "Erfreut euch ihr Herzen" BWV 66 and that
saves me a trip to the "G" building.

Dec. 08 2012 04:49 PM

I decided to include some common favorites in my list and some not-so-common (with samples) but still loved by those who have heard them:

1)Bernstein's "Chichester Psalms".....http://snd.sc/AcG7Ms
2)Brahms's "Vier Quartatte, Op. 92"...http://snd.sc/RKtPDQ
3)Bach's "Magnificat in D Major"......http://snd.sc/YcJfjb
4)Faure's "Requiem"
5)Handel's "Messiah"

Dec. 08 2012 04:15 PM
Vera Zolberg from New York

Happy as I continue to be over decades of listening to hear the works of Beethoven, Bach, Brahms, I especially appreciate your occasional recognition of 20th and 21st centuries works. That's why I put down some of my personal favorites - Bartok, Ravel, Kancheli, Golijov, Janacek. I'd love to hear some of the more experimental composers, such as Shapey, Schoenberg, Berg, Boulez, etc. But keep up the good work!

Dec. 08 2012 03:54 PM
Sherwin berger from Brooklyn NY

For me, the Regina Coeli (Easter Hymn) from Cavelleria Rusticana (Pietro Mascagni) is the most beautiful choral piece in all of opera. Each time I hear it, I get goose bumps. If you do play it in the Classical Countdown, I wish I knew when.
Thank you and Happy Holidays to all at WQXR.

Dec. 08 2012 02:32 PM
Wendy Baker from Manhattan

My 4th choice is an odd one, Respigi's Festa Romna. I heard it this year in concert with the Chicago symphony Orchestra and it knocked my socks off. Not a sublime piece, but just great fun and this year it is one of my favorites along with some Bach, Mozart and Hayden, kind of the more usuals. It is nice to be open to new experiences one used to poo poo as declase. Who knows, maybe we become less of a snob as we age:-) Of course, I remain faithful to fine trumpet playing whether solo or in groups.

Dec. 08 2012 02:32 PM
Harriet from Bayside, NY

I hope you play all my requests. I do wish you would have a stronger frequency though.

Dec. 08 2012 12:46 PM
Alfredo Villanueva from Flooded country, Manhattan

I'm retired, disabled, yet donate faithfully to your station, which has been and integral part of my lifeline since I arrived to this country 40 years ago. Please, less inconsecuential background court music and more romantic and modern!--meaning, Glass, Golijov, all of the Entartete Musik composers. It would be very nice to have a program dedicated just to the latter.

Dec. 08 2012 12:29 PM
Alicia Bliffeld from NY

Did you know?
Fabio Luisi was born in Genoa, Italy, in 1959 and trained as a conductor in Graz, Austria, before working his way through European opera houses. His repertory is broad, from Strauss to Berg, Mozart to Puccini and Verdi to Wagner. After his Metropolitan Opera debut in 2005, he became an increasing presence at the house, leading up to his appointment as principal guest conductor starting in the fall of 2010.

In addition to frequent guest appearances, his major posts include chief conductor of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra and, until February 2010, the general music director of the Saxon State Opera and its orchestra, the Dresden Staatskapelle. He created a stir in the classical music world by quitting that post in anger when management appointed Christian Thielemann to lead a televised New Year's Eve concert. He has also led the Tonkünstlerorchester in Vienna, the MDR Symphony Orchestras in Leipzig and the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande. James Levine, I am sure, couldn't think of any other conductor but the best to follow his legacy. Hurrah

Dec. 08 2012 11:54 AM
Lois H. Rooks from Manhattan

The page disappeared before I could write "Adagio for Strings" by Samuel Barber as
my fourth choice.

Dec. 08 2012 11:41 AM
David S Toor from Knokke, Belgium

I started with you when I was 12. Now I'm 78. There were many years in between when I lived far out of range. Now my days are spent in South Carolina, North Carolina, Maine, and Europe, and I can always get you on my Infinite Radio or on the Internet. I write now from Belgium, with your music keeping me company on my iPad.

Although a devout non-believer, I will have my iPad accompany me to whatever great beyond there may be (if any), tuned to WQXR.

Keep playing!

Dec. 08 2012 11:39 AM
Larry Raiken

Thanks for WQXR.

Dec. 08 2012 11:36 AM
josh daniel

been listening to you 53 years. your great.
my favorite radio personage of all time Lloyd Moss.
I live in Israel now and love to be able to hear you on the web.
And so 20% of my dental patients who are from N.Y. and love to listen to you like old times,Kep up tour great broadcasting!
Josh Daniel, D.D.S.

Dec. 08 2012 11:13 AM
Elizabeth Ames from Norwood, NJ

I've been listening to WQXR since I was 5 years old (or earlier). My parents always had the radio tuned to this station. I particularly remember listening to "Breakfast at Symphony" and humorous radio plays on Saturday mornings (in the late 40's). Now, I cannot imagine not having such a station to listen to. Classical music is like the backdrop in the play of my life.

Dec. 08 2012 11:09 AM
Russell Holstein from West Allenhurst, NJ

I wish WQXR would realize that they are the only game in town and play lesser known repetoire. My favorite piece is Martinu's Czech Rhapsody. If WQXR would play it, the listening audience would have a wonderful new piece to savor. I am tired of hearing standard repetorie over and over.

Dec. 08 2012 11:07 AM
caesar j. warrick from Milford Ct

Please play mercury recordings produced by Wilma Cozart Fine and her husband, War of 1812 and Capricio Italien.I had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Fine when I was a fed ex driver. I recognized her name because of the liner notes on the albums. I brought my recording to her and she signed the jacket. Great recordings from a brilliant woman. I have always loved this music.I worked in Harrison NY. what a great place for a classical music lover. On one street I found Wilma Cozart fine and up another block lived the Maestro Kurt Masur. What a thrill. C.J.W

Dec. 08 2012 10:48 AM
john from CT

I'm so sorry that you sold the frequency and as a result wound up with lower power. Listening here in CT on the FM is very marginal, especially in the auto.

Dec. 08 2012 10:42 AM
Phil Bangert from Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri

Introduced to this piece by high school sweetheart in 1957. Think about her every time it plays. I live in a classical music desert in the woods. WQXR is on whenever I am at my computer. Thanks.

Dec. 08 2012 10:36 AM
Anne Van Orden from Central New Jersey

Keep playing as much Bach as possible ~ every day! We Lutherans appreciate your support. :) -Anne

Soli Dei Gloria

Dec. 08 2012 10:01 AM
Arthur Freedman from Scotch Plains NJ

I have been a listener and fan of wqxr for 65 years and hope to continue the practice foa as long as I'm able.

Dec. 08 2012 09:44 AM
Carol Harbich from Newark NJ


Dec. 08 2012 09:41 AM
Carol Harbich from Newark NJ


Dec. 08 2012 09:41 AM
John Koster from New Jersey

Not many people know this, but Dvorak's New World Symphony uses actual American Indian melodies, not just styles, for the first and last movements. The first movement is a Lakota dance song, Montana Grass, sung Lakota style, falsetto with drums, bells and rattles, and the last movement is a Northern Cheyenne war song, sung full voice, male lead, female backup as available, small drum only. The old Smithsonian two-record set featured both songs as the lead bands -- I guess they knew even if nobody else did. Go Dvorak! Go Indians! John Koster, author "Custer Survivor."

Dec. 08 2012 09:37 AM
Abby Mayer from Cornwall, NY

I miss WQXR on radio in th Cornwall, NY area!!!!!

Gratefully, I can receive WQXR on the Internet, but it is not s convenient as radio.

I extend very best wish.

Abby (Tokea LXXXIV)

Dec. 08 2012 08:58 AM
Leslie from Belfast, Maine

Way back, when I was in elementary school, I always listened to Sunday Night at the Opera on your station.

One night there was the most incredible music and singing. It has obsessed me all my life. It was Simon Boccanegra, an opera that often gets blank stares when I mention it. The first time I saw it live was at the old Covent Garden in 1966. I have seen a few productions since. I yearn to direct it. They all do not stand up to what I imagined that first time I heard it, and I didn't even know what they were singing about, then. I convinced many to attend when Jimmy Levine did it with the Boston Symphony, and the comments were all the same: why don't I hear this more often. This is wonderful. Who knew ? ( I went to all three performances and someone was nice enough to gift me with a high quality recoding of it)

So, I have always been grateful to that old WQXR.

Dec. 08 2012 08:55 AM
Judy from Westchester

I would be lost without WQXR. I have the station on all day in my home and in my car. Love you all.

Dec. 08 2012 08:39 AM

Let's see. Any guesses as to what will win this year? Care to weigh in Michael Meltzer?

Dec. 08 2012 08:22 AM
CB from MN

I grew up on LI in the 50s and 60s and our family always listened to WQXR. Thank you!

Dec. 08 2012 08:22 AM
Art Pini from Casselberry, FL

After years of listening from Rockland county I am enjoying listening, via web, from Florida
Thank You

Dec. 08 2012 08:10 AM

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