Q2 Music's Second Annual New-Music Countdown

Bring In The New Year With The Best Of The Last 100 Years

Friday, December 07, 2012

Times Square New Year's Eve Ball, held in Macy's Store on 34th Street Times Square New Year's Eve Ball, held in Macy's Store on 34th Street (nickhall/flickr)

It's time for Q2 Music's second annual new-music countdown! Last year we asked listeners to vote for their favorite pieces of the 20th and 21st centuries, and, as a result, we had some unexpected visitors for a Q2 Music party. (We're looking at you Gustav, Maurice and Claude!) This year we're trying something different.

Between now and Christmas Day, vote for your favorite classical music from the last 100 years — in other words, music that was composed on or after January 1, 1913 — and we'll bring the year to a close with your top choices during a marathon countdown.

Below you can vote for up to five of your favorite pieces. Curious about last year's winners? Check out the results of our 2011 New-Music Countdown as well as WQXR's 2011 Classical Countdown.

Pundit's Note: Last year's runaway victor and would-be perennial powerhouse, Igor Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring (composed between 1911-1913) is already entering its final year of eligibility! Will the reigning champion go out on top?

Also: We may mention some of your choices online. If you would like to be identified, please leave your name or your Twitter handle in the last box below.


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Comments [12]

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,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.RichardWagJnerMusicDramaInstitute.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 06:13 PM
Greg Winter from Port Washington

I listen to WQXR all day long at work. Since I started listening I am much, much more focused and able to weed out the distractions and low priority interruptions. I would be lost if I lost QXR.

As for selections for the countdown, too many to count or list. But it's hard not to have Mozart, Beethoven, and Bach at the top, followed closely by Tchaikovsky, Dvorak, Haydn, Orff, Chopin, Moussoursky, Teleman, Handel, Liszt, and Wagner. Cmon, we're only talking about 500 years of music.

Dec. 17 2012 01:01 PM
Pat Brand

All day long in my office in school I listen to WQXR. Staff and students enjoy. Music is such a life force for me. Whenever I want to feel close to my deceased husband, I, too, listen to classical music. Thanks for all the wonderful music.

Dec. 17 2012 10:47 AM
John Vander-Putten from New York

I was ten years old when my mother died and shortly before that we were on a family trip to Carmel New York when the 5th symphony was played on QXR. It meant little to me at rthe time but what I remember was my mother's determination to find out the name of the piece and to get a copy. As I grew older, it became one of my favorite symphonys.


Dec. 17 2012 07:21 AM
Mary Coan from Greenwich, CT

Maurice Ravel's music is magical. I also love Bach, Mozart, Dvorak, Bizet, Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky, Schumann, and Schubert... and Beethoven... and others. Congratulations to WQXR for your brilliant programming and continuing and increasing excellence.

Dec. 16 2012 12:17 PM
William H. Pfister

WQXR is even better since it left The New York Times, but I'd still love to see another classical station, public or private, take its place along the dial (this is New York City, you know!).

Dec. 15 2012 01:34 PM
A. from NYC

i tried to think of some Messiaen to vote for since i felt all big four post-WWII composers should be represented (along with Stockhausen, Lutoslawski & Carter), but i couldn't think of a single piece that stood out. Sure Turangalîla is good, but what about Livre du saint sacrament, or Des canyons aux étoiles, or the choral music, etc. Wound up voting for Lachenmann instead.

Really wish there was a sixth spot >.> feel bad about missing out Kurtág's Messages of the Late R. S. Troussova.

Dec. 13 2012 06:10 PM


Dec. 13 2012 03:16 PM
Tom from Manhattan

Of all the 5 pieces I picked, I truly hope that Mozart's "Coronation Mass" makes it onto the year-end list. It is beautiful piece of music that is almost never heard in full on the radio. But, I also hope that my other 4 selections make onto the list as well.

Dec. 13 2012 02:28 PM
Suzanne Obolsky from New York City

WQXR always offers some hidden gems of which my thirsty ears were not previously aware. My Mother passed away recently, and listening to WQXR makes me feel closer to her, as she cherished you as well. Thank you.

Dec. 13 2012 12:44 AM
Susan Mills from Coatepec, Veracruz, Mexico

I will be excited to read the results.

Dec. 12 2012 03:27 PM
Sarah Walters from Staten Island

Love this station.

Dec. 10 2012 11:32 AM

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Q2 Music is WQXR’s multiplatform home for musical discovery and dynamic new classical music from trailblazing composers, ensembles and leading New York new-music venues. Q2 Music's 24/7 stream lives online at q2music.org and is accessible via the free WQXR app.


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