Give a Nod to Your Favorite Musical Narrative

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Wednesday, February 06, 2013

the Alps in Switzerland the Alps in Switzerland (rhoadeecha)

This week's Showdown offered three works that typify the 19th century Romantic interest in program music, in which composers attempted to evoke a specific narrative or idea through music. 

For most of the morning it was Mussorgsky’s famous 1874 promenade through a gallery of paintings by his friend Viktor Hartmann that led the race, if only slightly. But, ultimately, the piece of program music that perked a few more ears was Berlioz’s 1830 masterpiece portraying episodes in the life of a lovesick and self-destructive artist.

We played the winner at noon.


Comments [9]

William Leo Coakley from Manhattan

Well, heroes are in short supply these days, and who better than Reiner to drag out out.

Feb. 06 2013 11:58 AM

I voted for Ein Heldenleben particularly since it features Fritz Reiner and the Chicago Symphony. But from the photo associated with this contest, I would have thought one of your choices would be Eine Alpensinfonie, not Ein Heldenleben.

Feb. 06 2013 10:52 AM
bonnie from hackensack, nj

Strauss, the Shakespeare of music, had a remarkable understanding of human nature and its rites of passage. Ein Heldenleben is a fine example.

Feb. 06 2013 10:40 AM
EILEEN CG from Katonah, NY


Feb. 06 2013 10:32 AM
Tim from Washington, DC

I vote for the Strauss today, it seems the most explicitly programmatic piece of the three, and may get the least amount of air time on the radio. Thanks again for another fun contest!

Feb. 06 2013 10:26 AM
Frank T. from B'klyn

My choice is Mussorgsky. I just like it better.

Feb. 06 2013 10:21 AM
Adam G from New York

As director of the recent short film "Last Night's Symphonie" based on Symphonie Fantastique, my vote goes to Berlioz.

Feb. 06 2013 09:45 AM
kriss from Piscataway, NJ

My vote goes to Strauss, which I don't recall having heard on WQXR before. The other two pieces are played A LOT!

Feb. 06 2013 09:21 AM
Arden Broecking

Berlioz' unique chord structure is especially stirring and effective in this symphony.
It makes it almost pictorial.

Feb. 06 2013 07:40 AM

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