Pick the Piece That Puts James Levine Back on the Podium

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Wednesday, May 08, 2013

After a two-year absence, James Levine is scheduled to return to the podium on May 19 to conduct the Met Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. This Saturday, WQXR will bring you an interview with the maestro on Operavore.

With today’s Showdown we highlight this prominent conductor of opera and symphonic music, as well as a pianist. We asked you to tell us which of these Levine performances you’d like to hear and we played the winner today at noon.


Comments [17]

David from Westchester

Hooray! Mozart pulled an "Orb" and with a Jovian (pardon the pun) rally came from behind to win>

May. 08 2013 12:06 PM
rick o'connell

rather amusing to see Tristan described as the least profound of the three pieces when it is acknowledged by musicologists as one of the most inluential pieces of music ever written, and as the beginning of modern music.

May. 08 2013 12:02 PM
Toni from NYC

There is a special magic that happens between Maestro James Levine, the Met Opera Orchestra and the music of Wagner.Not that I don't love Mozart,but considering the fact that he wrote 40 other symphonies, the 41st is played SO often, and I just don't feel as compelled to listen to it yet again.
So I'm rooting for the Wagner to win, by a hair if necessary.

May. 08 2013 11:53 AM
Perry Weiner from Brooklyn

Protest vote for Schubert, which has a more rarified beauty than the others. I'd be happy if Mozart wins, as frequently as one hears it, but Tristan is--despite its beauties--is the least profound of the three, and for high noon, no, no! But, given its mass appeal, it will win, alas!

May. 08 2013 11:37 AM
Ed Biehl from Dallas, TX

I simply love Wagner especially when it is conducted by James Leine. I would not be upset if the Mozart or Schubert wins out. Love WQXR! I listen daily while one the computer in my office.

May. 08 2013 11:20 AM
David from Westchester

Love the Schubert (although I'm more used to hearing it played on the cello or violin) but voted for Mozart which I also love because Schubert is too far behind. Anyone but Wagner.

May. 08 2013 11:19 AM
Kenneth Bennett Lane. Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richqrd Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

I still hold to my voting for the TRISTAN, however, I studied voice at JUILLIARD with Lynn Harrell's father, the Met Opera singer MACK HARRELL. Both father and son are or were world class !!! So, if it's the Schubert or the Wagner or the Mozart we are in for a treat. Looking forward to the interview with Maestro Levine this Saturday at 10:30 AM.

May. 08 2013 11:08 AM

My personal favorite would be his recording of Smetana's music with the Vienna Phil. It's really, really good. But alas, you didn't offer anything really apropos to Maestro Levine such as an Elliot Carter composition, for example. Next time, perhaps? (I'm fine and have no real preference for any of the selections over the others so I didn't vote this time around.)

May. 08 2013 11:02 AM
Randyjmc from NYC

Glad to know Mr Levine is back with us.

May. 08 2013 10:44 AM
Andrew B. from Lower Merion, PA

We forget that Mr. Levine is a very accomplished pianist, though recorded mostly as an accompanist to singers and in chamber music. I'd like to hear Maestro Levine at the keyboard, in his partnership with the incomparable Lynn Harrell.


The list is missing a Chicago Symphony Orchestra recording, which aside from the Met, has been Maestro Levine's longest and most prestigious position.

May. 08 2013 10:25 AM
Anne from NYC

I will never get tired of hearing Wagner as conducted by Maestro Levine.

May. 08 2013 10:20 AM
Les from Miami, Florida

I think the Mozart "Jupiter" Symphony ... a name Mozart didn't attach to it ... would be the most appropriate since it's mood (except the slow movement) is joyous, or so it seems to me.

May. 08 2013 09:14 AM

Maestro Levine is an unparallelled musician and can play anything. However, he's best known, and has had the most influence, as an opera conductor, so I vote for the Wagner piece today. Wish you'd offered a cut with singing in it.

May. 08 2013 09:10 AM
Zigisvald Kuijken b.1944 from Bruges

I vote for Tristan und Isolde'Prelude and Liebestod' because it's nice and short; Symphonies and Concertos are just too long for my attention span.

May. 08 2013 09:03 AM
Judith from Boston, MA

We hear Wagner more than enough, and the Jupiter also makes fairly frequent appearances on QXR. I vote for the Arpeggione, a beautiful piece that's heard all too infrequently (and this recording is a stunning one).

May. 08 2013 08:47 AM
concetta nardone from Nassau

We again have the greatest hits to choose from. I chose the Wagner because of the longing I hear from this piece.

May. 08 2013 08:20 AM
Levine from Queens, NY

It's heartwarming to listen to a Jew conduct Wagner.

May. 08 2013 07:43 AM

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