Tuesday, November 03, 2009 - 06:39 PM

This week, Q2 with Terrance McKnight will feature pieces of music written by composers when they were 30 years old.  

When I was 30 years old, I waited tables in a restaurant. I was also in graduate school at the time. The best things I had going on were church, a musician's job, and teaching piano lessons. The restaurant work--as fun and necessary as it was--was not part of my five year plan (I didn't have one. Still don't).

Saturday night on Q2 with Terrance McKnight, we're listening to music that was written by composers when they were age 30.  We'll hear music by Beethoven, Boulanger, Liszt, Tatum, Glass, and others.

I'd like to know what you were up to at 30.  If you're not there yet, what are your thoughts on turning 30? Enjoy!

More in:

Comments [28]

joseph rutkowski

For a while, I thought we lost Annie Bergen when the switch was made. But here I am in Rochester, NY, chaperoning our students at the NYSSMA all state conference, missing NYC and using my computer to listen to Saturday at the Opera and hearing her very familiar and friendly voice!

Joseph Rutkowski

Dec. 05 2009 03:21 PM

We encourage users to read the Comment Guidelines before posting on our blogs. You can find a link to the page in any "Leave a Comment" box.

In order to facilitate constructive conversations surrounding the intended topic of the blog, we encourage users to email Listener Services (listenerservices@wqxr.org) or post on the Listener Services blog (http://blogs.wnyc.org/listenerservices/) with concerns about programming and hosts.

Nov. 16 2009 12:49 PM
S Wilkinson from NYC

I am really happy to hear Annie Bergen's voice back on the air... (Sunday afternoon)
I hope it's permanent. not just a time slot where she is filling in for someone who is absent.
Please - please, give her a permanent spot again.

Nov. 15 2009 03:55 PM
Frank Feldman

My goodness, someone's listening! Annie Bergen! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

Nov. 15 2009 02:45 PM
Frank Feldman

Dear Jonathan, Unfortunately it's the only restaurant in town. I feel it's worthwhile lobbying for menu changes. Cheers, FF

Nov. 15 2009 02:13 PM
WQXR Radio from NYC

We encourage users to read the Comment Guidelines before posting on our blogs. You can find a link to the page in any "Leave a Comment" boxes.

In particular, please refrain from personal attacks.

To suggest changes, please email Listener Services at listenerservices@wqxr.org.

Nov. 14 2009 10:49 PM

Dude, that sucks that people use this blog just to talk trash. If you don't like Terrance or the music, then stop supporting or listening. Why frequent a restaurant if you don't like the food? Just so you can weekly tell off the staff? Its so little of people to destroy a community that is being built and enjoyed by their members. So we like different music. Life changes and your precious radio station is not the same anymore. What about people who do like and enjoy it? Can't this blog be ours? Can people who don't like, enjoy or respect it not listen to Q2 on a saturday night and do something else during that time?

Nov. 14 2009 09:35 PM
S Wilkinson from NYC

I'm not 30 yet. I'm 24. I love to play the cello. In college I studied music and I took some marketing courses too. Being around my father's golf buddies I get the impression that corporate people like to make changes when they buy companies. I don't know if it's their egos, but I think it's like they want to make a big splash.
You guys bought wqxr when The New York Times was hurting. Their radio station was not perfect but it was pretty special. When you bought it I guess you felt like you wanted to make a lot of changes. I'm pretty open minded for change, but I think you lost the stuff that was special about wqxr. I don't think you're able to make it special again, because I see your actions. Your choices and your decisions too.

Nov. 14 2009 03:52 AM
Frank Feldman

Tom, Your post is nice poetry, but makes little concrete sense. There has been no coherent language in "classical" Western music since the death of Richard Strauss-that's the point you're not grasping. When Phillip Glass' memory has happily disappeared from the face of the earth (except for the head-scratching of quizzical historians), Bach, Beethoven, Bruckner and the rest of the mostly boys will live on.

Nov. 13 2009 01:43 PM
rayna from West Orange, NJ

Dakers - good post to those people - I'm with you! But do you think anybody is really listening?
I have written numerous e-mails to the same people, similar message, to no avail - so it seems.

The Dolly Suite? Sigh...

Nov. 11 2009 08:59 PM

From an email I just sent to the WNYC general mailbox.

"Hey guys:

Please let your program hosts script their own play lists. The programming on WQXR, particularly in the evening, is leaden; it expresses a top down, up tight vision of conventional classical music. You’ve got great DJ’s in David Garland and Terrance McKnight but with the transition from WNYC they have lost their individuality. Please let their curiosity roam again; I miss the wonderful insights I used to get from listening to them. Thank you from a long time subscriber to WNYC."

Nov. 11 2009 04:33 PM

I turned 30 this weekend, and I reflected on where I am and where I am going through this weeks journey on your show. Thank you for making this program, I appreciate it very much!

Nov. 10 2009 11:45 PM
Richard S Mitnick from Highland Park, New Jersey

Tom, Cooper Sq., eloquent, I appreciated your work.

Nov. 10 2009 02:50 PM
Tom, Cooper Sq. from Manhattan

Value boundaries, like taste boundaries, are unreliable as a measure of creative potency. Classical isn't a competition between the dead and the living. Beethoven's obsession with heroism doesn't compare well with Bach's harmonic freedom and ability to exhaust the full range of harmonic potential. Each innovated in quite respectable ways and has enduring value, certainly. A work must be taken on it's own terms, yet the imperative which defines classics is innovation. Rhythmic or timbre innovations are the equal in creativity to the melodic or harmonic. There is a good bit of quite important innovation that many listeners aren't capable, yet, of digesting. That's okay.

When we are convinced that we hear wisdom, we are often just attentive to our own footsteps' echo. We all experience music as an intertext, hearing what we hear with mental reference-points that we have been conditioned to value. We internalize a "literature" and from it we make implicit comparisons out of reflex. But the question is, what standard of judgement is reliable as a gage for valuable creativity, for the progress of human imaginative enterprise? Our own 'enjoyment and intuitive pleasures' are highly unreliable and dependent not only on our entrenched conditioning, but also on the flightiness of momentary mood. If our standards only vaunt compositions from European music theory pre 1911, then we are just appetite boxes --hunting for bon-bons-- rather than careful listeners, more deeply sensitive responders.

Every new musical language is transgressive, and --initially-- all art transgresses legibility. With a critical eye, we take care to hold the new in a certain doubt, but not in instant rejection. Rote reference language, like the claims of rote wisdoms are maladept, and in the long term dysfunctional. Emotional investment in those old literary canards risks our confinement as sentiment-junkies. Even the old pseudo-axiom that classical tradition is an "interpretive" tradition and that other traditions are "creative / improvisational" traditions is trite bunk. Innovation in musical language isn't bounded neatly with such a notion. Every creation is an interpretive work. Some interpretive work keeps individual and cultural listeners growing, and, naturally enough, some does not. Indeed, every LISTENING-ACT is an interpretive work. (Recall how long Bach was forgotten, but the value there was there all along even though way out of majority fashion.) But if we are listening for where a new language is making its play, it's not immediately evident which work fosters growth and which fails to do so. We also don't have any constructive reason to rush to judgement without giving each work some kind of a chance. The competition isn't between Beethoven and what's post-Beethoven, but rather between willingness to listen for renewal and premature unwillingness. Ciao, T

Nov. 10 2009 10:09 AM
Tom, Cooper Sq.

The music choices this evening are wonderful, not at all "noise". Re: Tom's peeve: Look again, my brother at the facts. Classical is the music of continuous inquiry and it is a dynamic reopening into more and more inventiveness. The classics aren't a closed canon and they traditionally left most listeners far behind, violating the claims of taste. This is not because it's "intellectual" in some pejorative sense. It is, rather, intimate and innovative. One marker of the young mind is that it apprehends able new paths and is not chained to things past simply because they are past or somehow putatively supreme. We grow when we look into the new. We decay when we shun whatever's not what our old schoolmasters falsely claimed was "best". How was the old schoolmaster to know what was best anyway, not listening to a wider range? In every era, the classic is what breaks former boundaries and moves swiftly on breaking beauty standards to boldly revise standard notions. That deep RE-VISION is of enduring value to WQXR listeners and to all who value art, not complacency. Keep finding, I say. Ciao, T

Nov. 09 2009 08:09 PM
tom from terrance

All the way home from work I listened to Terrance play experimental noise. Does he like music?
I will not contribute until I can drive home and listen to the classical music most people enjoy. Is the goal to find the smallest audience possible? Do you think it's intellectual to be unlikable? Keep it up and you'll be off the air altogether.

Nov. 09 2009 07:42 PM
Frank Feldman

In my thirties, there were three classical music stations in NYC, all with robust FM signals. Now there's only one, with a pathetically weak signal. Classical music is dying, who can deny it? Please try to fan the flicker of this waning candle somewhat longer; it is essential spiritual sustenance for us few remaining dinosaurs.

Nov. 08 2009 08:56 PM
Joyce from Brooklyn

I love the programming variety even if I don't always love the selections (save me from Minimalists)> I think that you are absolutely terrific. Imagine, Art Blakely and Bach in one program. Great stuff. Keep it up. Thank whoever is in charge now for you and everybody else. The station is wonderful.

Nov. 08 2009 06:27 PM
David from W. Village

My thirties were the best for me in almost all ways. Terrance, I think you'll be very happy during this decade!


Nov. 06 2009 11:04 PM

30 is indeed a milestone. Not only do you have knowledge of self, you realize what you like and dont like....but most importantly, dont give a f**k wether or not people accept you for who you are.

I truley believe 30 is the start of your adult life...


Nov. 06 2009 10:53 PM
SusanW from NYC

Loving the program and you are a most endearing host!

Thirty? Well, I was living in the far West Village in those days, dancing at the Paradise Club and Studio 54. Coming home from the clubs at 5 in the morning, getting up at 7:00 and going to my job at Clairol/BristolMyers. The local denziens were a fabulous group of outcasts, freaks and partyboys and girls. I remember sneaking onto the Highline through a hole cut in the chainlink fence and we danced to disco music blaring from speakers hung on a neighbor's fire escape. Flash forward many years and now I'm a volunteer on that same High Line. Thirty was a wonderful time, a coming of age. It's a time to celebrate your youth and welcome your new status. Cheers!

Nov. 05 2009 08:16 PM
Guy Aron from Melbourne, Australia

My 30th birthday is a distant memory - I can't actually remember the occasion. My 30s, though, were quite an improvement on my 20s. I stopped being so worried about what other people thought of me. Also, things started recurring somewhat, so that when something distressing happened I could think "Oh yes, I've seen this before". Retrospectively I think 30 was a great age - still youthful enough to be optimistic, but old enough to start showing some glimmers of sense.

PS Hey, Terrance - when someone's not interested in something, the word is "uninterested". "Disinterested" means something quite different. (I appreciate your forbearance in allowing me to put in my 0.05c worth!)

Nov. 05 2009 08:13 PM
Karen Dinan from Long Beach, NY

Hi, Will you playing the same music as you played on 93.9?
I don't want you to change it.

Nov. 05 2009 07:58 PM
Roberta from New Jersey-Bergen Cty.

Unfortunately I am unable to bring in the new WQXR. Even the radio I had used the very first week of broadcast in Oct no longer will receive the station.
The only place I can get it clearly is in my car which is always tuned to 105.9.
I am usually in my car during the early afternoons but that program is my least favorite. So goodbye after more than 50 years of enjoyment.
I will certainly listen to the opera on Sat, even if I have to sit in my garage.

Nov. 05 2009 10:45 AM
Frank Feldman

When I was thirty, I was obsessed with the music of the mature Wagner. I believe, in retrospect, that this is, ironically, the precise age when people should have stopped trusting me. This obsession, with me at least, is a kind of disease. It always presages or is simultaneous with my getting depressed. Poison. For me at least. Please play lots of Mozart and Vivaldi and pray for my recovery.

Nov. 04 2009 02:42 PM
Jonathan Kaplan from Valley Stream NY

I'm turning 30 a day before the broadcast. How cool that you're doing this. I am working as a graphic designer, pursuing other freelance artistic projects, and performing in improv and clown theater projects with my friends!

Nov. 04 2009 12:07 PM
Tim from Watchung, NJ

I think you mispoke:

not onimous


Adv. 1. ominously - in an ominous manner; "the sun darkened ominously"

adverb threateningly, grimly, menacingly, darkly, balefully, sinisterly, forbiddingly `I'll be back,' he said ominously.

Nov. 03 2009 09:20 PM
Frank Feldman

Beethoven, Liszt, Art Tatum and PHILLIP GLASS??!! Terrence, dear Terrence, I want to take you seriously. How can I when you lump three geniuses and a non-musician poseur together in the same sentence? Forty years of the Emperor's New Clothes, but they're still the Emperor's New Clothes.

Nov. 03 2009 09:14 PM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

The WQXR e-newsletter. Show highlights, links to music news, on-demand concerts, events from The Greene Space and more.

Follow WQXR 







About WQXR Blog

Read WQXR's coverage of classical music news, trends, commentary and more here at the WQXR Blog.