William Schuman's GWB Tribute Finds New Resonance

Friday, January 10, 2014 - 12:19 PM

Perhaps some classical music can soothe a political scandal. William Schuman's George Washington Bridge has been a favorite of concert band directors since its premiere in 1950.

In a program note for the piece, Schuman wrote: "There are few days in the year when I do not see the George Washington Bridge....Ever since my student days when I watched the progress of its construction, this bridge has had for me an almost human personality, and this personality is astonishingly varied, assuming different moods depending on the time of day or night, the weather, the traffic and, of course, my own mood as I pass by.

"I have walked across it late at night when it was shrouded in fog, and during the brilliant sunshine hours of midday. I have driven over it countless times and passed under it on boats. Coming to New York City by air, sometimes I have been lucky enough to fly right over it. It is difficult to imagine a more gracious welcome or dramatic entry to the great metropolis."

Listen to a performance (hat tip: American Symphony Orchestra):


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Comments [25]

Cardinle Haisz from Wurtsboro, NY

This guy is always making typographical errors, even when he had his old stuff.

Jan. 17 2014 03:51 PM

Dear Robert and Bertram,

Believe me, I'm not complaining.


p.s. I am NOT a heldentenor promoting my own agenda. I do, however, write a blog about free and low-cost concerts in NYC. Feel free to inquire -- I'll post a url.

Jan. 17 2014 01:54 AM
Bertram Bittermin from Red Hook, Brooklyn

I will be glad, when that man wins his case against WQXR in court, because I too feel that Radio Station WQXR; is a menace to society!

Jan. 16 2014 11:32 AM
Robert St.Onge from Cochiti Lake,NM

Dear Duck, consider the non-Fischbein silence as music for the heart, mind and soul.

Jan. 15 2014 11:53 AM

It's awfully quiet now that Mr. Fischbein is pursuing legal action, and can no longer comment. I still like a lot of Schuman's music.


Jan. 14 2014 09:36 PM

Dear Mr. Fischbein,

Re. "... now they allow pedofiles [?] like one poster to keep online ..."

Please have the wherewithal to say who you are referring to. And be positively certain that you can back up that statement.

Jan. 13 2014 12:52 AM

I tend to like William Schuman's music.


Jan. 13 2014 12:28 AM
No Name from NYC

WQXR recently pulled a blog critical of the Metropolitan after Metropolitan Opera General manager personally called WQXR to complain. This station has a long history of censorship.

Jan. 12 2014 07:14 PM
Charles Fischbein from Front Royal, Va.

WQXR is a socialist station with a long history of censorship. In 2008 they refused to run a paid placement by The American Jewish Congress, now they allow pedofiles like one poster to keep online and censor "wet back" in a post. Bye Bye, see you in court.
I have been just waiting for this moment, thanks for helping. Charles Fischbein

Jan. 12 2014 07:09 PM

Dear Mr. Fischbein:

Re. "FYI when Sir Bernie referred to my wife as my sister his post was removed."

After your post, referring to a Canadian as a 'wet back,' it was removed. I rest my case.

Deity Speed, DD~~

Jan. 12 2014 06:54 PM

Dear Mr. Fischbein,

Re. "Duck, for someone who hangs out in nude movie houses, and admits so publicly," ... go back an reread my post carefully. What you wrote is a misrepresentation.

Re. "Duck, I would be afraid of catching a deadly disease merely by being close to you" ... another ludicrous statement.

Re. your impending lawsuit ... this should be quite a kerfuffle.

All the best,


Jan. 12 2014 01:07 PM
Charles Fischbein from Front Royal, Va.

Thomas Penfield Jackson was the Federal presiding judge, sorry for misspelling the justices name.
I will be making calls Monday to allow several attorneys and Conservative Legal Action Groups, (Heritage Foundation, et al, to decide if the actions of WQXR in censoring have reached a level where litigation is possible. Simply posting rules does not mean those rules are legal and enforceable, WQXR consistently promotes minority, and gay and lesbian groups but has never given equal access to patriotic Americans who differ with their perverted liberal positions. It is time I believe to air this out in the legal system. Of course I will miss our stimulating conversations because once i decide to take action I will no linger be able to counter the liberal propaganda by responding until the matter clears the courts, that may take years. FYI Bernie, that will mean during the discovery phase of a suite i will find exactly who you are and will proceed legally accordingly. Ads far as you Duck, I would be afraid of catching a deadly disease merely by being close to you, but discovery will also allow me to know who the (man?) behind your posts is. Charles Fischbein

Jan. 12 2014 09:09 AM
Charles Fischbein from Charles Fischbein

Duck, for someone who hangs out in nude movie houses, and admits so publicly, the phrase "wet back" is far "cleaner". Sometimes things are best left unsaid. FYI when Sir Bernie referred to my wife as my sister his post was removed.
It is interesting to note that a PUBLIC Radio station cannot allow the use of pejorative phrases but supports perversion like totally nude opera houses and theatres. Pretty soon they will be accepting public service announcements from NAMBLA< The Man Boy Love Association, by the way Duck are you a card carrying member of NAMBLA. I hope you read this before it is removed. A number of years ago I was a plaintiff along with three Palestinians three Rabbis and some attorneys challenging the tax exempt status of a 501c3 pro Israeli group for committing genocide in Israel. Our lead attorney was Mark lane and the ACLU.
I still have many friends in the Patriot legal community and if WQXR and NPR continue to ban phrases that are commonly used they may very well find themselves in Federal District Court defending their posted policies and how they interpret them. If they accept even one dollar of Public funds even channeled from NPR they should be very careful, and they are not. It is OK for WQXR to advertise and sponsor a Lesbian Mixer on Jan. 30, 2014 for a $40 ticket, but they selectively remove conservative and pro American Posts. FYI I do keep track of the posts I make and have been advised to do so by several groups who closely monitor NPR policies, including the group that defended Juan Williams when he was fired for simply speaking his opinion. Am I a plant, only the shadow knows.?
I am an activist, will always be, recall i was directly involved the the US Dept. of Justice accessibility suit against the Met, which they settled just hours after it was filed. Prior to contacting the Mayors Committee for Disability services and the Dept. of Justice I had a number of personal conversations about the lack of disability seats at the Met. with their general council Sharon Grubin, but it went nowhere, ie the Justice Dept. Suit.
Liberty Lobby schooled me well and I know when and how to pick my law suits and WQXR if it continues may just be next. God Speed, Charles Fischbein refrence Charles Fischbein, Kahreen Kahlaf, Charlie Battan, Rabbi Moshe Hirsch et al VS. IRS. Federal District Court, the Honorable Thomas Pengield Jackson presiding Judge.

Jan. 12 2014 08:45 AM

First, Bernie is in good company referring to Christie. The NYTimes did the same in a recent headline. (Granted, they referred to Governor Chris Christie in their first body text reference.)

Re. "Dear Bernie UWS/ Censured, when by whom?"

DD: You. I requested that a (sorry WQXR, he asked) post referring to "wet backs [sic]" of yours be removed, and it was.

Possibly you're losing track of all of your lengthy posts.


Jan. 12 2014 02:34 AM
Charles Fischbein from Front Royal, Va.

Dear Bernie UWS/ Censured, when by whom? Your post calling my wife my sister was removed by WQXR, and if you were a man you would have met me in New York and said it to my face., rather than hide behind your UWS apartment doorman. When I worked for Liberty Lobby and The Spotlight, I was censured daily by the Liberal Press, and it was a badge of honor. Being censured however by a National Public Radio affiliate would however be expected from the liberal organization that fired Juan Williams, (now on Fox) for speaking his mind on his fear on Muslims on planes he was flying on.
I made a tongue and cheek remark when you attacked Governor Christie personally, then you started to act like the Newark Chamber of Commerce. I feel an obligation to show the true situation in Newark and just how dangerous a city it has become.
Let us take a moment to remember the young attorney shot in the head by black gang members and thugs from Newark a few days before Christmas. May God rest his soul. No more no less. Don't let your blood pressure get too high be cIVIL and be HONEST. God Speed, Charles Fischbein

Jan. 11 2014 08:02 PM
Bernie from UWS

I don't know what the GWB and Schuman has to do with Newark's crime problems. Mr. Fischbein has already been censured by the WQXR overlords more than once; let's rein it in here.

Back to Christie, I'm expecting the other shoe will drop here sooner or later. There are thousands of documents around this and who knows if he's protecting other bad actors. Now if only a composer of today would write an opera about Christie. It would write itself.

Jan. 11 2014 05:26 PM
Les from Miami, Florida

The quotation is printed in the full score by G. Schirmer, Inc. and the piece is "For the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association". I'm wondering if it's possible to listen to this wonderful work from now on without the very sad consequences of loss of time and life coming to mind, and rightly so. Similary, I wonder of Barber's "Adagio for Srrings" can be heard without assoiating it with mourning. The very first bar of "George Washington Bridge An Impression for Band" reveals C major against B flat major and it ends "affirmatively" in C major. Another recorded performance to treasure is the one by the Eastman Wind Ensemble conducted by Frederick Fennell.

Jan. 11 2014 10:50 AM
No Name from Long Island, New York

According to Conde Nast Traveler magazine Newark has been named the unfriendliest city in the United States.

Jan. 11 2014 09:31 AM
Charles Fischbein from Front Royal, Va.

Just a few easily found quotes on current crime in Newark.
New York Times 12/28/13 "Epidemic of Carjackings Afflicts Newark"
Politico.com 9/1/13 "Crime and poverty rampant in Newark"
Univ. Georgia Poverty Research Council 12/13 "Crime still rampant in Newark"
Let us not forget the killers of the young New Jersey attorney in an attempted car hijacking in an upscale New Jersey mall before Christmas were from Newark.
I have not found any tourist guides that suggest late night strolls down Newarks streets, let me know if I have missed any Bernie I an not too old to learn. God Speed, Charles Fischbein

Jan. 11 2014 09:15 AM
Charles Fischbein from Front Royal, Va

Dear Bernie, Newark DID have an excellent Mayor regardless of the fact he was a Democrat. However, Newark still has one of the highest gang murder rates of any American city, above 70% out of wedlock births, and a very high HIV rate. It does have an excellent teaching hospital which is too well versed with emergency treatment for gun shot wounds from gang shootings.
Governor Christie, not ( Christie ), as you call him (have some respect for the office of state Governor please) has worked with the legislature to pour many millions of dollars into Newark, however the City is still plagued with much higher than average social ills.
Being familiar with Manhattan's upper west side having grown up on West 70th St., going to Rhodes Prep School on West 54 St., and staying on 80th St. and Riverside Drive during my five plus trips to New York every year, (next trip Feb. 6-11) I doubt you would feel very safe walking in downtown Newark at night alone.
Newark may be geographically close to the UWS but there is no comparison in the safety of walking its downtown streets alone at night. I would quote statistics but I am surer you can fact check this statement. Who knows I may be sitting next to you at the Met. in Feb for Prince Igor, Butterfly, and Rusalka. Be safe, God Speed, Charles Fischbein
God Speed, Charles Fischbein

Jan. 11 2014 09:00 AM
Barry Owen Furrer

Like a bridge over politically troubled waters, it's taking a different kind of toll!

Jan. 11 2014 08:59 AM
Bernie from UWS

Good to see my Southern friend is so versed in New Jersey politics. Newark has some wonderful features - a great performing arts center, the Newark Museum, some beautiful churches, vibrant, multicultural neighborhoods. And the residents didn't vote for Christie. They saw beyond his phony "straight-talking" bluster for the vindictive, self-interested politician he is.

Jan. 11 2014 08:03 AM
Charles Fischbein from Front Royal, Va.

Sorry for typo below, the laptop computer I just bought yesterday is killing me with the new keyboard. Should have ended below by saying "Try harder" Sorry, God Speed, Charles Fischbein

Jan. 10 2014 07:36 PM
Charles Fischbein from Front Royal, Va.

I was wondering who would be the first to berate Governor Christe, well Mr. UWS comrade, you win. You are now eligible to spend a weekend in downtown Newark, on any street corner you wish. Dress accordingly. Please be civil if you respond you were already kicked off on one of your posts, thy harder, maybe you'll get it right. God Speed, Charles Fischbein

Jan. 10 2014 07:05 PM
Bernie from UWS

Christie would never be so cultured as to know who William Schuman is.

Jan. 10 2014 02:39 PM

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