WQXR's 2013 Classical Countdown

Sunday, December 01, 2013

New Year's Eve (Shutterstock)

Every year WQXR asks its listeners: "What is your favorite piece of classical music?" Based on your responses, we'll close out 2013 by counting down the 105 most-requested pieces. 

We asked you to cast your vote for your five favorite classical pieces. We tallied up the votes, began the countdown on Dec. 28 and will end as we ring in the New Year.

The list below will be updated throughout the countdown. To find out what recordings were played, please consult our playlist pages: Saturday; Sunday; Monday; Tuesday. Thank you to everyone who voted.

105. Johan Sebastian Bach: Cello Suite No. 1 in G major, BWV 1007

104. Giuseppe Verdi: La Traviata

103. Edvard Grieg: Peer Gynt

102. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 20 in D Minor, K. 466

101. Felix Mendelssohn: Octet in E-flat, Op. 20

100. Richard Strauss: Four Last Songs  

99. Johan Sebastian Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier

98. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Sinfonia concertante in E-Flat Major, K. 364

97. Igor Stravinsky: The Firebird Suite

96. George Frideric Handel: Water Music

95. Leonard Bernstein: West Side Story

94: Ludwig van Beethoven: Missa Solemnis in D Major, Op. 123

93. Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 32 in C Minor, Op. 111

92. Franz Schubert: String Quintet in C Major, Op. 163

91. Johannes Brahms: Symphony No. 2 in D, Op. 73

90. Ludwig van Beethoven: Choral Fantasy in C Minor, Op. 80

89. Samuel Barber: Violin Concerto, Op. 14

88. Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker

87. Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4 in F Minor, Op. 36

86. Johann Sebastian Bach: Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring, BWV 147

85. Bela Bartok: Concerto for Orchestra

84. Johann Pachelbel: Canon in D

83. Gabriel Faure: Requiem, Op. 48

82. Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture, Op. 49

81. Richard Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier

80. Edward Elgar: Enigma Variations, Op. 36

79. Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6 in B Minor, Op. 74, "Pathetique"

78. Gustav Holst: The Planets, Op. 32

77. Hector Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Op. 14

76. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Clarinet Quintet in A, K. 581

75. Franz Schubert: Symphony No. 8 in B Minor, D. 759, "Unfinished"

74. Franz Joseph Haydn: Symphony No. 45 in F-sharp Minor, "Farewell"

73. Jean Sibelius: Symphony No. 5 in E-flat Major, Op. 82

72. Antonin Dvorak: String Quartet No. 12 in F, Op. 96, "American"

71. Franz Schubert: Piano Sonata in B-flat Major, D. 960

70. Johannes Brahms: Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 68

69. Franz Schubert: Symphony No. 9 in C Major, D. 944, "The Great"

68. Dmitri Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5 in D Minor, Op. 47

67. Ralph Vaughan Williams: Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis

66. Sergei Rachmaninoff:>Symphony No. 2 in E Minor, Op. 27

65. Giacomo Puccini: La Boheme

64. Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake

63. J.S. Bach: Concerto for Two Violins in D Minor, BWV 1043>

62. Gustav Mahler: Symphony no. 4 in G major>

61. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 21 in C, K. 467

60. Bedrich Smetana: Ma Vlast: "Vltava" (The Moldau)

59. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Symphony No. 40 in G Minor, K. 550

58. Frederic Chopin: Piano Concerto No. 1 in E Minor, Op. 11

57. Gustav Mahler: Das Lied von der Erde

56. Antonin Dvorak: Concerto in B Minor for Cello, Op. 104

55. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Don Giovanni K. 527

54. J.S. Bach: St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244

53. Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat Minor, Op. 23

52. Max Bruch: Violin Concerto No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 26

51. Camille Saint-Saens: Symphony No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 78, "Organ

50. Sergei Prokofiev: Romeo and Juliet Suite No. 1, Op. 64

49. Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 9 in D

48. Maurice Ravel: Bolero

47. Johannes Brahms: Violin Concerto in D, Op. 77

46. Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5 in E Minor, Op. 64

45. Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 3

44. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart:Le Nozze di Figaro

43. Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Major, Op. 58

42. Modest Mussorgsky (Arr. Maurice Ravel): Pictures at an Exhibition

41. Samuel Barber: Adagio for Strings

40. Johannes Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat, Op. 83

39. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Die Zauberflöte, K. 620

38. Ralph Vaughan Williams: The Lark Ascending 

37. Wolfgang Amadeus: Serenade No. 13 in G Major, K. 525 "Eine kleine Nachtmusik"

36. Richard Wagner: Tristan und Isolde

35. Felix Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto in E Minor, Op. 64

34. Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade, Op. 35

33. Jean Sibelius: Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 47

32. Johannes Brahms: Symphony No. 4 in E Minor, Op. 98

31. Anton Bruckner: Symphony No. 8 in C Minor

30. Giuseppe Verdi: Messa da Requiem

29. Richard Wagner: Ring Cycle

28. Franz Schubert: Piano Quintet in A, Op. 114, D. 667, "The Trout"

27. Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 1 in D, "The Titan"

26. Igor Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring

25. Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto in D, Op. 35

24. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Clarinet Concerto in A, K. 622

23. Sergei Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 3 in D Minor, Op. 30

22. Brahms: German Requiem

21. George Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue

20. Antonio Vivaldi: The Four Seasons

19. Aaron Copland: Appalachian Spring

18. J.S. Bach: Goldberg Variations, BWV 988

17. J.S. Bach: Mass in B minor, BWV 232

16: Mozart: Symphony No. 41 in C, K. 551, "Jupiter"

15. J.S. Bach: Brandenburg Concertos

14. Sibelius: Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 42

13. Mozart: Requiem Mass in D Minor, K. 626

12. Mahler: Symphony No. 5 in C-sharp Minor

11. Beethoven: Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 61

10. Handel: Messiah

9. Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 18

8. Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 in E-Flat Major, Op. 55 "Eroica"

7. Beethoven: Symphony No. 6 in F Major, Op. 68 "Pastoral"

6. Mahler: Symphony No. 2 in C Minor "Resurrection"

5. Beethoven: Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67

4. Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-Flat Major

3. Dvorak: Symphony No. 9 in E Minor, "From the New World"

2. Beethoven: Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92

1. Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125 "Choral"

Tags:

More in:

Comments [150]

bonnie von lobenstein from bklyn new york

I think johan s. bach is the best musicon because he composed and wrote most of our church music. [the lutheran church] bonnie von lobenstein

Feb. 08 2014 07:36 PM
Richard Levine from River Vale, NJ

Surprising that people complain about a list that the people themselves produced. I think the pieces show a wide range of great music. My own 5 selections finished between nos. 8 and 61. So what? Keep up the great work WQXR.

Jan. 06 2014 04:57 PM
concetta nardone from Nassau

Did not see Rumanian Rhapsody #1 by Enesco on list. Heard it again this morning and I forgot what a nice piece of music this is. Wild.
To my least liked list, I will add La Rondine and that soprano aria. Boheme light.

Jan. 06 2014 03:23 PM
SIBERN from BROOKLYN

AND I THOUGHT FERDE GROFE'S GRAND CANYON SUITE MIGHT HAVE A CHANCE.
TOO BAD, GREAT MUSIC AND ORCHESTRATION.

Jan. 06 2014 09:00 AM

I tuned in WQXR between 7am and 8am today. I heard Mozart's "Ave Verum Corpus" and a compilation of Mozart opera tunes/waltzes. Didn't we just have Mozart Month?

Think Mozart will be on the Countdown in December?

DD~~

Jan. 03 2014 09:11 PM
Maryann Gerety from Fairless Hills, Pa


The first time I saw Wagner's Parsifal in 1982 at The Met, I wept and cried
after the two hour first Act. I found profound maturity in both Wagner and
myself. As in other Opera composers their late works are really great.
Another example is Verdi's Otello or Mahler's Lied von der Erde.

Jan. 03 2014 04:58 PM
Jim Asher from Charlottesville, VA

I just skimmed the list quickly...but no Carmen? And no Rossini? What's going on?!?

Jan. 03 2014 03:52 PM
JoeVee from NJ

generally, pretty darn lame . . . and the only representation of Ravel is Bolero, sacrilege. Where is the 2nd half of the 20th century? And dare I ask about the 21st? When WQXR moved I thought we were going to get more adventurous programming? How can your listeners have more contemporary favorites if you only program dead guys?

Jan. 03 2014 01:21 PM
Fredsaid from Hoboken, NJ

@Concetta - I like that idea too. My least-favorite pieces:
Mahler 8 (I love his other symphonies but this one is a clunker)
Beethoven 8 (boring!)
Most Boccherini
Most Telemann
Wagner's Rienzi

Jan. 03 2014 08:16 AM
concetta nardone from Nassau

I certainly like the idea of the least liked compositions.
Ravel's Bolero
Cosi fan Tutte,
I Lombardi, I Puritani, Anna Bolena, etc.

Jan. 03 2014 08:04 AM
Bernie from UWS

@Constantine - I suspect the reason why we don't see votes for other, superior Ravel pieces is because WQXR would rather play the likes of "Bolero" instead, and that's what listeners have become conditioned to vote for. I can't remember the last time I've heard "Gaspard de la nuit" or his String Quartet during the daytime, or even "La Valse." They've made the "hits" their mandate and as a result, we get a lot of hits on the Countdown.

Jan. 03 2014 06:46 AM
Joseph Schwarz from NYC

Why not pick the 365 most voted pieces and play one each day?
Why not pick the 10 most liked pieces of each great composer to be played at times?
Why not pick 5 great pieces by composers who name begins with the letter "A" and work through the alphabet?
Why not pick the 100 LEAST liked pieces out of a list of 1000?

Jan. 03 2014 02:52 AM
Constantine from New York

Ravel should not be judged by Bolero. How about Jeux d'eau, the Sonatine, the String Quartet, Miroirs, Gaspard de la nuit, Ma mere l'oye (the suite, not the ballet) and Le tombeau de Couperin, to name a few?

Jan. 02 2014 11:21 PM
Roger N. Hofmann from Nwq York

I enjoy the annual countdown, and accept that, to some degree, it reflects the value judgments of a cross-section of the current audience for classical music. I try to suppress any indignation I'm tempted to feel or vent, for the sake of the valuable revelation the countdown provides. Nonetheless, I was surprised and delighted that a composition by Haydn was on the list this year, and, as usual, I can't resist indignation over Ravel's unendurable Bolero being included, especially with Debussy being entirely absent. Debussy and Ravel are often compared or grouped together, but for me Ravel is self-evidently a minor composer, overrated, while Debussy is a profound originator, one of the greatest of all composers. There is just something terribly wrong when Debussy is unlisted when musical value judgments are made.

Jan. 02 2014 01:45 PM
David Gravitz from Westchester County, NY

@Arnie Kohn - Brahms 1st made the list (#70). I think more Brahms should be on the list - all 4 of his symphonies (we voted for Bach's 6 Brandenberg concerti as a group, why not Brahms symphonies?) plus his 2 monumental piano concerti and his double concerto. I have often wondered if all the requiem masses and religious music would do as well if the poll were taken, say, in June, rather than around Christmas time. I guess we'll never know. The ideas of categories is interesting (orchestral, chamber, opera, religious, solo works - maybe the top 50 orchestral and the top 10 of the others) and probably worth trying. Happy new year to all and thanks for reading my musings.

Jan. 02 2014 01:24 PM
concetta nardone from Nassau

Agree with Marlaina. Different categories would be great.
Best wishes

Jan. 02 2014 12:37 PM
Arnie Kohn from Monroe NJ 08831

All the staples made it again. I observe a great popularity of religious music; so many masses and requiems. Mahler also commanded much sentiment. These two categories are not my favorites, but, I can listen to them. I am surprised that any of Robert Schuman's piano works or symphonies nor Beethoven's Tenth (Brahms First) Symphony were not on the list. Might I suggest separate countdowns for 1:Religious music 2:Operatic Music.

Jan. 02 2014 07:39 AM
Marlaina from NYC

May I make a suggestion? WQXR should initiate a survey divided into various catagories: Favorite Early Music,Favorite Baroque works, Symphonic work, choral works, Favorite Modern and Post-modern works.
How can one compare Handel's Royal Fireworks to Hildegaard Von Bingen,
or Smetana to Morton Subotnick, Mahler to Meredith Monk? Each has his or her own particular power, beauty and strength.
I totally agree with Ann from NJ who grieves the fact that Early Music seems to have been completely overlooked in the Classical Countdown. I would add to this the notable absence of instrumental music (particularly the guitar--What about compositions by Sor,Rodrigo, Rodrigo's Fantasia Por Gentile Hombre in particular? What of compositions by Bach and Buxtehude for the lute and/or pipe organ? To be honest, although I do love many symphonic pieces,symphonic music in general is my least favorite of the classical repertoire (with obvious exceptions, of course--those well-loved favorites such as The Firebird, Nutcracker,Beethoven's 9th, Scheherazade, Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun, Mozart's Piano Concerto 21 in C Minor, etc...These, the obvious, are famous and enduring for very good reasons).
I personally prefer Early Music, Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque masterpies over all others myself-- works recorded by Anonymous Four, the Tallis Scholars, Waverly Consort, Red Priest,Benedictine monks and nuns, etc..
So the cliche of "comparing apples to oranges" very much applies here.

Jan. 02 2014 12:49 AM
Mike Handelsman from Riverdale, NY

Bravo for Papa Haydn! Finally. I suppose a case can be made for any of some two dozen of his symphonies to represent him, though I must wonder, why the Farewell instead of, say,.....the Oxford, Clock, Surprise or London. An interesting and outstanding work nonetheless, and perhaps pushed through in an organized effort by some fan club of the old master which does not have me as a member. (I think Groucho Marx once covered that subject,.....but never mind!) Still a breakthrough for the great and forgotten one!

Entirely excluding a great and prolific composer has been inexcusable, as with Haydn, and another fave of mine, Mr. Brahms, never suffers that indignity. But it really does bewilder me that the sublimely beautiful Third Symphony could have missed the list! I'll play it in his honor, while it snows tomorrow.

Jan. 01 2014 11:53 PM
Ken Laufer from Manhattan

Perhaps the top 10 or 20 of this year's countdown results can be banned from inclusion in next year's choices. That will guarantee some extended thinking and listening by the public, and, I promise, Beethoven's 9th will be nowhere in sight!

Jan. 01 2014 08:38 PM
Anne from NJ

P.S. What Pinkfloyd said:

BACH is the master. :)

Jan. 01 2014 06:02 PM
Anne from NJ

Is it possible that all early music was overlooked???!!

No Praetorius, Monteverdi, Lassus, Josquin des Prez, Machaut, Gabrieli, Palestrina or Elizabethan masters such as Wiliam Byrd, Orlando Gibbons, John Dowland???

Something is very wrong with this picture. :(

Jan. 01 2014 05:58 PM

To (LEE, ALL CAPS),

I don't consider "Afternoon of a Faun" to be obscure, though it was one of my votes. While "Chichester Psalms" might be considered obscure, I voted for it because, as a listener, it's one of my favorites.

That's what the voting was -- listener favorites.

DD~~

Jan. 01 2014 05:42 PM
Ed Scheier from NJ

Is it possible that Haydn and Schuman were overlooked?

Jan. 01 2014 05:40 PM
Miguel Enguidanos from San Leandro, CA

While I was surprised to see (I'm in the SF area, so didn't hear) all the Beethoven at the top, vox populi is always a disappointment to the individual. My favorite is Bach, but I like these lists to try new music. I'm not really into Mahler, but I'll give the 2nd a try.

Jan. 01 2014 04:38 PM
Susan Gutterman from UWS

For those interested in the release of the Bald Eagle, you might like to know that there is a nearby rehab center, The Raptor Center, in Millington NJ. They do wonderful work, & also have no government support.
I was very sad that "Va Pensiero" was not in the countdown. And I agree,too big a German influence.

Jan. 01 2014 03:38 PM
Pinkfloyd

To ( CAPS) ,
As a supporter,like to many listeners of classical music,most of all nominated pieces are not obsure.But skewed aspect of upper rankings may reflect myopia rooted in popular culture.

"Bach is best"

Jan. 01 2014 03:35 PM

Surprised to hear the 9th referred to as a piece for the masses by 'Bryan Colon'. I think Beethoven's motives were a tad more profound than that, and perhaps 'for the masses' meant something else in the 19th century; its a unifying social-cultural spiritual piece rather than a 'I hope this gets a lot of listens- the catchy tune at the end is easy for the plebes to digest'. One would hope a piece would be judged on its own merits for better or for worse, and in the case of the 9th: can one find music more sublime? And for that reason, I applaud the listeners of WQXR.

Jan. 01 2014 03:13 PM
LEE APT from UWS - NYC

TO ALL YOU COMPLAINERS, ESPECIALLY THE LAST (LISTEN TO YOUR LISTENERS).
THAT IS WHAT THIS IS ALL ABOUT - WQXR - LISTENING TO ITS LISTENERS. THESE BEAUTIFUL OLD "WARHORSES" ARE WHAT THE LISTENERS CHOSE.
NEXT YEAR RUN A CAMPAIGN TO GET YOUR FRIENDS AND ACQUAINTANCES TO VOTE FOR THE MORE OBSCURE PIECES. MEANWHILE BE GRATEFUL THAT WE HAVE SUCH A WONDERFUL SOURCE OF GREAT MUSIC AND MAYBE JUST LISTEN TO THE FIRST 1/2 IF THE REST BORES YOU SO. BUT, SO MANY COMPLAINTS?
FOR MY PART I AM THRILLED TO HEAR MOST OF THESE PIECES AND LOVE TO LISTEN TO WQXR EVERY DAY OF MY LIFE (EXCEPT 10 DAYS OF BACH :).
THANK YOU WQXR!!!

Jan. 01 2014 02:02 PM
Steve Reade from The 'Burbs

Well ... it WAS an interesting list. Let's see Mozart's over-played and frankly trite Kleine Nachtmusik beat most of the Brahms, but lost to the rarely played Mahler 3rd beat the Tch. Sym #5 and Brahms Violin C. AND Bartok's never-played Sym #8 made the list beating Brahms Sym #4. A most unusual listening audience! To paraphrase the Debussy's Danses Sacree et Profane ... profane, indeed.

Jan. 01 2014 12:27 PM
MRoz from Teaneck, NJ

Strangely, the early Romantic Period is virtually ignored with the exception of Schubert and some Chopin and Mendelssohn. If the Brandenbergs are listed as a set,why not Chopin Nocturnes? Is Schumann in hiding? Where are the 3rd and 4th Symphonies, the Piano Concerto or Quintet? Also much too little Prokofiev; where's the 5th Symphony. But I'm carping.Overall, this was a wonderful 3 days of listening despite our knowing what the final 10 or 15 would ultimately be. Now that we're done bathing in warhorses, it's time to put them on the shelf and expand our diet. WQXR programmers: Please listen to your audience!!

Jan. 01 2014 11:23 AM
Brian Colon from Milwaukee, WI

Say what you will about this list but remeber its a list of the most popular clasical music, not the most techically stunning or musical perfect. Yes the 9th being one is cliche but you know what there is a reason that it is. It resonates with the masses. That I believe was Beethoven's intent. He wasnt writing a piece to be musical perfect. Admitatly there are parts of it that make my head spin but when I want to introduce someone to the wonderful world of classical this is the piece I most often use.

Jan. 01 2014 10:40 AM
Pinkfloyd from Ny

Yes ,these are masterpieces,but six beethoven pieces in top ten? Perhaps many listeners were drawn to name recognition and celebrity first,rather than appreciate objective quaility of disparate works. Ramification of baby boomers "hooked on classics" and cinematic scores? Quality ranking,this is not. Maybe for a particular country on a war time footing in the past.

"go for boroque"

Jan. 01 2014 10:24 AM
Jeffery Triggs from Madison, NJ

No Schumann in this whole list? Come on... West Side Story,Barber Violin Concerto, Pachelbel Canon and no Schumann?

Jan. 01 2014 10:21 AM

To those who think we're carping or complaining -- well, yeah, there is a little of that. For me, while I know this is a countdown of listener favorites, I feel that the favorites are heavily influenced by the regular diet of programming on WQXR.

Perhaps if the regular programming was a little more varied, listeners would develop new favorites. Will Beethoven, Brahms and Mozart disappear from the list? No. But they might be joined by some new friends. Happy New Year!

DD~~

Jan. 01 2014 10:13 AM
Anne from NJ

Might as well change format to the All-Beethoven Station - lol!
Countdown is predictable, but still disturbing.

Jan. 01 2014 10:04 AM
Hendrik E. Sadi from Yonkers, New York

Can you tell me why Edvard Grieg's piano concerto in A minor is not on this list? It never is and is seldom heard on WQXR? You really should play this piece more often so listeners can hear this great piece.

Jan. 01 2014 09:58 AM
JKUU from NJ

What is it about Beethoven?

Imagine what the musical world would be like if Beethoven *had* committed suicide in 1802 in despair of his increasing deafness, as intimated in the letter to his brothers. Remember, this was before the Eroica was completed. An icy wind would blow through the holes left in the top 10 of our WQXR favorites.

Beethoven is more than just a writer of notes on a page. For many of us he is the hero - a man who struggled mightily to overcome his hearing disability (fatal to most musicians), an egalitarian in an age of privilege (recall his scratching out the dedication to Bonaparte on the title page of the Eroica when Bonaparte crowned himself Emperor), and finally the musical Prometheus who took music out of the hands of the aristocratic and ecclesiastic elite and gave it to the people -- you and me.

Deep down I think we all know this. It explains way the 9th's "brotherhood of man" resonates so strongly among us.

Jan. 01 2014 09:41 AM
sonia gechtoff from manhattan

I am adding my name to the list of listeners asking for more chamber music. also ,more Ravel . Why not his 2 wonderful piano concertos?It would be great to include more Berlioz as well. LA NUITE D ETE. Otherwise a real end of the year treat to hear these works.

Jan. 01 2014 09:05 AM
Charles Fischbein from Front Royal, Va.

Happy New Year to all. To those who responded to the Eagle, BlueRidgeWildlifeCenter.org; has a number of photos, from his condition when arriving at the center to a updated photos taken a few days ago. The release is on schedule for today and Verdi and Stars and Stripes will be played to send him off and thank the staff and volunteers. They will be posting many more photos of the release in a few days. I believe some national media outlets will be at the release also.
Thank you WQXR for allowing my post a bit off topic, but I got a list of excellent music for the event. God Speed, Charles Fischbein

Jan. 01 2014 08:43 AM
LJK< New Jersey from New Jersey

For ALSO from NJ. Sorry, just ordered new pair of glasses online. I missed Puccini, a little too much New Years libations perhaps too early in the evening. Also did not want to offend any people with hearing issues. Please accept my apologies. Now I have to feed my guide dog.

Jan. 01 2014 08:32 AM
Rev Bulworth

How on earth does Maurice Ravel not appear at least ten times on a list like this?

Jan. 01 2014 08:09 AM
concetta nardone from Nassau

First. Happy New Year to all. Mr. Fischbein, may St.Francis bless you for helping the eagle. All creatures great and small.
Agree too much German music. Really? Va Pensiero not on the list, no Turandot, Tosca and the unbelieveably graceful Barber of Seville, no Otello? No Norma? Where was Marriage of Figaro and that walk on the dark side, Don Giovanni?
I too love Beethoven's 7th. The first movement sounds like it is going up to God.

Jan. 01 2014 07:25 AM
Martin M from Pregny, Switzerland

WQXR was 5 months old when I was born in Brooklyn, and I must have listened to it from my earliest days. At least it seems as though it's been there always. That I can still listen to WQXR wherever I am is a sheer delight.

So if the countdown might have been dominated by somewhat more conventional classical selections, and not all my choices made it, I am nonetheless delighted that my favorite station keeps on keeping on.

WQXR ROCKS!!

Jan. 01 2014 06:26 AM
Rachel Tillman from Brooklyn, NY

Thank you a million times for the Classical Countdown! The noise around the Ball Drop has become tiresome and I am not a partying type. The best way for me to spend New Year's Eve is to listen to the music I love on WQXR. Every year, I look forward to anticipating and then actually hearing the music I love best! I would have liked to have heard Grieg's Piano Concerto, but I'll hope that it will be included next year. The Beethoven Symphonies, Rimsky-Korsakov's "Scherezade," the Violin Concerti of Beethoven, Mendelssohn, and Brahms, and Dvorak's Symphony 9 are my big favorites and they're always a big thrill to hear! Give me the "warhorses" of music anytime! Thanks, WQXR for making me happy on New Year's Eve! Happy New Year to all of you at WQXR who make the music playing happen!

Jan. 01 2014 01:42 AM

Back to where WQXR top 10 was many years ago only on 1 day.
Beethoven's 5 symphonies (3,5,6,7,9)+ piano concerto 5 & Dvorak #9- from the new world in #3 rather than #2.
All great pieces of Western Music with Beethoven's #9 the greatest and a wonderful listen to welcome in the new year. Dvorak #9 a high 2nd, partly because it is about us-America. These great standards stand the test of time for classical listeners, regardless of the carping comments below.

Jan. 01 2014 12:16 AM
Carol Luparella from Elmwood Park, NJ

Even though it is predictable that Beethoven's 9th Symphony would be #1 in the countdown, it is still wonderful to ring in the New Year with this masterpiece.
Happy New Year everyone!

Dec. 31 2013 11:40 PM
David A.

It would be more interesting and varied from year to year if listeners were asked to name their FIFTH favorite all-time piece.

Dec. 31 2013 11:10 PM
bob from New York

No 2 is playing─does anyone have the slighest doubt that Beethoven's Symphony No 9 will be #1, as it has been ever since the classical countdown started?

Dec. 31 2013 11:06 PM
Polly

evan -- people love Beethoven's Seventh, it's grand. One of my students told the class the scherzo made him want to laugh out loud because it sounded like Tigger. I asked him who the theme and variations made him think of - and half the class said "Eeyore," then they all lost it. Not very dignified, but they loved the piece and they didn't forget it. And how could anyone roll out that finale after that scherzo? It's maniacally joyful and grand -- I have it high up on my list of morning music when coffee and Brandenburgs aren't cutting it.

Dec. 31 2013 11:06 PM
David Gravitz from Westchester Coun ty

@evan - What Beethoven's 7th has for me is the greatest slow movement ever written by far and that by itself justifies its place in the top 3 or 5. the other 3 movements are pretty good, too.

@MariafromNYC - We'll have to agree to disagree. Sibelius has 2 symphonies on the list (2nd & 5th) and in my humble opinion the 2nd is the greatest symphony written by anyone not named Beethoven

Dec. 31 2013 11:03 PM
John A. Bostrom from New Milford, New Jersey

Bravo for the wonderful WQXR listeners who came up with this wonderful list of music. What a wonderful way to spend New Years Eve. Each of the 100 plus selections was considered "one of my five favorite" by a significant proportion of listeners. Is this a perfect list? Of course not_how could it be? It only is what it is: "one of my five favorite." So what if Ravel's Bolero came out came out #48, ahead of Bach's St. Matthew Passion? It only means that more people in our area put the delightful Bolero in their top 5 than the St. Matthew Passion? To not respect this result is to disrespect the individuals involved who have hearts and ears and give voice to what they feel. So what if Four Seasons beat out the Ring Cycle, the German Requiem, The Rite of Spring, and Tristan & Isolde. The Four Seasons are wonderfully delightful. I'm glad so many listeners are moved by its clarity and its passion.

It also should be said that WQXR programming should not follow the "top five" format very often. Once a year is more than sufficient. We want programming which draws away from "favorite" to "unexplored horizons." John A. Bostrom

Dec. 31 2013 10:52 PM
Carol Luparella from Elmwood Park, NJ

This is such an amazing performance of Beethoven's 7th Symphony! WQXR's live broadcast from Carnegie Hall was one of the highlights of the 2012 season, and I purchased this recording as soon as it came out.

Dec. 31 2013 10:50 PM
Oliver from Brooklyn

Don't get me wrong--I'm glad we still have a countdown and at least one dedicated classical station (however hobbled at the top of the FM band). I agree completely about the lack of chamber music, but I must ask: Where is the solo piano music?

Dec. 31 2013 10:49 PM
Diana from Umatilla, Florida

I thought Vivaldi's Four Season's 'Winter' was played terribly. Tempo fast'n'short; notes unfinished; played in rock style.

Dec. 31 2013 10:15 PM
Maria from NYC

Are we in New York, or somewhere in Germany? This list is always focused on German or German-influenced schools of composers, and that means Czech as well. How is it possible that Smetana and (as usual) every major German composer makes the list (5-7 works/German composer), but not Rossini or even Respighi, or more French composers? Ma Vlast and not Barber of Seville? Really? No Pines of Rome, or the like, but we have a symphony by Sibelius? No Debussy? One work by Ravel? One work by Puccini, and two by Verdi? Verdi's Requiem should be No. 1 or top five. Very sad evaluation of classical music in New York.

Dec. 31 2013 10:13 PM
evan

what is it that has people so in l0ve with beethovens 7th? 3.5.6.9. even 4 i understand, but what am i missing in the 7th that is going to make it #2 again? anyway - great countdown - enjoyed as always!!

Dec. 31 2013 10:08 PM

@Not Bob:

I do agree with you about the absence of chamber music. It's interesting that Schubert's quintet and Trout did make the list. I think people would enjoy the trios, if they had the opportunity to hear them. The same could easily be said about the Brahms and Dvorak sextets, Brahms trios, among many others. Some of the Haydn piano sonatas are just great and should be heard throughout the year. The repertoire is vast, but even the most popular chamber music goes unheard on WQXR (except for Boccherini quintets).

People now know less about classical music, which makes WQXR's purpose more relevant than ever. The old classical music station on WNYC wasn't like this and played everything throughout the day. Both WNYC and WQXR are run on a commercial model. What is most popular can be pretty limiting, and that's what we get.

Dec. 31 2013 09:49 PM

I so appreciate this countdown. While like many listeners I also want to hear more rarities both old and new, it is great to hear old friends, often in recordings I don't have. This is also a most wonderful way to celebrate for those of us who have no families or means to get out and party. This is especially welcome for the housebound. Thank you WQXR!

Dec. 31 2013 09:22 PM
David Gravitz from Westchester County, NY

I agree with you not Bob about the paucity of chamber music on the list. Also, as others have said, Haydn & Schumann should be on the list somehow, somewhere. Maybe they could get a "lifetime award" as the Oscars do.
Peter, they just clarified that Beethoven's 5th was #5, not #3. I heard the same thing you did earlier. The original announcement was just wrong. Now for Beethoven's 7th, 9th (undoubtedly 1st for the umpteenth consecutive year), Emperor Concerto(just announced as #4), and Dvorak's New World Symphony and soon 2013 will be in the books.

Dec. 31 2013 09:16 PM

OK, folks. This is a "listener's" list. Make your wishes known in December 2014. We can change this list!

DD~~

Dec. 31 2013 09:16 PM
MaryJo from Denver

The Countdown has been fun. Vote for more early music, more chamber music and fewer Beethoven symphonies. Never enough Bach.

Dec. 31 2013 09:06 PM
Also from NJ

@LJK from NJ:

If I'm deaf, you must be blind! Did you not see #65?

Dec. 31 2013 08:43 PM
Peter

Um...did we just skip numbers 5 and 4 in the countdown?

Dec. 31 2013 08:40 PM
Peter Feldman from New York City

What a taste! So many people voting for Mahler's Symphony No. 2 when every music composed by Haydn was much better.

Dec. 31 2013 08:37 PM
Not Bob

The issue that concerns me is the absence of chamber music from this list. Since the list will no doubt conclude with Beethoven 5,7,9,Emperor, and the New World, this puts the total number of chamber music works out of 105 at less than 10. I don't quite know what to say about that... perhaps, like many have done here, I can blame it on QXR's programming; this wouldn't be entirely unreasonable, since chamber music does seem generally underrepresented... but I'm sure there are other reasons.

Dec. 31 2013 08:28 PM
Peter from New York City

What a relief this classical countdown has been, after listening endlessly to jazzed up, or not jazzed up, Christmas music, and that awful fundraiser - the 100 best opera (tunes?) - ye gads! While these pieces are perhaps more central European than one might expect on a US channel, it has been really good to listen to complete, and meaty, pieces. (But now I can also understand the NY Phil programming, which does rather include chestnuts.

WQXR later at night (about 10 pm onwards) is great, but at times it can be quite full of drivel...

Dec. 31 2013 08:03 PM
LJK, New Jersey from New Jersey

I cannot believe I did not see PUCCINI, are you people deaf?

Dec. 31 2013 07:51 PM
Polly from New York

About the list -- I used to teach listening sessions for an Intro to Western Music when I was a student in my master's program in ethnomusicology at Brown. We were definitely part of the problem -- as it happened, I was the TA to two different people who taught the course, one very old-fashioned and staid, the other more progressive. Still, there was a well defined list of usual suspects, most of which the students grew to like or even love (the effort I put them through to learn them!) -- and this essentially is the list you are looking at, minus maybe the Sibelius.
Since I was a rabid fan and practitioner of ethnic musics and also early music (pre-1600), I would have loved to include other things, but the canon was large and very firmly established, and there was a lot of standard material to get in.
Try this, my friends -- next New Year's Eve, let it be known that this program will nto only ring out the old it will ring in the new -- and let every fourth or fifth piece on the list be one that your programmers have voted on, including a good helping from before 1600 and after 1920 (no Richard Strauss). I give you my votes now: Any of a half-dozen excellent recent performances of Monteverdi's Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda; and then Sylvia MacNair's performance of Barber's Knoxville Summer of 1915.

Dec. 31 2013 07:38 PM
Charles Fischbein from Front Royal, Va

To all who responded about the Eagle Release I thank you. I want to set the record straight. I am not releasing the Eagle. All the work to save the bird was done through The Blue Ridge Wildlife Center, and Dr. Belinda Burwell their founder performed the life saving surgery on the Eagle who had two broken wings and internal injuries and was near death when arriving at the Center. They have also rehabilitated other eagles as well as thousands of injured and orphaned animals a year.
My family members have volunteered their and I support them as much as I can since they get no government funding and have thousands of dollars of expenses monthly for medication, food for all the animals and to pay their staff.
I am excited to be there for the release on New Years Day, but I did none of the work I will simply be supplying some recorded music and will continue to help the Center.
A few years ago a man on a neighboring farm ran over a fawn resting in high grass with his tractor. We transported her to the Center where in order to save her they had to amputate a front leg. Today she is in the care of a wildlife rehabilitator where she will live out her life. They do these deeds every day and rely on the community for support. Thank you Dr. Burwell.
God Speed, Charles Fischbein

Dec. 31 2013 07:34 PM
LEE APT from UWS - NYC

I AM ENJOYING THE LIST SO MUCH - EXCEPT ALL THE BRANDENBURG THIS MORNING ( HAPPILY I WAS UP FOR ONLY THE LAST TWO). I WAS HOPING THAT BESIDES LEAVING THE LIST OF 100 - ON THE WQXR SITE THERE WOULD BE A LINK TO THE RECORDINGS YOU PLAYED, SO WE COULD HEAR WHATEVER WE MISSED, WHEN WE ARE ABLE. WHEREAS IT IS SO EASY TO RECORD ANY TV PROGRAM - FOR SOME REASON - NOT SO FOR THE RADIO. ODD.

Dec. 31 2013 07:06 PM
Jessica B. from Morristown, NJ

Charles Fischbein, what a wonderful thing you'll be doing tomorrow, releasing that eagle into the wild. I agree that "Va, pensiero" is a perfect choice for its first flight. Outside the classical realm, I could not help but think that Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Free Bird" might be appropriate (yes, I know it's not actually about birds), not to mention the Beatles' "Blackbird" (for its lyrics about taking broken wings and learning to fly) -- perhaps in private for an afterparty? (Copyright might be an issue.) Anyway, thank you for sharing this story, and best of luck tomorrow!

Dec. 31 2013 06:53 PM
Balazs from Queens, NY

I just wanted to vent a bit on the Rachmaninoff Second.
A wonderful rendition...I think. Had not heard the details,(who and what orchestra) but had the house blasting in anticipation. (with taste, of course)
I found the recording itself overbearing. Technologically. I heard everything, I mean, even the nuances which I preferred to guess rather than pushed down my ears. Sounded to me as if forte and piano were decided at the mixing boards. The recording lost its soul.
And, of course, as Dennis Miller would say, this is only my opinion. I could be wrong. (David Dubal, Constantino, what do you think?
Happy New Year for all classical producers, interpreters, listeners! Balazs Monoki

Dec. 31 2013 06:48 PM
dana from nyc

I had to turn off the beethoven sym 3 with david zinman. The tempo is like a march, too monotonous and inflexible. And too harsh accents on the drums. It' getting on my nerves. How does someone become a conductor with little sensitivity to rhythmic flexibility and expressiveness? He's not the only one. Rock concert rhythm.

Dec. 31 2013 06:15 PM

I agree, greenjaybird. And, as always, I hope that the programmers will consider pieces that didn't make the list for regular programming in the future.

If they play different music during the year, maybe there will be different pieces on the 2014 countdown.

DD~~

Dec. 31 2013 06:14 PM

In the top 90 (nothing after 15 is listed) there are no less than 10 works by Mozart, more than Bach and way more than Beethoven--but perhaps they are more heavily favored in the top 15. I was happily surprised to see several of my votes included, but wonder how much of the heavy favoring of warhorses is a result of WQXR's programming, and how much is the lack of education on the part of the listeners.

Dec. 31 2013 06:03 PM

Well, the online list is down to #8. Of the 97 pieces listed for this year, 80 are repeats from last year (with the caveat that some only played parts of the pieces last year, e.g., "Mambo" from WSS, while this year the suite from WSS was played).

Only one of my pieces made the cut -- Scheherazade (a warhorse, I know, but it has sentimental attachments).

I'm pretty sure the last seven on the list will be repeats.

There seemed to be a little more Mozart this year. Gosh! There was Mozart month this year.

DD~~

p.s. Enjoy the Beethoven coming up. :-)

Dec. 31 2013 05:50 PM
WQXR

@Susan from Brooklyn - we'll be updating the final results as we can through midnight. If you need an instant check-in, however, click on the Playlist link at the top of this page and it will give you the latest piece.

Thanks, and Happy New Year,
WQXR

Dec. 31 2013 05:22 PM

@ Charles Fischbein:

That Virginia eagle might enjoy The Firebird, or Respighi's The Birds, probably less so Papageno's aria, and there's always Stars and Stripes Forever.

Dec. 31 2013 04:20 PM
Susan from Brooklyn

Please - where can I see the complete list?

Dec. 31 2013 04:09 PM
Charles Fischbein from Front Roya, Va.

Thank you, everyone who made suggestions of the release of the Eagle. I have changed my mind and think the Verdi selection will be best. I also have my own CD of it from the Metropolitan Opera so I will not have to rely on my computer download.
I have contacted the staff at The Wildlife Refuge and they agree. So Pensiero it will be.
The weather looks good for the release which was originally scheduled for December 28 but we had some bad weather so it has been rescheduled for tomorrow, New Years Day at 1 PM.
I have had the opportunity to follow the recovery of the Eagle and have seen him twice in his pre release flight cage. The life saving surgery was done at the Wildlife Refuge by is Director, a wildlife Veterinarian with some twenty years experience in wildlife rehabilitation.
He is a young Eagle and hopefully will live a full life back in his original nesting area on The Shenandoah River. He is banded and has a chip so the staff and volunteers at the Refuge will be able to monitor his activity. Hopefully we can pinpoint his new nesting area and I can see him when fishing near the release area just a few miles from my farm on The Shenandoah River. May he fly free for many years. Thank you, Happy New Year, Charles Fischbein

Dec. 31 2013 04:08 PM
concetta nardone from Nassau

Thank you so much.

Best wishes to all and Blessed be the Music Makers.

Dec. 31 2013 03:58 PM
Ajith Perera from Gainesville, Florida

Mr. Fischbein, how about excerpts from the calm sea and prosperous voyage of Mendelssohn? Happy New Year to all, especially to Ms. Nardone (enjoy reading your comments about opera throughout the year).

Ajith

Dec. 31 2013 02:23 PM
Susan Gutterman from UWS

Yes, "Va Pensiero" for the eagle release is perfect.
I learned a lot & loved the period of focus on Verdi earlier this year.
More Early Music. More Early Music. More Early Music.

Dec. 31 2013 01:48 PM
Carol Luparella from Elmwood Park, NJ

Concetta, I'm glad you are enjoying your Neapolitan songs! Where would we be without music in our lives?

Dec. 31 2013 01:47 PM
concetta nardone from Nassau

Yes, many many more Kerfufels. Thanks Carol.
Mr. Fischbein, will look for the release of the raptor on Youtube. How about Va Pensiero for the flight. On golden wings.
Happy New Year to Classical Music Lovers everywhere.
Carol, I have been listening to the beautiful Neapolitan songs I have downloaded on my computer in between the countdown.

Dec. 31 2013 12:54 PM
JackM

It is difficult to choose only 105 pieces, but why no Schumann ?
4 wonderful symphonies. The stirring piano quartet and quintet.
And some wonderful piano music.

Dec. 31 2013 12:12 PM
Marlaina from New York City

To Fred Fischbein, regarding the releasing of his eagle to the wild---
What a great event and compassionate act!
These, my choices for a fabulous send-off: An eclectic blend of classical, soundtrack, standards, jazz,pop and rock tunes...

Wagner's "The Ride of the Valkyrie";
Vangelis' "Chariots of Fire";
Soundtrack to motion picture "Born Free."
Ray Vaugh William's "The Lark Ascending";
Ferrante and Tischer's piano masterpiece "Exodus";
Vince Guaraldi's "Cast Your Fate to the Wind";
Richie Haven's "Freedom" and "High Flying' Bird";
Joni Mitchell's "Clouds";
Jefferson Starship's "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now";
Moody Blues' "Tuesday Afternoon";
The Blues Project, "Flute Thing";
Rolling Stone's "I'm Free";
The Beatles "Flying";
"I Just Want to Fly: recorded by Sugar Ray;
"Fly Me to the Moon," recorded by Frank Sinatra;
Aaron Copeland's "Fanfare for the Common Man";
Richard Strauss "Thus Sprake Zarathustra";
Soundtrack to film "E.T."/ Bicycles in the Sky scene;
Soundtrack Overture to film "Return of Martin Guerre."

Hope the event appears on Y-tube, we kindred spirits may see it, if not there physically!
Good luck and God speed! Happy 2014!

Dec. 31 2013 11:36 AM
Carol Luparella from Elmwood Park, NJ

Hi Concetta,
I hope you stay awake for the Beethoven 9th at midnight!
I wish you a Happy and Healthy New Year (with more kerfuffles in 2014)!

Dec. 31 2013 11:29 AM
concetta nardone from Nassau

Hello Carol,
It put me to sleep. Happy New Year.

Dec. 31 2013 11:07 AM
Carol Luparella from Elmwood Park, NJ

It's wonderful to hear the entire Bach B minor Mass today - thanks!

Dec. 31 2013 10:39 AM
S.Levin from New Rochelle, NY

When are you going to get around to updating the countdown list. Why does the online list lag so far behind what's playing?!

Dec. 31 2013 08:51 AM
Trevor Holloway from Morristown, NJ

Wow - Bruckner 8, Rite of Spring, Mahler 1, Schubert's Trout Quintet and Brahms Requiem - WQXR is playing meaty, substantial pieces today. This is what listeners WANT! We don't want so many frivolous trifles that you insist on playing during the daytime.

Another thing: how about some music of our own time? Classical music isn't only a museum art form. Arvo Paert, John Adams, Phillip Glass, Christopher Rouse, Jake Heggie...there are so many composers who create accessible music that we never hear. Why not? I understand what other commenters are saying, that in these tough times for classical music, radio stations can't afford to take too many risks. But what's so risky about great music? As Duke Ellington said, there are two kinds of music: the good kind and the other kind!!

Dec. 30 2013 10:51 PM
Diane from Chelsea

Thank you, WQXR, for this annual classical countdown.....and for playing Sergio Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3 in its
entirety. (No. 23 on the list).

Dec. 30 2013 10:08 PM
Carol Luparella from Elmwood Park, NJ

To fredsaid:
Once again, I agree with your assessment. The listeners have made it clear that we do want to hear longer works, not just the "classic lite" tidbits that we usually hear (in between the silly comments of some of the announcers, and the commercials - oops - promos) during the regular broadcast day.
I was very happy to hear my favorite symphony, Bruckner's 8th, played in its entirety, and I hope that WQXR will play more of his music in the future. It was also good to hear other longer pieces in this countdown (aside from the unfortunate instance of Missa Solemnis being excerpted and the Mahler 3rd played after midnight).
Hopefully, WQXR will take a lesson from this, and adjust their programming schedule to include more of the type of works found on this list.

Dec. 30 2013 09:25 PM

What is curious to me is that this playlist chosen as most favorite by listeners is not more representative of the daily programming. It's limited in genre, but a good start to serious listening. Each of these pieces has numerous corollaries by the same and other composers.

Add chamber, vocal, solo pieces, opera, and WQXR could easily program months of engaging music without repeating anything.

What's at least as disturbing, works like Bartok and Janacek quartets, and Prokofiev's Symphony #5 (in Q2's countdown) are considered outlandish here.

Please no more Movies on the Radio, or announcers that think they’re comedians.

Since WQXR knows and believes, its listeners greatly enjoy these few days of extended relatively uninterrupted programming, why do they persist with their subpar programming the rest of the year?

Dec. 30 2013 08:44 PM
Marler_Aletheia from Montreal

Hoping for a good showing for 'Hilfe, Hilfe, die Globolinks!' this year.

Dec. 30 2013 07:24 PM
Same from NY

Are we referring to Tchaikovsky's symphonies 4,5,6 or his piano concerto #1??? The piano concerto is nowhere near as good!

Dec. 30 2013 06:36 PM
David from NYC

Thank you, Steve. Agree that symphonic music of Prokofiev (Symphonies #s 1 ,5 and 6 ) and Shostakovich (#s 5, 7 and 10 ) are superior. Also feel that Prokofiev's piano sonatas are underappreciated.

Dec. 30 2013 06:05 PM
JKW from NJ

Nice to hear the Bruckner 8th played in its entirety, given the valid complaints expressed below that WQXR normally plays excerpts from longer pieces.

Dec. 30 2013 05:50 PM
Steve from Bronx

David from NY,
You are not alone. Many great musicians - Mitsuko Uchida comes immediately comes to mind - abhor Tchaikovsky. I have spoken to many others who point to his inability to develop a theme. Others state that his skills were limited to the creation of nice melodies and occasionally to good orchestration (although I find his scoring of strings often too thick…. and his melodies frequently too sappy and/or overwrought). With very few exceptions I find his music unlistenable. If i want to hear great Russian music, I go to Prokofiev, Borodin, Shostkovich, Stravinsky, or Weinberg.

Dec. 30 2013 05:49 PM
RP from Greenwich Village, NYV

Hello! Hello WQXR!! Is anyone listening to the listeners, to those of us who have been asking for some respect for OUR intelligence??

Dec. 30 2013 05:31 PM
Nina from NYC

Re: David from NY's comment: That's probably because of the recordings that you've heard thus far, including on this countdown. The 4th, 5th (1st movement), and 6th are incredible works. The 4th and 5th are particularly sensitive to how they're performed.

Dec. 30 2013 05:27 PM
David from NY from NYC

Agree completely that chamber music is woefully underrepresented. Where are the Beethoven quartets ( especially the late quartets )? And I hate to say it, but am I the only one that thinks that the Tchaikovsky symphonies all sound like glorified movie music.. ?

Dec. 30 2013 05:16 PM
Anyonymous

As usual with this countdown, the lack of chamber music is astounding. Why is the lone chamber work so far (as of #s 105-30) Mendelssohn's Octet at #101?? Many of the great composers on this list bestowed that genre with their greatest masterpieces. Why not represent that?

Dec. 30 2013 04:56 PM
Miles from Montclair, NJ

I really think nobody should be greatly surprised by the dominant representation of "warhorses" in the Classical Countdown. WQXR is the only 24 hour classical station in NYC, and it stands to reason that the works most represented are largely those which are "accessible" to the average music lover. Besides, "warhorses" are referred to as such because they have been embraced by large numbers of classical music aficionados over long periods of time, and are frequently broadcast. Moreover, I still find it interesting to hear pieces with which I am quite familiar, but by performers with whom I am less so. All of the above said, I am thus far pleasantly surprised that a number of less frequently played works have made the list to date ('though undoubtedly as we approach the lower numbers, such will be less the case). So I for one am grateful to WQXR for maintaining this annual tradition, which despite the familiarity of much of the music, still manages to traverse many styles over many periods of classical music history, and dare I say, somehow often manages to sound fresh.

Dec. 30 2013 04:56 PM
EA from LI

Charles Fischbein, what a great idea for an inspiring event. What about "The Lark Ascending," or perhaps more appropriate, something American, like a work by Copland or Ferde Grofe? Whatever you decide, it sounds like it will be wonderful!

Dec. 30 2013 04:39 PM
Charles Fischbein from Front Royal, Va.

This may be out of place but I would like input from classical music lovers suggesting appropriate music for a very special event to take place at 1 PM New Years Day.
At that time, a group of Veterinarians, ( including my wife), Vet. Techs, and volunteers from the Shenandoah Valley Wildlife Refuge will be releasing an American Bald Eagle which was hit by a car and nearly killed outside Front Royal, Va. in early October. The volunteers spent many hours planning surgery on the bird, and then in making sure it would be fit for release.
The release is being covered by regional and national media at the Shenandoah River low water bridge in Front Royal, Va. Jan 1 at 1PM.
A few people suggested that we have suitable music as a thank you to those involved in saving this majestic birds life, performing surgery on it and rehabilitating it so it can once again fly free in an area where other eagles nest, and of course as a suitable musical send of to the Eagle himself.
I have spent hours trying to think of the appropriate music to have on hand to play on a stereo system we will have in place that will be appropriate, and have not yet settled on any selections.
If anyone has any suggestions please let me know, and for those who are interested you can get more information on the release on the internet. Thank you for any musical ideas.
Happy New Year to all and God Speed. Charles Fischbein

Dec. 30 2013 04:23 PM

< I also agree with previous comments about Vaughn-Williams and Copland. >

Well, at least Vaughan Williams has been represented, though I fear "Serenade to Music" will not make the cut. And while I voted for Bernstein (and WSS has been played), I also fear that "Chichester Psalms" (all of three movements) will not be heard either.

Still holding out hope for at least some Copland.

Dec. 30 2013 04:20 PM
Joy from Ocala, FL

Thank you so much for playing Bruckner’s 8th Symphony! Wow, did it ever bring back happy memories! I heard this performed by the Vienna Philharmonic at the Musikverein in Vienna 13 years ago, conducted by Zubin Mehta. What an exciting performance it was! I was like a kid in a candy store sitting in the 4th row, close enough to see the performers and even smile at the one cute violinist. It was one of my all-time dreams- come-true to be there to hear them at the beautiful Musikverein. Thanks for bringing all of those memories back to me.

Dec. 30 2013 03:57 PM

< 48. Maurice Ravel: Ravel? >

Oh, #48 was Bolero. What a surprise!

Dec. 30 2013 03:29 PM
Carol Luparella from Elmwood Park, NJ

At last - Bruckner in the afternoon!

Dec. 30 2013 03:23 PM
Nina from NYC

Here's hoping that next year you'll play the recording of Brahms Symphony #4 with Klemperer and the Philharmonia Orchestra. A girl can dream…

Dec. 30 2013 01:50 PM
EA from LI

I agree with MRoz that most listeners really aren't looking for a steady diet of difficult or obscure compositions. I'm surely not. Those who are have other alternatives than a public radio station that depends on *popular* support to continue broadcasting. It's just not realistic to think WQXR can afford not to court as wide an audience as possible, unless you want NYC to have no classical music station at all (Atlanta didn't have one last time I was there, and my visit couldn't be over soon enough to suit me). And just think--there was a time in its commercial past when the station stopped playing vocal music of any kind because some people didn't like it (yes, it could be worse). As for the countdown, the results of popularity contests are never popular, but I think the idea is kind of fun, even if predictable (predictability is not the worst thing that could happen in my day). All that said, however, Frank from UWS makes a good point about leading taste, which the station could try a bit more of. But I'm sure if operating income goes down as a result, it won't last--that's the economic reality with which we live. So on balance, my thanks to the station once again. Personally, I would like to hear a lot more Debussy piano music, and a lot more medieval and Renaissance music. No more 10-day hermetically sealed marathons of *anybody,* please. And if I never hear "The Noonday Witch" or "Til Eulenspiegel" again in my life, I'll be very happy.

Dec. 30 2013 01:46 PM
David Gravitz from Westchester County, NY

I would rather hear fewer complete works than more excerpts. What is the significance of the number "105"? anyway. Cut it to 100 or 90 or 75 if necessary even though 2 of the works over 100 this year are among my favorites that I didn't vote for. (Mendelssohn's Octet & Mozart's d minor piano concerto). Also, why are Bach's Brandenberg Concerti considered 1 piece (at least they were in past years) while Beethoven's piano concerti are considered 5 separate pieces? Even though I am a night owl and am more likely to listen at midnight than 8 or 9 AM, I think the countdown should end at 11PM, especially if the next day is a workday for many. I did listen to all of the Tschaikovsky and part of the Mahler. My final gripe is the difficulty in hearing long chamber works in their entirety (e.g., the 2 Schubert piano trios or the Tschaikovsky piano trio which is exquisite) before midnight. If I hear any more Debussy or Ravel during the day, I'll scream. What's with the recent love for French music on WQXR? I also agree with previous comments about Vaughn-Williams and Copland. Thanks for letting me vent

Dec. 30 2013 01:08 PM
Charles Fischbein from Front Royal, Va.

To all you malcontents, even those in The Upper West Side where I was born and grew up, get SiriusXM, you will have two excellent classical choices and a 24/7 Metropolitan Opera station with three live Met. Broadcasts a week during their entire season, not just the Sat. afternoon broadcasts.
For a few dollars a month you will also not have to put up with the constant begging for money. You pay your subscription fee and listen in peace and quiet. Happy New Year, God Speed, Charles Fischbein

Dec. 30 2013 12:09 PM
Renate Perls from Greenwich Village, NYC

I must agree with a number of people about QXR ignoring the wonderful entire compositions of Mahler, Bruckner and the like and keeping to little bits of nonsense. Frankly I think if I hear that silly "Lark Ascending" one more time I shall throw up. I was one of the people who voted for "Das Lied Von Der Erde" in its entirety... It is a fabulous piece of music which cannot and should not be cut in pieces because it is daylight and there is no time to hear anything that is longer than a few minutes. Not everyone can stay up all night hoping to hear either this piece or occasionally one of the gorgeous symphonies written by great composers. Heaven help us if we get another thing written by Copeland, or Vaughn-Williams or the everyday stuff that people who say they "like" classical music but really don't know a thing about it. Frankly, after a month of Mozart I felt I never wanted to hear another bit of his music, no matter that he was a brilliant composer. But nothing else for a whole month of one composer is enough to make just about anyone hate him.
There is much too much chit chat and "begging" on WQXR. I realize you need to ask for monetary support, but how many people do you alienate by weeks of breaking your programs into nothing but asking for money and then giving gifts for whatever amount is suggested? Are these gifts given to your station as support, or do you have to pay for them out of what you get from people who pay you to keep you on the air. I find that programs are less and less interesting and it is not difficult to guess who you are going to play all week long from specific records.

Personally I find that lately I am turning you off more and more because I am bored. I used to be an agent in the music business and was friendly and worked with many great musicians. Sometimes lately I wonder if the people who choose your programs really understand what is meant by classical music as opposed to bits and pieces of nonsense to pass the time of day.

Dec. 30 2013 11:59 AM
Ronnie Rubinstein from Rye, New York

Carol - you're right. Mahler's 3rd played at 12:04 am, after the 8am -12am countdown hours. Sure am glad I voted for that now. They made sure to bury it at a time no one was listening...

Dec. 30 2013 11:46 AM
Carol Luparella from Elmwood Park, NJ

I noticed that they played selection #46 & #45, Tchaikovsky's 5th Symphony and Mahler's 3rd Symphony, respectively, after midnight, so I missed them and I'm sure many other listeners did as well. I thought each night of the countdown was supposed to end by midnight. Did they do this to ensure that these longer symphonies, especially the Mahler 3rd, would not clutter up the daytime hours so that they could resume at 8AM with Mozart? Just wondering...

Dec. 30 2013 11:25 AM
concetta nardone from Nassau

Verdi's Macbeth, Beethoven Eroica, Mozart Sinfonia Concertante in E for violin and viola and VESTI LA GIUBBA sung by Enrico Caruso.

Dec. 30 2013 11:18 AM
Michael

I read all of your comments with great interest. I used to listen to this ststion until I got disgusted in expecting to hear the full versions of pieces that I could play at home or hear over my cable t.v. station or sirius. It is a shame but I wish all of you good luck. By the way I am over a friends and he has the station on if anyone is curious as to why I am responding. Happy New Year

Dec. 30 2013 10:54 AM
Bernie from UWS

The excerpting in this Countdown is symptomatic of a larger trend on WQXR: the station recently did a weekly Showdown where they asked us to vote for one of 3 Mahler symphonies. But instead of getting to hear Mahler's 3rd or 9th we got only the adagios - and these are some of the most popular symphonies around!

During Verdi week they played a few "hit" arias while ignoring some of the quartets and longer sections of his operas. For Wagner week they played Siegfried's Funeral March and Ride of the Valkyries but not much of the vocal music.

Please, WQXR, don't underestimate our intelligence. We're New Yorkers - we can handle the meatier stuff!

Dec. 30 2013 10:26 AM
Nina from New York

First, as always, thank you all for the Classical Countdown! It is a fun tradition! I have a request: When it comes to ballets (for example Swan Lake), unless the majority of people have specifically wrote in "the suite from," please stop playing the suite from them. Rather, please play other excerpts from them! Please! The full ballet of Swan Lake has incredible music in it that is not in the suite. Also, same goes for operas. For instance, for Carmen, please play vocal excerpts from the opera, such as the wonderful quintet in Act 2. Please, not the instrumental suite of themes from the opera! Again, unless people have specifically written down "the suite" please don't assume that's what they are voting for! (As of this moment, Carmen hasn't appeared yet this year, so if it did make it, I don't yet know for certain what they're going to play for the countdown. But every prior year that I can recall has been that way).
Hoping to hear these changes next year! 

Best wishes,
 Nina

Dec. 30 2013 09:56 AM
Rosanna from NYC

During the recent Mozart Month WQXR thrilled me by playing David Oistrakh's glorious singing rendition of the K. 454 violin/piano sonata. (I wasn't aware that he had recorded it.) So the station DOES come through for us in many wonderful ways, BUT excerpting Beethoven's Missa Solemnis is definitely NOT the right move, especially when symphony after symphony gets played entirely during the classical countdown. I agree with previous posters here who urge WQXR to play more sonatas (and not just for flutes), concertos, chamber music, early music, and vocal/choral works including Haydn's many masses and Janacek's Glagolitic Mass, too. What about Smetana's Ma Vlast in its entirety, not just the "Moldau" section ... ? Last but not least, there can never be enough J.S. Bach; I just heard fantastic versions of his Partita No. 2 + English Suite No. 2 recorded on piano by Marta Argerich and played on WKCR-FM during its annual Dec. Bachfest. And there can never be enough intelligent commentary and elegant diction to announce WQXR's music until Clayelle Dalferes gets cloned!!!!! Thank you so much, and Happy New Year 2014 to all!

Dec. 30 2013 02:47 AM

@MRoz <If we are tired of the usual chestnuts, why do we list them?>
I didn't. I listed Vaughan Williams and Copland (but not the usual suspects). I doubt they'll make the list, but I decided to buck the trend.

Maybe the programmers will take some of the "also-rans" into consideration in the future.

Dec. 30 2013 02:13 AM

48. Maurice Ravel: Ravel

?
What gives? Did Ravel actually write a piece called Ravel? And lots of people voted for it?

Dec. 30 2013 01:43 AM
marc felix from greenwich Village

Whole symphonies and concertos can be played in their entirety, but Mahler's Song of the Earth only gets one of its shortest movements broadcast. The whole Lieder is but an hour and a few minutes long.

Dec. 29 2013 09:34 PM

ED asks: Where is the rest of the list? My list ends at 53 and we're
already beyond there. Would be nice to know what's coming next. I might
stay on longer if I know what's coming up in few more pieces. Enjoying the Saint-Saens, being an organist myself. There is nowhere near enough organ must played and especially organ concerti and other organ and orchestra pieces. Happy New Year, all.

Dec. 29 2013 08:42 PM
Carol Luparella from Elmwood Park, NJ

@fredsaid
Exactly! Also, Tchaikovsky wrote some beautiful liturgical music, which I discovered when listening to classic99.com. I'm sure listeners would appreciate hearing some of that as well.

Dec. 29 2013 08:40 PM
Frank from UWS

MRoz - I take issue with the notion that WQXR's sole function should be placating intellectually disengaged people who want a background drone while they run errands or drive. As a Public Radio station, they have a civic obligation to lead tastes and not simply follow them, challenge audiences as well as reward them. Increasingly, WQXR has opted for the safest path possible.

As to why the countdown features so many pedestrian "hits," maybe it's because listeners have been conditioned to know only these pieces? If WQXR would actually show listeners the beauties of Salonen, Rouse, Ades, Adams and others, we'd see a few of their pieces on the list.

Dec. 29 2013 07:51 PM

@Carol
I bet listeners would enjoy Dvorak's Stabat Mater or Janacek's Messe Glagolitique. Two great works that I bought years ago at Tower Records not knowing what they were. How many know these works?

Dec. 29 2013 07:49 PM
Carol Luparella from Elmwood Park, NJ

I completely agree with Ronnie Rubinstein and fredsaid about the lack of longer works on the daily program schedule. When are we going to hear a Bruckner or Mahler symphony during the 9-5 hours? If there were fewer of those silly promos (commercials) and less talking by the hosts perhaps we would hear something that is longer than 20 minutes.
Also, I have no problem with hearing the music of "the usual suspects" - Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Dvorak, etc., in fact, music of the Romantic period is my favorite - but why not play lesser known works by these composers? For example, instead of playing Dvorak's New World Symphony for the nth time, how about playing one of his earlier symphonies or some of his choral music? Just a suggestion...

Dec. 29 2013 07:37 PM

@MRoz:

These chestnuts make the list, because many of us (or perhaps most) don’t even bother to vote. There’s no point to it. I’d vote for other less popular pieces for variety alone. The pieces that you list are among the meat and potatoes of classical music and are not impenetrable pieces of music.

The Beethoven quartets and sonatas should be played much more frequently. WQXR occasionally plays them in the AM hours. For a while, they played the opus 18 and Serioso quartets a lot; they’re short and lively.

Haydn wrote over one hundred symphonies, but we keep hearing the same half dozen. Why?

If we only listen to music that all of us like all the time then the programming becomes quite dull. How do we know with such certainty what we don’t like?

Maybe we shouldn’t always think of classical music as background music. Great music sometimes takes a bit of effort without distractions.

Dec. 29 2013 07:13 PM
Ron Aaronson from Armonk, NY

Goodness Gracious! They're not playing "Das Lied von der Erde" in its entirety! How do they decide to excerpt that work yet play a complete, dare I say lesser work (that is higher up on the list, so it's not just my opinion)? Too long to go without a commercial?

Dec. 29 2013 06:00 PM
MRoz from Teaneck,NJ

I just read the usual litany of complaints about QXR conservative programming. We complain yet our playlist choices belie our criticism. If we are tired of the usual chestnuts, why do we list them? How many of us listen pieces by Salonen, Rouse, Ades, Adams to name a few. How many of us chose Verklarte Nacht, the Berg Violin Concerto, Prokofiev's 2nd Piano Concerto, a Rasumovsky Quartet, or even Ein Heldenleben? Can it be we'd rather hear Don Juan, and the Academic Festival 5x a week? Personally, I listen to a wide variety of music from all of the above to Miles, Mehldau, Van Morrison, Neil Young and Radiohead. But when driving or folding the wash, I enjoy the balm of Smetana, Dvorak or a fave Beethoven symphony served up by WQXR. I really don't want to sit in traffic listening to Messian. I think this may be true of most of us. Yes? No?

Dec. 29 2013 04:51 PM

Dear WQXR,

I know the duration of the music is one of your primary concerns in assembling a playlist. Very few pieces throughout the day are more than 15 minutes in length and most are much shorter. That factor alone significantly reduces your selection and variety of music.

Please WQXR do a little less self-promoting during the hour without those cutesy ads; you'd have more time for uninterrupted music.

None of my WQXR listening friends have any problems with their attention spans. It's really just as well to turn off the music when your ears need a rest. Silence is also good.

It's true that you do have your exceptions to the time rule like the Brahms Serenade #2. I agree it's a beautiful lively piece but you've completely ruined it for me through repetition. As for those other pretty serenades by Dvorak, they too need a rest. Actually, the list of QXR favorites that should take a holiday is quite long.

My dear WQXR, you really needn't worry about neglecting great composers since they wrote so much more, especially Schumann. There is for example, a whole other side to Copland, aside from the dance music and suites, that your listeners never get to hear. His contemporaries too should be heard.

Please WQXR, make a new year's resolution to play more sonatas, chamber music, vocal music, etc. Worry less about the duration and put more emphasis into quality and variety. I find I'm listening more and more to other sources. You're the last one standing, and we need you. This commercial approach just doesn't work.

Best wishes to WQXR and all listeners.

Dec. 29 2013 02:44 PM
Aviva from Kew Gardens

I keep wondering where the Haydn is. But then I'm consoled by the thought that maybe he got a lot more votes this year, and that it's still early in the countdown.

Dec. 29 2013 01:15 PM
Ronnie Rubinstein from Rye, NY

The problem of narrow playlists is an old one in classical radio. Leaner times in funding, listenership bring about the "greatest hits" mentality, which we've seen in the last couple years on WQXR. Why else have they excluded long symphonies from the mornings, or much vocal music at all during the day? I challenge someone to name the last time you heard a symphony by Mahler, Shostakovich or Sibelius between 9-5. It's mostly shorter, fluffier stuff.

To the previous commenter who voted for Copland's Music for Theater and Bernstein's "Chichester Psalms" - yes! And how about Copland's Piano Concerto or Bernstein's "Kaddish" Symphony too? Lots of great 20th century music we don't get to hear on WQXR.

Dec. 29 2013 01:03 PM

Like Winnifred I put off & forgot to send my 5 choices; I'll listen to others' choices.
Too much complaining about the outcomes from some listeners. WWFM overlaps listening areas with WQXR & Philly classical station, so they play more of the more modern and early music to reduce the overlap; likewise in Westchester & CT WHERE WHSU overlaps with WQXR. Encourage WQXR to play the great canon of Classical Music from the Romantic Period; other stations do other music. Like Hans, I have NO formal music training, Beethoven was the greatest & his 9th symphony is the greatest symphony composed in classical tradition; may it always be 1st.

Dec. 29 2013 12:03 PM
winnifred from new york city

Unfortunately I caught only the last bit of Faure's Requiem last night, but was delighted to learn that the entire work was played. I would have been more encouraged if it had been higher on the list.

I suspect that WQXR is afraid of chasing the big donors away if they include "less familiar" work on their playlist, particularly during the day. Why else do they insist on "comfort music" in spite of all the comments they get each year during the countdown? It does get a bit better at night with "All Ears", which I think is only on once or twice weekly - correct me if I'm wrong. I don't remember when I last heard Satie on QXR. I must say the idea that NYC is the world's cultural capital is a myth. I listen to (my idea of) richer, more varied classical music in little villages in France and the UK when I'm there; when will QXR learn that it is alright to take risks - these big donors may enjoy it.

Dec. 29 2013 11:58 AM
S. Levin from New Rochelle, NY

I for one, appreciate what I've learned from listening to Mozart month, about the man & his music, though listening to every last note of Bach, got to be a bit much after a while -- but that, as they say, is what makes horse races. What bothers me about the station these days is: 'this hour we will hear....' Just play the music already! I am also disappointed in the return of David Dubal (& early in the evening, yet). So pompous -- I even know a professional pianist who can't stand him.
What I'd like to hear more of is early music. There used to be more time dedicated to this subject, & now it's just an hour a week. WMHT has an hour a day of it.

Dec. 29 2013 11:24 AM
Lou Gerbino from Silver City,Iowa

I must agree with the previous writers' dissatisfaction about the pedestrian nature of WQXR's programming. I have also listened to the station for decades.At the moment,I listen primarily to the stream,and can get Q2 easily.When that is factored in,I would guess that WQXR carries more modern music than any other station.However,that is no excuse for 105.9s weakening broadcast schedule.I am in Iowa right now,and the classical station out here has also chosen the same well-worn path,even playing excerpts from Bolero! Despite this silly programming,their listener support has increased. In Examining WQXRs list of the "top 105",it appears that in both places,it is the listeners that choose this classical music version of "What's the Matter with Kansas". Neither station will answer questions about it.Further cultural dtift!

Dec. 29 2013 09:31 AM
Frank from UWS

@AE - you make an excellent point. I just looked at the Q2 countdown page and many of those pieces should be heard on WQXR on a regular basis - works by Arvo Part, Messiaen, Rautavaara, John Adams...heck, even Prokofiev's 5th is on there! Those composers are major figures in classical music but 105.9 FM treats them as if they're something to be shunted to the web stream. Instead we get more Boccherini or light English classics.

I've been listening lately to WCLV from Cleveland, which plays a much broader mix and a lot more 20th century music. Will have to give WSHU a try too.

Dec. 29 2013 07:08 AM
AF from Nassau County, Long Island

RE: comments made by The Truth from UWS:

I totally agree that the problem with WQXR on fm 105.9 is limiting the playlist too much to the "classical hits," (especially from the Romantic period).

The problem is that all too many of the works from the post-Romantic period, especially of the last 50-75 or even 100 years, are separated out and segragated and played only on Q2 for online listeners.

The playlists and the countdown from Q2 shows many, many composers and pieces that should be in the mainstream canon, but to hear these one must listen to too many "goofy new," avant guard, experimental, etc. works of many contemporary composers.

It is too bad that the only large scale classical music station in NYC, supposedly the cultural capital of the world, separates the music it plays into two streams.

For this reason I spend more time listening to other stations (mainly WSHU in CT and WWFM in NJ) where there is more integration of pieces from ALL periods.

Dec. 29 2013 04:27 AM
Carol Luparella from Elmwood Park, NJ

To The Truth from UWS:
Sadly, you may be correct (although right now they are playing the entire Faure Requiem, so there is hope yet!)
It seems that whenever they play the Mahler 5th Symphony, the only part they play is the Adagietto, as if they think our attention spans can't handle anything longer than about 20 minutes or so.
Like you, I have sometimes used tough words to try to remind WQXR that as a public radio station, they are not bound by the constraints that commercials impose on their schedule, and so can play longer works, but it seems that they are not paying attention.
I think there are many listeners who feel the same as we do, and some of them do let the station know how they feel; perhaps during the conversation we have about this year's Countdown, more listeners will voice their opinions on this subject. Listeners, what do you think?
Now I am going to continue to enjoy listening to Faure's Requiem - I am happy that this beautiful work made the list!

Dec. 28 2013 08:56 PM
The Truth from UWS

Carol - I have a feeling we're going to be in for more excerpting of the less mainstream pieces. Last year, they played only the Adagio movement from Mahler's 5th and just the opening bassoon solo of The Rite of Spring.

This typifies a larger, troubling fact of WQXR these days - that they play it ever-more safe while sticking to the "classical hits" and doing pointless, naval-gazing festivals (Mozart Month, Beethoven Awareness). I've seen the playlists increasingly narrow and less surprising since the WNYC purchase, and music of the last 50-75 years is almost entirely excluded (aside from the occasional movie score).

It's sad that in a cultural capital like NYC, which is progressive in so many other respects, the classical radio station is so unadventurous and predictable. I say this as a longtime (40+ year) listener who wants to see the station be its best and hope that my tough words will have some resonance with the programmers and management. Probably they won't though I'd be curious if others feel the same way here.

Dec. 28 2013 08:24 PM

Obviously, no one will be happy with all of the choices. I'm keeping a tally of 2012 vs. 2013 -- it should be interesting to see whether there is a lot of overlap (I suspect there will be).

Of my five votes, I feel that two will possibly played. I doubt that Vaughan Williams' "Serenade to Music," Copland's "Music for the Theatre," or Bernstein's "Chichester Psalms" will make the cut.

DD~~

Dec. 28 2013 07:03 PM
Hans-Hartwig Ehlers from NYC

I am grateful for having WQXR as my daily companion. I was never fortunate to have a formal schooling in music,
but listening to your programming throughout the years I for one learn a lot, because you play more than just
the most popular compositions. So, I just came home awhile ago and was treated to another piece of piano music.
I was fascinated…, as was the case several times before it turned out to be Beethoven, mind you, not one of his
more popular compositions. It was piano sonata 32. This titan of a composer has captured my attention like no
other. If any one or more of his works are in the top ten or whatever, there is a good reason for it.
Happy holidays to all music lovers,
Hans-Hartwig Ehlers

Dec. 28 2013 05:28 PM
Carol Luparella from Elmwood Park, NJ

Why are you playing only the Kyrie from Beethoven's Missa Solemnis? Since it is one of the works chosen by listeners for this Countdown, I assume they did not choose only this one part, but rather, the entire piece, which is what you should play. There is no excuse for not playing this work in its entirety.

Dec. 28 2013 04:00 PM
winnifred from New York City

I am grateful to wqxr for bringing us this feature every year. Unfortunately I put off voting because I couldn't quite make up my mind, and then completely forgot to do so on the last day. So now I must listen to others' choices, which is quite alright. I just hope that over the course of the year the voters listened to a greater variety of music, learned to appreciate more than the same old ones that they have always limited their listening to, and have become a bit more willing to admit to themselves that Beethoven's 9th Symphony does not need to be at the top simply because many other people think that is should be.
Thank you.

Dec. 28 2013 12:03 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 

 

 

 

 

 

Sponsored

Feeds