2 December 2002
And tell Tchaikovsky the news
During the weeks preceding Thanksgiving, our local classical radio station takes votes from listeners, and on Turkey Day and the day following they count down those works which are most requested.
Since 1995, when this little promotional event got started, the composer at the top of the heap has been Ludwig van Beethoven; in fact, the ever-popular Symphony No. 9 has won every year but one, when it was edged out by No. 5. (Myself, I prefer No. 7, which took third this year.) As a general rule, you're not going to find anything really weird in lists of this sort; it's highly unlikely that more than a handful of people are going to vote for anything by, say, Lukas Foss. (Even Cathy Berberian knows there's one roulade she can't sing.) Still, it's always interesting to see the list, and it seems churlish to gripe about the warhorses that always place; there is, after all, a reason why these works are still around decades, centuries, after they were composed.
(My favorite? Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 3. Don't ask.)