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WFMT Chime In

Chime in: What Piece from the Past 25 Years Do You Think Has Staying Power?

With the launch of our sister station’s 10 Buildings that Changed America, WFMT poses the question, what pieces of music have that kind of significance? For Lasting Impressions, WFMT asked a dozen critics, conductors, and composers, “Which single piece written in the last 25 years do you think will still be heard in 100 years?” How would you answer that question?

  • Richard Miller

    Salome dances for peace by Terry Riley – Profound!

  • Michael

    I love hearing contemporary music on WFMT. The station doesn’t play much of it and this is a terrific change. Thanks for doing this.

  • Kay Blume

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for featuring John Adams’ “Harmonielehre” this morning as part of your wonderful Lasting Impressions! We don’t hear enough of Mr. Adams compositions! I love this question and your featured pieces thus far have been outstanding!!!!!

  • Dean

    Thank you for the rich fare of contemporary music this morning. I have enjoyed it. I have heard that some people do not like the programing this morning. We all have to remember our music history. I some point even Beethoven’s 5th was new and not received very well. Now it is considered ‘classical’. Keep the varied programing coming.


  • Reconsidering

    What the F*** was that!!! Are you running out of things to play that you have to put on such an oddball and strange piece? Come on!!

  • Barbara

    A modern piece once in awhile, but please not a whole day of it. Enough!

  • Norman

    Interesting stuff, but nothing so far except perhaps the John Adams that strikes me as in any way permanent. It’s the list of the people you asked, the professionals within the professional world of modern composing and criticism. Where in this list is Elliott Carter? Where are the truly great vocal writers–working in what seems really to be a renaissance of chorale music–Whittaker and others who shouldn’t slip my mind but do. Where are all the wonderful pieces I’ve been hearing recently that were commissioned by performance groups. I’d suggest doing this list perhaps three more times — ask performers, ask the listeners, and ask the WFMT hosts. There’s lots of truly lasting recent music out there that has not been recognized in today’s listing of mostly rather esoteric pieces focusing on “academic” composers. It’s not what’s going to last.

  • Russ

    Many thanks for your 10 Pieces that Changed Music Forever and especially for your 10 Lasting Impressions today. Although no one can know which pieces will be prized by future generations, I admire the thoughtful choices and reasoning of your panel. Thank you for this immersion in the varieties of contemporary music, as strange to some ears as the 10 classics were in their day.
    Please ignore the naysayers.

  • Larry

    The music you are playing today is definitely not something that I enjoy. I believe that this is just another example of a trend by WFMT to get away from what you do best – playing classical music that is enjoyable for the majority of your audience. I find that you recent offerings have forced me to listen to WFMT less, and play music from my CD collection more.

  • John Empfield

    Thanks for being brave enough to program 10 Pieces. I don’t agree with a number of them, I think they are just the favorites of the people who chose them, and that there are a lot of important names missing. To those who would complain about being forces to hear something new and different remember what Charles Ives may have said (or not) at a premier of a Carl Ruggles’ piece Men and Mountains, to an audience member who was jeering, “Stand up and use your ears like a man!”

  • nmorriswfmt

    Thank you for every one of your comments. It’s true, John. These are personal choices, although WFMT is not suggesting that works not on this list wont last and couldn’t be added to the list. Tell us what YOU would add.

  • Tom Porter

    Great idea! Great day of music!

  • Rosemarie Kochanski

    Most of what I’ve heard during this programming is either discordant, just plain noise and unpleasant to the ear. However, Rock and Roll sounded the same way in the 60’s and Acid Rock in later years. Sooo….who am I to judge. The program, Relevant Tones, hurts my brain in the same way. I DO turn the radio off when that is on! I was absolutely devastated to see The Piano Matters was replaced. I would be positively thrilled to see it replace Relevant Tones.

  • Frank

    Sincere kudos to WFMT and to whomever came up with the concept for this program. My only regret is that it is airing during the day when I must also give my attention to work.

    Contemporary music has a beauty to it that is remarkable. I always appreciated Maestro Barenboim’s commitment to programming contemporary composers’ music.

    Please use your influence to have the CSO again program Ralph Shapey’s, “Concerto Fantastique.” I was at Orchestra Hall when it premiered over 20 years ago and was blown away by the power and beauty of the piece.

    Again, congratulations on the programming of a daring, wonderful approach to music.


  • nmorriswfmt

    Frank, Ralph Shapey will be feature on Critical Thinking tonight at 10:00 PM.
    Thank you for your comments.

  • Gerald Andrews

    Good programming idea. I’ve no idea what new music has staying power – nor, I believe, does anyone else. But it is neat way to get to play some refreshing new stuff. And to those who want to hear only the established old stuff, tell them to buy a CD player. LIstening occasionally to something we don’t often hear is appreciated by anyone with any curiosity and a brain not bogged down in the merely comfortable.

    I’ll turn 77 next month and have been listening to you for most of my life – and all of WFMT’s. Now I have to do it with streaming audio since I left Chicago when I retired and moved to an island in the Mediterranean. It’s a nice place to be – and nicer because I’ve been able to take you with me.

  • Music lover

    I propose that Ainadamar, based on the life of Federico Garcia Lorca, by Osvaldo Golijov, the former Composer in Residence at the CSO, will be around 100 years from now. Thanks for challenge of anticipating the future and listening to more new music than usual.

  • Elsa Charlston

    What a great day this is on WFMT ! I am thrilled to read all these comments. If we don’t hear the
    music of our time hot off the pen when it fresh – on first listening – and then over and over how is
    music going to survive? Like it or not, it is good to read that people actually are listening! After listening
    to a new work a few times, the language of the piece can somehow penetrate one’s thinking. As Ricardo
    Muti says ” Don’t try to understand it! Just let it wash over you!”

  • Jim Strickler

    Today has been a great day on WFMT! While I listen mostly because I love Bach, Beethoven, Stravinsky, etc., I also listen because WFMT pushes my limits a little. Thanks.

  • Gustavo Guillén

    This “Concerto de Toronto” is wonderful. I had not listened
    to it before and I love it!

    Thank you for your choice Elbio.

  • Kurt Westerberg

    Great idea – thanks very much – you should do this once a month
    My choice: Ligeti: Lontano

  • Ann Raven

    I loved today’s programming. As a fan of MusicNow and Relevant Tones, this is not surprising. I want to try to understand contemporary music and, WFMT, thanks for helping me.

  • Anne-Marie

    I pity the listeners a hundred years hence…..

  • Jim Strickler

    Please don’t let all these pieces vanish. Pick a couple and play them as often as you play Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun, Beethoven’s 7th, or any other piece for the next year. Give us–the listeners and the music–a chance to develop a relationship.

  • Andrew Patner

    What a wonderful array of comments, reactions, ideas, and suggestions! Thanks to all for listening and responding!

  • Leblanc

    When do you mail tickets from the fundraiser last month?

  • Richard Valentino

    Related to Chime In’s “Remembering Adolph Herseth” series of messages.

    Anyone wanting find out, or to be reminded, why Adolph Herseth was/is so highly regarded as a principal trumpet player would do well to view and listen to the 58:31 minute YouTube program whose internet address is listed below….

    The “Adolph “Bud” Herseth Australia Radio Profile and Interview, 1997 YouTube” can be gotten to with the following YouTube address:

    Note: An attempt to place this computer/internet address on”Chime In” a few days ago was truncated by what seemed to be a computer glitch. This Chime In message is an attempt to correct that mistake. Or maybe there are rules prohibiting internet addresses from being presented without permission.

    • Richard Valentino

      Related to a Chime In message I sent a few minutes…

      The internet address I gave was again cut short. This is the second time it has happened. So I am presuming there is a rule I am breaking. Sorry for causing this confusion

  • arlene

    Not a comment about music from the past 25 years, although the series has been very interesting. I just wanted to say how nice it is to hear Jan Weller’s voice again.

  • Jerry Partacz

    Happy Birthday, Studs Terkel. Read my piece in

  • Jeff Abell

    Merci pour le musique d’Erik Satie dans son anniversaire!

  • Rob S.

    I have to confess I didn’t care for any of the pieces selected. I’m a novice to classical music but last night I heard “Aurora Awakes” by John Mackey. I’ve never been so moved by a piece. It is hauntingly beautiful and in my opinion has true “Staying Power.”

  • Vonnie Lorber

    Thanks to Dennis Moore for playing the Arrau Beethoven Op. 10 No. 2. It was a lovely performance. I enjoyed it greatly.

  • Jeff Abell

    when i win the Morning Quiz, i feel like that graduate degree in music was actually worth something! 😉

  • don

    shouldn’t that be forte’? with a voiced ‘e’

  • Stanley

    By the way, since you just mentioned that WFMT is heard around the world: I’m listening in Japan at this very moment. It’s a little weird listening to the “morning” program, when it’s 9:30 pm here.

  • Keith S. Osborne

    21 May 2013 Thank you Karl for playing Wagner’s “Good Friday Music from Parsifal.” With the bicentennial of Wagner being celebrated this month, I was concerned that I might miss this piece which I
    consider to be the best thing Wagner wrote. Of course I am partial since back when I was in High School
    Band in the early 1960’s, this was one of the compositions our band director insisted that we play … and we
    all detested it! When we were scheduled to perform the GFM from Parsifal at a concert, our director, Mr.
    Hugh Williams, took the podium and announced to the audience that we would have to postpone the performance of it for “We had not mastered the music yet.” We didn’t know weather to be shocked or relieved, but our subsequent days of going over that music finally paid off, and we did perform it masterfully at our next concert. Sometimes we don’t realize a love for good music, unless we have to
    really absorb it while getting it drilled into us. We came to love this work so much that we recorded it
    on an LP, along with another work that we also came to love for its difficulty, which is the “Rue Blas Overture” by Felix Mendelssohn. Any time you play either of these works, I want to be tuned in to
    WFMT. Again thank you.

  • Ann Raven

    Dear Lisa Flynn, I am enjoying your pick of the week – Ian Bostridge”s recording of Hardy”s poems set by Britten. I see Bostridge each time he come to town, not that frequently, alas!

  • Richard Valentino

    Richard Strauss’s and Richard Wagner’s art songs (here meaning songs independent of their operatic and orchestral works) have much in common. Of course, their overall sound will be there; and both of their art songs are so full of feeling, meaning. Much of it seems to express longing (for the beautiful; or love; sometimes related to sadness; sometimes to related to joy; all of it serious and sincere… always appealing, wonderful music. Of course, because music of this quality is rooted deep in the composers’ psyche, the same psyche involved in all their composing, and in their daily lives, similarities to their larger works will keep showing up.

  • Rudolph Gartner

    JYT, It is a real treat to listen to Jean-Yves Thiboudeau speak in person with Lisa Flynn this morning. I own his recording of the complete solo piano music of Maurice Ravel, and I treasure it. I also really liked M. Thiboudeau’s selection of the third movement of Rachmaninov’s Third Symphony as an example of music that moves and speaks to one’s heart, as well as his renditions of Bill Evan’s jazz canon. I also was happy to hear him mention the presence of great organ music in Los Angeles. I happen to know the organist at the Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral in Los Angeles, Sal Soria.

  • James R Pawlik

    Toscanini’s recording of Verdi’s Hymn of the Nations will be played for as long as the world has free nations. I would really like to see technology developed to analyze and modernize the sound of these recordings as well as the video of this recording to play on our modern 7 by 1 home “juke boxes”! I would also like to see a composition contest to create a modern medley in the style of Verdi of the anthems of as many free nations as possible to modernize the end of this piece. The enhanced work could be premiered by the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra in our wonderful Pritzker Bandshell. The enhanced composition would also qualify it for this composition!

  • Rudolph Gartner

    JYT: I am moved to hear M. Thibodeau’s opinion of Artur Rubinstein as the ultimate expositor of Chopin’s piano music, and to hear that he was and is inspired by Rubinstein’s artistry in his own artistic development.

  • Jim Axtell

    In keeping with yesterday’s Wagner bicentennial, I hope you don’t mind if I share a link to a very funny blog item at Library of Congress: I hope you enjoy it.

  • Michael Hollman

    I am writing to express extreme irritation about being telemarketed to donate more money. I pledge during each drive and always renew my membership. I intensely dislike being telemarketed and consider it a violation of privacy. I believe you are doing yourself more hard than good. Please consider this as advice dfrom a loyal supporter and reconsider this practice.

  • Richard Valentino


    Carl Grapentine,

    Your morning show was superior to your usual high standards. It kept moving ahead from one
    wonderful musical piece after another; one great recording, one great ensemble/orchestra after another:

    Some of the selections:
    Vivaldi String Concerto… Alla rustica; a section from Bach’s Mass in b; Rimskky-Korsakov’s Fantasy on Russian Themes;Beethoven Variations…,with piano/cello Barenboim/Du Pre; Bizet, L’Arlesiene/Carillon followed by Vierne, Carillon; and on and on, as it seemed to be a steady stream of [often extremely] good, BUT NOT OVERPOWERING, music.

    I, simply put, thought it was the best Carl Grapeintine Morning Program
    [a modifier after “Program” deliberately omited because there is none that would work: “Ever”?; that’s””
    no good…. “Since 1997”? That’s just silly… It will always be just my opinion. But i do believe, in this case, my opinion is correct, even with the abrupt ending.

  • WFMT Listener

    To George Preston,
    George, Good Luck ! All the Best to You in your new endeavor !
    We will miss you !!!

  • Barbara Balch

    A fond Farewell to George – I have enjoyed his knowledge, his presentation and his humor. I believe you started the ‘ unrush hour ‘ and I have enjoyed that as a wonderful winding down for the day. Best wishes to you and your family – enjoy the wonderful air and the brilliant blue skies in Colorado. You will be missed.

  • Mike Meshenberg


    I’m sorry you’re leaving. It’s too soon. You brought energy, youthfulness, intelligence, warmth, and great musical knowledge to the WFMT audience. I had the opportunity to meet you a couple of times at musical events and you’re just as friendly in person as on the air. And, having been to Colorado trying to find a decent classical station, I hope you can bring to Colorado Springs some of the creative programming we’ve become used to. I wonder if that audience will be as receptive. It will be a challenge.

    Best of luck.
    Mike Meshenberg

  • Kenneth Chrzastek

    Dear George Preston-
    Your erudition and brilliant wit on the Lyric Opera Broadcast features and every day at WFMT will be greatly missed by your world-wide radio audience, and most especially by your devoted Chicago listeners.
    Much success and heartfelt congratulations on a well-deserved new responsibility to fine arts programming.

    Kenneth Chrzastek

  • Sheila

    Dear George:
    Thank you for the enjoyment you have provided me since you joined WFMT. You were my companion on countless afternoons. I really enjoyed your selections and your comments. Good luck in Colorado!

  • Mike Hollman

    I will miss George’s warmth, knowledge, enthusiasm, and passion for his work. Best of lucj, Georege, in your new position.

  • Renate Moser

    Dear George! I listened with great dismay when Lisa announced your departure from WFMT this morning.
    It is hard to imagine the station without you. Of course, becoming Station Manager in Colorado Springs should not only be great for you but also for your family. The twins will have a chance to grow up in a wonderful setting. We will miss you in Ravinia this year when we hear the first notes of “Aida.” All of this said, I wish you the very best in your new position. May it fulfill all your expectations. And be sure to drop a note to the station to be read on the air so that your friends and admirers can participate in your
    life in Colorado. Stay well, happy, joyous and, most of all, healthy.
    Many good wishes and many thanks for the fabulous entertainment to which you have treated your listeners. I will especially miss your partnership with Roger Pines during the Lyric Opera opening nights.

    Good Bye and Auf Wiedersehen at some future date.

  • Barby Cohen

    For George-I, too, will miss your informative program. I am listening in Seattle through my Sonos system. I love WFMT and I can’t believe it’s been 4 years since you arrived. It seemed shorter. Good luck in Colorado Springs. I’m guessing there will be some culture shock for a bit. Will have to check out WCME, but I haven’t found a station with programming as interesting as WFMT. (I do listen to a few other stations, including Q2, but I miss hearing information given by a human before or after a piece (other than sporadically) on that one. I hope the job is everything you want it to be.

  • Stanley

    Dear George, I was so sorry to learn of your departure! I’ll really miss hearing you on WFMT, which I’m now listening to as I travel in Japan. At the very least, I am able to hear you on your last day at the station. Best wishes in Colorado and in your new position!

  • Morris Maduro

    From Alberta, Canada: We will miss you, George: Have so much enjoyed listening to you and your pieces every afternoon. Best wishes to you in your new endeavours

    Morris Maduro

  • Tom

    Thank you for a morning of Strauss. By the way you referred to the processional when I think it is: Strauss – “Solemn entry of the knights of the order of St. John”. A little Strauss every day would work wonders to lower the blood pressure and put us on an even keel. Thanks again!

  • Ann Raven

    Lisa Flynn, my ears pricked up when I heard you playing music of Marin Marais. I love his work. Thanks!

  • Richard Valentino

    What piece of the last 25 years…has staying power?

    “Between Two Worlds” [“The Dybbuk”], an opera; by Shulamit Ran.

    World Premiere at Merle Reskin Theatre; June 20, 1997. Matthew Polenzani and Mary Jane Kania sang lead roles; Arthur Fagen, conductor; Small Lyric Opera pit ensemble. Cast made up of “rising young stars” from Lyric Opera Center For American Artists young artists, and about ten supernumeraries (townspeople).

  • Richard Valentino

    What Piece from the Past 25 years… Has Staying Power?

    Metamorphosis II, by Philip Glass for piano: A short, but powerful piece for solo piano; consisting largely
    of a long series of forte, elongated chords (two to three seconds long), that have the emotional power of

    a BEETHOVEN “odd number” symphony.

    I heard it for the first time on the WFMT special live broadcast Friday (June 21, 2013),” Make Music Chicago, 2013″,1 to 3 p.m. On The second hour of this program, pianist Alexander Djordjevic played
    Metamorphosis II as part of his contribution to the program. In personal, common expression [(I don’t have the verbal tools of a true music critic], the music moved forward from interestingly, to nice,and very soon to gripping, and remained gripping to The end. I estimate the length of Metamorphis II was 12 to 15 minutes long.

    Notes: 1. The title, Metamorphosis, II, refers to the Franz Kafka story to which the music is related.

    2. Alexander Djordjevic is a piano teacher at a prestigious North Suburban musical school,
    and has the reputation of being a “wonderful pianist.”

    3. It’s possibly this piece profits somewhat when the pianist is visible to the listener.

  • AMB

    It was not music to my ears

  • Les

    Wojciech Kilar’s piece for strings, “Orawa” is a work of harmonic daring and textural variety. I haven’t heard any piece generically called “trance music”…or any other music written in the last 25 years… that I’ve heard that I’d want to hear again… except this work. written in 1988 by a composer who’s probably more universally known as the film composer for “The Pianist” and “Dracula”, although his catalog of orchestral, orchestra with various soloists, and choral works is large. By bitter ironic coincidence, I first heard “Orawa” played by the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra on it’s website via “On Demand”, and Mr. Kilar passed on on 29 December 2013.