Jan 13, 2016
At the end of each year, WQXR, the classical radio station originating in New York, asks its listeners to vote for their favorite pieces of classical music played during the year. Based on those requests, WQXR closed out 2015 by counting down to the 100 most-requested pieces of the year.
Countdown to Midnight
On New Year's Eve, the countdown to Midnight intensified. The end came as no surprise. It wasn't even close. Beethoven's Seventh Symphony won third place, his Fifth, second place, and his Ninth Symphony, the "Choral," took first. This, his last, was composed in 1823 when he was completely deaf. At the turn of the millennium, the Ninth was played across every time zone to usher in the year 2000.
How does Beethoven consistently command so much love? How does he shine in use? It's not as if the other Greats pale in his company. But Beethoven is set apart from them all. Why so? In a word, he was on a collision course with fate but defied it.