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Mad About Music
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Mad About Music delves into the musical heart of some of the world’s most celebrated and influential personalities.
The show is part interview and part musical performance. Internationally famous guests select five key musical works and discuss why those pieces are important to them. The interviews are always personal–and often humorous—as some of the world’s most famous people reveal aspects of their personalities largely unknown to the public.
The guest list for this season features 52 outstanding personalities including Jimmy Carter; Alan Alda, Valery Gergiev, Condoleezza Rice, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, Lionel Barber, Isaac Mizrahi, Tom Brokaw, Renee Fleming, Philippe de Montebello, Will Shortz, Antonin Scalia and Patrick Stewart.
March 2, 2015
Architect RICHARD MEIER on the symphonic architecture of Beethoven’s Ninth
I remember walking into the space of St. Peter's and you're just not prepared for the magnificence of that experience. It's overwhelming – there's nothing like it. I feel the same thing about Beethoven's Ninth. When you listen to that music, the quality of space, the quality of everything about it, from the structure, to the form, to the color, to the tonality, to the highs and the lows – it all works and it works together in the most magnificent way. It's, for me, every time I listen to it, a memorable experience. It exudes joy, it smiles, it's happy, it's uplifting, it's everything you want a creative work to be.
Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 2 in B flat Major, op. 19 [third
movement]. Berlin Philharmonic. Ferdinand Leitner. Wilhelm Kempff, Piano.
Musical Heritage Society 535170W.
West Side Story. Prologue. (Original Broadway Cast Recording).
Sony Classical/Columbia/Legacy SK 60724.
Symphony No. 3 in F major, op 90 [fourth movement].
Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Sir George Solti. Musical Heritage Society 11170X.
Einstein on the Beach. "Building". The Philip Glass Ensemble. Nonesuch 79323.
Symphony No. 9 in D minor, op 125 [excerpt from fifth movement].
Berlin Philharmonic. Herbert von Karajan. Janet Perry, Soprano; Agnes
Baltsa, Contralto; Vinson Cole, Tenor; José van Dam, Baritone.
Wiener Singverein. Deutsche Grammophon 439 006-2.
Author EDMUND MORRIS on Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony in the Harvard Yard after a blizzard
It was the worst blizzard in the history of Massachusetts and I happened to be up at Harvard doing research into my Roosevelt book, when the entire northeast was obliterated in this blizzard. The sun came out and I came out, and students began to emerge from their dorms, and we sludged across the Harvard Yard through this deep snow. And there was a wonderful feeling of light coming back to the world, of happiness returning, and some anonymous person put a pair of stereo speakers on the window sill of his dorm window, and blasted out into this freezing sunny air, the finale of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. And everybody in the Yard stood paralyzed with this music, until it had come to an end. Somehow the positivity of the music, its power, the fact that it seemed to be saying, look, we have come through, the weight that has buried us has been obliterated.
Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67. [Excerpt - First movement].
Wiener Philharmoniker. Carlos Kleiber. Deutsche Grammophon 447 400-2.
Frühlingsnacht. Josef Lhévinne, piano. Philips Classics 456 890-2.
Piano Sonata No. 23 in F minor, Op. 57. “Appassionata.”
First movement [excerpt]. Edwin Fischer. EMI Classics 5 74800 2.
The Creation. “The Sun Arising.” Berliner Philharmoniker.
Herbert von Karajan. Deutsche Grammophon 289449 761-2.“The Ash Grove.”
Members of the National Philharmonic Orchestra. Douglas Gamley.
Kiri Te Kanawa, soprano. EMI 7 47080 2.
Cantata on the Death of Emperor Josef II. “Da stiegen die Menschen an’s Licht.”
Corydon Singers and Orchestra. Matthew Best. Janice Watson, soprano; Jean Rigby,
mezzo soprano; John Mark Ainsley, tenor; José van Dam, bass. Hyperion A66880.
Symphony No. 4 in A minor, Op. 63. Fourth movement [excerpt].
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Sir Simon Rattle. EMI 7 47711 2.
Conductor DANIELE GATTI on bringing the opera Falstaff to his grave
This is a miracle opera, written by the old Verdi and it’s really a miracle. And probably it’s the opera that I would like to bring with me in my grave, one day. He helped me also a lot in my difficult moments and he brought me a sort of new view of tomorrow. I suffered a lot from melancholy when I was young, I suffered from loneliness. And what I like is that people could take it easy, but also to consider that at the end Falstaff is a very nostalgic and melancholic character because if you think he has no friends in the opera, he is the only one which is really alone. At the end he is a man who has arrived at the sunset of his life and he wants to demonstrate that he still has something, both sexually and as a personality.
Symphony No. 9. First movement [excerpt]. Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Carlo Maria Giulini. Deutsche Grammophon 437 467-2.
Messa Da Requiem “Lacrymosa” [excerpt]. Orchestra and Chorus of La Scala.
Victor De Sabata. Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, soprano. Oralia Dominguez, mezzo soprano,
Giuseppe Di Stefano, tenor. Cesare Siepi, bass. RM 11.930.
Symphony No. 6 “Pastoral.” First movement [excerpt]. Orchestre Nationale de France. Daniele Gatti.
Falstaff. Act III Scene 1 [excerpt]. NBC Symphony Orchestra. Robert Shaw Chorale. Arturo Toscanini.
Giuseppe Valdengo, baritone; Nan Merriman, mezzo soprano; Herva Nelli, soprano; Frank Guarrera, baritone;
Cloe Elmo, mezzo soprano, Teresa Stich-Randall, soprano. RCA 60251.
The Köln Concert, Part I [excerpt]. Keith Jarrett, piano.
ECM 422 810 067-2.
Wagner: Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. Act III Prelude [excerpt].
Orchestre Nationale de France. Daniele Gatti.
Cabaret singer Barbara Cook on how authentic music can touch people
You know, I pour my life’s blood into a song. I pour every hurt, every wonderful thing. My life is in these songs when I sing, and to me that’s the way to go. You see, the thing is, you’re safe then, because when you do that, when you do that in an authentic way, you touch people.
Piano Concerto No. 3. First movement [excerpt]. New York
Philharmonic. Eugene Ormandy. Vladimir Horowitz, piano. BMG 90266 36812.
Violin Concerto No. 1 in D major, Op. 19. Second movement. Montreal
Symphony Orchestra. Charles Dutoit. Joshua Bell, violin. Decca 473 259-2.
“Ship in a Bottle”. Barbara Cook. DRG
Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64. Conclusion. Vienna Philharmonic.
Valery Gergiev. Philips 289 462 905-2.
“City Boy”. Keb’ Mo’. Okeh 57863.
Concerto for Double String Orchestra. Second movement [excerpt]. Scottish Chamber
Orchestra. Michael Tippett. Virgin Classics 90701-2.
Symphony No. 5. First movement [excerpt]. Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra
of Venezuela. Gustavo Dudamel. DG B0009837-02.
Conductor PIERRE BOULEZ on controlling his emotions when conducting
I don’t rely only on myself emotionally when I conduct. You cannot just be emotional about it, in my opinion. Because then the structure is not anymore there. I look at all these types of combinations of expressions, and then after I can say when I am aware of that, then I can be more emotional because I know what it is inside. And I think the more you know the score, the more intuitive you can be. That’s a paradox. But I mean, for me, intuition is not given. On the contrary. Intuition comes as a supplement of knowledge. I have always this intuition, which is really established by analysis. And that is my way of looking at scores. You know, I like precision, detail, organization, and then when I have that under control, then I can begin to fly, really.
Les Noces. Excerpt. English Bach Festival Percussion Ensemble.
Leonard Bernstein. Pianos: Martha Argerich, Krystian Zimerman,
Cyprien Katsaris, Homero Francesch. Deutsche Grammophon 423 251-2.
Parsifal. Excerpt from Vorspiel. Bayreuth Festival Orchestra. Pierre
Boulez. Deutsche Grammophon 435 718-2.
Pierrot Lunaire, Op. 21. Nos. 8 & 9. Ensemble InterContemporain.
Pierre Boulez. Christine Schäfer. Deutsche Grammophon 457 630-2.
Symphony No. 3. Excerpt from Sixth Movement. Vienna
Philharmonic. Pierre Boulez. Anne Sofie von Otter.
Deutsche Grammophon 474 038-2.
Sur Incises. Excerpt from First Movement. Ensemble
InterContemporain. Pierre Boulez. Deutsche Grammophon 289 463 475-2.
"Dupree's Paradise". Ensemble InterContemporain. Pierre Boulez. RCA 10542.
Five Movements, Op. 5. (Version for String Orchestra) No. 5.
Berlin Philharmonic. Pierre Boulez. Deutsche Grammophon 447 099-2.
Financier FELIX ROHATYN on his love for the cello and Yo-Yo Ma
I love the cello and I love Yo-Yo Ma, who I think is an extraordinary musician, an extraordinary human being. And there are not that many cello concertos that I really relate to: there’s the Schumann, and there’s the first Haydn. And I picked the Schumann partly because I can hum it a little better than the Haydn, or whistle it, or think about it when I’m wandering around in the garden. Because it is romantic and it is music to dance to, almost. And this wonderful Yo-Yo Ma, playing this concerto.
Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, op. 37 [third movement].
Alfred Brendel, piano. Chicago Symphony Orchestra. James Levine. Philips 470938.
Mass in C minor, K.427. "Et incarnatus est" from the Credo. Barbara
Bonney, soprano. Berlin Philharmonic. Claudio Abbado. Sony Classical SK 46671.
Cello Concerto [third movement]. Yo-Yo Ma, cello. Bavarian Radio
Symphony Orchestra. Sir Colin Davis. CBS Masterworks MK 42663.
Antonio Carlos Jobim:
The Girl From Ipanema. Stan Getz, tenor saxophone.
Astrud and João Gilberto, vocal.
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D major, Op. 77 [third movement].
Isaac Stern, violin. New York Philharmonic Orchestra. Zubin Mehta. CBS/Sony 6694.