Mad About Music
Sundays @ 7PM

For more than ten years, Mad About Music has delved into the musical heart of some of the world’s most celebrated and influential personalities. The guest list includes Jimmy Carter, Alan Alda, Valery Gergiev, Condoleezza Rice, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, Isaac Mizrahi, Tom Brokaw, Renee Fleming, Antonin Scalia and Patrick Stewart. Created and hosted by Gilbert Kaplan, Mad About Music’s format is part interview, part musical performance. Guests select five 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.


Former President and Chairman of the Chicago Bears MICHAEL MCCASKEY on how Beethoven helped his son to walk:  "My wife Nancy had been working very hard with my son John to get him to take his first steps and she was encouraging him, but he was not quite ready. And then one evening, Nancy went out and for some reason, it just occurred to me that the Eroica Symphony might be some good music to put on. So I put it on, cranked up the volume, and John not only took his first step, he walked across the room."

Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 3, "Eroica". First movement [excerpt].

Leonard Bernstein: Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, "Cool" Fugue.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: String Quartet No. 14. First movement.

John Lennon and Paul McCartney: "In My Life."

Cesar Camargo Mariano: "Cristal."

Johann Sebastian Bach: St. Matthew Passion. Conclusion.


Former Australian Prime Minister PAUL KEATING on how Chopin restored him after political battles:  "When I was seeking a seat in Parliament, I would take a terrible hiding almost every week. I would sometimes think I was amongst savages. And I'd come back and the first thing I would put on would be the Barcarolle by Chopin. Next thing I'm in the world, the wonderful world of music."

Richard Addinsell: Warsaw Concerto.

Frederic Chopin: Barcarolle for Piano in F sharp major, Op. 60 [conclusion].

Gustav Mahler: Das Lied von der Erde ("The Song of the Earth") [excerpt].

Jim Weatherly: Midnight Train to Georgia [excerpt].

Erik Wolfgang Korngold: Lieder Des Abschieds ("Songs of Farewell") Op. 14, "Mond, so gehst du wieder auf" ("Moon You Rise Again").

Anton Bruckner: Symphony No. 8 in C minor. Final movement [excerpt].


Supreme Court Justice RUTH BADER GINSBURG on a chance meeting with Maria Callas in an elevator:  "I stepped into the elevator and there was Callas in white mink with her poodle with the same color as her coat. She looked every inch the diva that she was and I mumbled something about how much joy she had given me through her recordings and then I felt as if I had been touched by magic."

Cole Porter: Tale of the Oyster

Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: String Quartet No. 2 in F Major, Op. 22. First Movement.

Gian Carlo Menotti: The Medium, "Monica's Waltz"

Giacomo Puccini: Tosca [excerpt].

Maurice Ravel: Violin Sonata [Second Movement]


Former President of the World Bank JAMES WOLFENSOHN on being a groupie of Leonard Bernstein:  "I have two remarkable photographs of Lenny, which are inscribed to me as 'leader of his groupies.' I had the great good fortune to get to know him as an admirer and subsequently as a friend. My history with Leonard Bernstein really goes back to Australia where I was born. I applied to come to study at University in the United States and I remember the very first night that I got here I went to West Side Story, which subsequently I saw 13 times. As you can see, I get these crazy passions."

Robert Schumann: Cello Concerto in A Minor, Op. 129. Third Movement.

Leonard Bernstein: Candide Overture.

Gustav Mahler: Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen [Songs of a Wayfarer] (First 2 songs: Wenn mein Schatz Hochzeit macht and Ging heut' morgen übers Feld).

Johann Sebastian Bach: Goldberg Variations (Variations 28, 29, 30 and Aria).

Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Trio, Op. 50 in A Minor (Variation Finale and Coda: Allegro risoluto e con fuoco).



President of the Juilliard School, JOSEPH POLISI on his fascination for Mahler:  "I'd always been fascinated from afar by Mahler and it took me a great deal of time to get through the material, and I studied it actually quite carefully with scores. I'd played the First, the Fourth, the Fifth, the Ninth, but I had never played the Eighth Symphony. And when I came upon the Eighth Symphony, I was overwhelmed. I just couldn't believe that so much sound and so much emotion could be packed into even a symphony orchestra with chorus and soloists. So it's always been my ultimate musical experience in many, many ways."

Gregorian Chant: "Easter" [excerpts]. Monastic Choir of St. Peter's Abbey, Solesmes. Dom Jean Claire, Director.

Joseph Haydn: Sinfonia Concertante [third movement]. NBC Symphony Orchestra. Arturo Toscanini. Robert Bloom, oboe; Mischa Mischakoff, violin; William Polisi, bassoon; Frank Miller, cello.

Bela Bartók: Concerto for Orchestra [second movement]. New York Philharmonic. Leonard Bernstein.

Elliot Carter: Eight Etudes and a Fantasy. ["Quietly" and "Intensely"] Michael Faust, flute; Christian Hommel, oboe; David Smeyers, clarinet; Dag Jensen, bassoon.

Ralph Vaughan Williams: Hugh the Drover, or Love in the Stocks [excerpt, Act I].
Corydon Orchestra. Matthew Best. Corydon Singers, The New London
Children's Choir.

Carlos Gardel: Por una Cabeza ("By a Head [of a Horse]"). The Tango Project.

Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 8. in E-flat major ("Symphony of a Thousand")
[conclusion, first movement]. London Philharmonic Orchestra. Klaus Tennstedt.


Baritone THOMAS HAMPSON on his own voice:  "I've never been a voice that blows you away, as it were. I'm not one of those, as Marcel Singher used to say, "beautiful monsters." I think I'm a very good singer, and I think how I use my voice to express something is perhaps special, and some people react to the color or the timbre of my voice, or something like that, but – Callas and Pavarotti, these are just simply phenomenons of nature."

Johann Sebastian Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 4, BWV 1049 [third movement]. Concentus musicus Wien. Nikolaus Harnoncourt.

Gustav Mahler: Des Knaben Wunderhorn. "Der Tamboursg'sell". Thomas Hampson, baritone. Geoffrey Parsons, piano.

Richard Wagner: Tannhäuser. Act III. "O du, mein holder Abendstern". Berlin Staatskapelle. Daniel Barenboim. Thomas Hampson, baritone (as Wolfram von Eschenbach).

David Clayton-Thomas "Spinning Wheel". Blood, Sweat & Tears.

Ludwig van Beethoven: Leonore Overture No. 3. Leonard Bernstein. Members of the New York Philharmonic.

Ned Rorem: "Look Down Fair Moon" for voice & piano. Thomas Hampson,
baritone. Craig Rutenberg, piano.

Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 4 [fourth movement]. Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. Bruno Walter. Irmgard Seefried, soprano.


Former Chief Judge of New York JUDITH KAYE on the connection of Tosca and Mario Cuomo:  "The words 'Mario! Mario!'– I know they're in Act I, when Tosca enters the church, they're in Act II when she's in Scarpia's study, and poor Mario Cavaradossi is being tortured. And they're in Act III when he has been the subject of the firing squad and she runs up to him at the end, hoping to rouse him from the floor and leave with him. And so for me, the words 'Mario, Mario!', they really resonate. But the reason is that there is a Mario who is enormously important in my life and that's Mario Cuomo. Mario Cuomo appointed me in 1983 to the state's highest court. It was a very bold act on his part and I am enormously grateful to him. And wouldn't you know, in March of 1993, he made me the Chief Judge of the State of New York again, a bold and wonderful act for which I am endlessly and boundlessly grateful to him. Whenever I see him all I want to say is 'Mario, Mario!'"

Giacomo Puccini: Turandot "Signore, Ascolta!" [excerpt]. Orchestra dell'Accademia di Santa Cecilia. Alberto Erede. Renata Tebaldi, soprano.

Giacomo Puccini: Tosca. Conclusion. Orchestra e Coro del Teatro alla Scala. Victor de Sabata. Maria Callas, soprano.

Richard Wagner: Die Walküre "Wotan's Farewell" [excerpt]. Vienna Philharmonic. Sir Georg Solti. Hans Hotter, baritone.

Charles Gounod : Roméo et Juliette "Ah! Tu dis vrai". Orchestra & Chorus du Capitole de Toulouse. Michel Plasson. Roberto Alagna, tenor. Angela Gheorghiu, soprano.

Andrew Lloyd Weber: Aspects of Love "Love Changes Everything". Michael Ball.

Charles Gounod: Faust "Marguerite's Spinning Song." Symphonie-Orchester & Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks. Sir Colin Davis. Kiri Te Kanawa, soprano.


Hollywood director JOEL SCHUMACHER on learning to love opera:  "The only opera I had seen was Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd at the opera and the Marx Brothers in their Night at the Opera. I was in my teens –I had seen opera singers on Ed Sullivan Show, on television. But they were fat and I didn't understand the context of anything they were doing. In other words, I was not hip to the scene. But then when I was in my late teens I had a friend who had season tickets to a box and he really wanted me to learn about opera and hear it. This was at the old Met which was quite fabulous. And some of the Mozart was clever but, I guess because basically I'm a pop culture sponge, but when I saw La bohème --the love duet is something you remember your whole lifetime because it's just so sweepingly dramatic, but it's beautiful. So I think it was the first time that I felt any form of opera as an emotional, personal experience."

Modest Mussorgsky: Night on Bald Mountain [excerpt]. New York Philharmonic. Leonard Bernstein.

Giacomo Puccini: La bohème, "O soave fanciulla" ("Oh, gentle maiden"). Berlin Philharmonic. Herbert von Karajan. Luciano Pavarotti, tenor. Mirella Freni, soprano.

Sergei Prokofiev: Romeo and Juliet, "Dance of the Knights." London Symphony Orchestra. Valery Gergiev.

Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 9 [excerpt]. Berlin Philharmonic. Herbert von Karajan.

Deborah Harry & Chris Stein: "Rapture." Blondie.

George Gershwin: "Rhapsody in Blue" [excerpt]. Philadelphia Orchestra. Eugene Ormandy.  Oscar Levant, piano.