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.
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.
Jeweler Nicola Bulgari on Horowitz and emeralds: "When you are in an early stage of listening and learning about classical music, you are absolutely taken by Tchaikovsky, No. 1 Piano Concerto, or Rachmaninoff No. 2. But then I went forward, and I listened to Rachmaninoff No. 3, which is great. It was the pièce de résistance of Horowitz, right? I'm talking about someone that I met. I met Horowitz, and it was quite an experience, believe it or not. He came to buy an emerald. I didn't talk about him, but now he's dead. I couldn't believe it. He came to buy an emerald, poor guy, I guess for himself."
Marin Marais : La Rêveuse. Sophie Watillon, viola da gamba.
Franz Schubert: Piano Sonata in E Major, D. 459. Allegro Patetico [excerpt].
Felix Mendelssohn: Sonata for Piano Op. 6. First movement. Murray Perahia, piano.
Johnny Mercer: "How Do You Say Auf Wiedersehen?" George Shearing and Mel Tormé.
Anton Bruckner: Symphony No. 9 in D Minor. Second movement [excerpt]. Berliner Philharmoniker, Günter Wand.
Dmitri Shostakovich: Quintet in G minor for Piano and Strings, Op. 57 [first movement]. Juilliard String Quartet with Yefim Bronfman, piano.
Pianist Emanuel Ax on why not clapping between movements has to go: "I've been saying for many, many years now, that the whole convention of not clapping between movements has to go; it's got to go out the window. There are very few pieces that were meant to be played that way in the repertoire that I know. Certainly nothing of Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Schumann, any of these people, was meant to be played without applause between movements. The composer writes the piece that way, my goodness. How can you conceive, actually, if you're giving way to how you feel about the music, how can you conceive of hearing the Emperor Concerto, getting to the end of the first movement and not applauding? It just doesn't make sense to me. It's denying what you want to do. I think the idea of telling people when to applaud, there is something wrong with that."
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Eugene Onegin [excerpt]. Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. John Alldis Choir. Sir Georg Solti.
Frederic Chopin: Andante Spianato and Grande Polonaise Brillante for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 22 [excerpt]. Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. Sir Charles Mackerras. Emanuel Ax, piano.
John Adams: Shaker Loops "A Final Shaking". Orchestra of St. Luke's. John Adams.
Billy Strayhorn: "Take the 'A' Train". Oscar Peterson, piano.
Johannes Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 2. First movement [excerpt]. Boston Symphony Orchestra. Bernard Haitink. Emanuel Ax, piano.
Igor Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring [excerpt]. New York Philharmonic Orchestra. Zubin Mehta.
Critic of the New Yorker Alex Ross on John Cage's music as a philosophical exercise: "It was, I think, an exercise that Cage performed, after so much noisy music, after the first half of the 20th century, with all these explosions of dissonance and so on. He said 'Well, let's go to the other extreme. Let's see what happens if the performer does absolutely nothing and we listen to the sounds of the room.' It's not actually a silent piece. It's about the performers making no sound, and everyone focusing in on whatever else happens to be making noise in any given moment. And it's, you know, as much a philosophical exercise as a piece of music, but it has a very serious intent to it."
Olivier Messiaen: Des Canyons aux Étoiles "Zion Park and the Celestial City" [excerpt]. Asko Ensemble, Schönberg Ensemble, Slagwerkgroep Den Haag. Reinbert de Leeuw.
Richard Strauss: Salome "Ah! Ich habe deinen Mund geküsst, Jochanaan". Vienna
Philharmonic. Herbert von Karajan. Hildegard Behrens, soprano. Karl-
Walter Böhm, tenor.
John Adams: Nixon in China "This is Prophetic!" [excerpt]. Orchestra of St. Luke's. Edo de Waart. Carolann Page, soprano.
Hanns Eisler: Der heimliche Aufmarsch. Ernst Busch, vocalist. Pläne 88642.
Björk: Vespertine "An Echo, a Stain". Björk, vocalist.
Morton Feldman: Madame Press Died Last Week at Ninety. Orchestra of St. Luke's. John Adams.
Former President of Brazil Fernando Henrique Cardoso on the Samba vs. the Tango: "The tango is dramatic but the tango is waiting for disaster. The Argentineans have the Hispanic sense of tragedy. It's a passion capable to kill. Brazil is the opposite. The samba is basically about love and we are waiting for a good life. And Brazilians prefer not to kill."
Heitor Villa-Lobos: Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5 for Soprano and 8 Cellos [excerpt]. Orchestre National de la Radiodiffusion Française. Heitor Villa-Lobos, conductor. Victoria de los Angeles, soprano.
Johann Sebastian Bach: Cello Suite No. l in G major, BWV 1007. Prelude. Mstislav Rostropovich, cello.
Giacomo Puccini: Madame Butterfly. "Un bel die, vedremo." Philharmonia Orchestra. Lorin Maazel. Renata Scotto.
Vincenzo Bellini: Norma "Casta diva." Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra. Tullio Serafin. Maria Callas, soprano.
Caetano Veloso: "Lua de São Jorge" [excerpt].
Johannes Brahms: A German Requiem, Op. 45 [excerpt]. Philharmonia Orchestra and Chorus. Otto Klemperer.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Symphony No. 40 in G minor, KV550 [fourth movement]. Berlin Philharmonic. Karl Böhm.
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."
Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat Major, Op. 19. Berlin Philharmonic. Ferdinand Leitner. Wilhelm Kempff, piano.
Leonard Bernstein: West Side Story: Prologue.
Johannes Brahms: Symphony No. 3 in F major, Op. 90. Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Sir George Solti.
Philip Glass: Einstein on the Beach: "Building." The Philip Glass Ensemble.
Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 in D minor, op 125. Berlin Philharmonic. Herbert von Karajan. Janet Perry, Soprano; Agnes Baltsa, Contralto; Vinson Cole, Tenor; José van Dam, Baritone. Wiener Singverein.
States Court of Appeals Justice Diane Wood on the first oboe solo she played with an orchestra: "The reason I picked the Marcello Oboe Concerto is because this is the first oboe solo I ever played with a full orchestra behind me. I had taken up the oboe at a somewhat older age when I was in my late 30s and had painstakingly brought up my ability to play and began to play with orchestras. And I love the baroque style. I love this particular concerto because it means a lot to me – my oboe teacher selected it for me and the second movement in particular I find quite lovely."
Alessandro Marcello: Oboe Concerto. Academy of London. Richard Stamp. Ray Still.
Johann Sebastian Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 1. Academy of St. Martin-in-the Fields. Neville Marriner.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Don Giovanni "Madamina". Vienna Philharmonic. Josef Krips. Fernando Corena.
Robert Wright and George Forrest (based on themes of Alexander Borodin): Kismet: "And This is My Beloved." London Symphony. Paul Gemignani. Ruth Ann Swenson, Samuel Ramey, Dom De Luise, Jerry Hadley.
Antonin Dvorák: Symphony No. 9 "From the New World." Vienna Philharmonic. Herbert von Karajan.
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov: Sheherazade. Mariinsky Orchestra. Valery Gergiev.
Choreographer Paul Taylor on how Handel fit into very modern dance: "I liked the idea of using Handel because at that time – this was like middle 60s – modern choreographers were supposed to use modern music. And very little had been done to Baroque music. And being young, me, and kind of cheeky, I thought it would be fun and kind of like a slap in the face to those people who thought that modern dance had to be restricted to modern music, in the kind of modern at that time was Béla Bartók or Wallingford Rieger or – you know, which is fine, but I wanted to be different."
George Frederick Handel: Jephtha, HWV 70 Sinfonia. English Baroque Soloists. John Eliot
Astor Piazzolla: Escualo. Gidon Kremer, violin; Friedrich Lips, bajan; Svjatoslav Lips,
piano; Vladimir Tonkha, cello; Mark Pekarsky, percussion.
Edward Elgar: Serenade for String Orchestra in E minor, Op. 20 and Elegy for String
Orchestra, Op. 58 (with loon calls).
Johann Sebastian Bach: Chorale-Prelude 'Giant Fugue' "Wir glauben all' an einen Gott"
BWV 680. Transcribed for orchestra by Leopold Stokowski. Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Robert Pikler.
Arcangelo Corelli: Excerpts from various Concerti Grossi combined with Malloy Miller
Prelude for Percussion.
George Frederick Handel: Concerto Grosso No. 2 in B-flat major, Op 3. Largo. English Baroque Soloists. John Eliot Gardiner.
Gustav Mahler: "Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen" from Rückertlieder. Berlin Philharmonic. Karl Böhm. Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, baritone.
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."
Sergei Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 3. New York Philharmonic. Eugene Ormandy. Vladimir Horowitz, piano.
Sergei Prokofiev: Violin Concerto No. 1 in D major, Op. 19. Montreal Symphony Orchestra. Charles Dutoit. Joshua Bell, violin.
Amanda McBroom: "Ship in a Bottle". Barbara Cook.
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64. Vienna Philharmonic. Valery Gergiev.
Keb' Mo': "City Boy". Keb' Mo'.
Michael Tippett: Concerto for Double String Orchestra. Second movement [excerpt]. Scottish Chamber Orchestra. Michael Tippett. Virgin Classics 90701-2.
Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 5. Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela. Gustavo Dudamel.
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."
Igor Stravinsky: Les Noces. English Bach Festival Percussion Ensemble. Leonard Bernstein. Pianos: Martha Argerich, Krystian Zimerman, Cyprien Katsaris, Homero Francesch.
Richard Wagner: Parsifal. Excerpt from Vorspiel. Bayreuth Festival Orchestra. Pierre
Arnold Schoenberg : Pierrot Lunaire, Op. 21. Nos. 8 & 9. Ensemble InterContemporain. Pierre Boulez. Christine Schäfer.
Gustav Mahler : Symphony No. 3. Vienna Philharmonic. Pierre Boulez. Anne Sofie von Otter.
Pierre Boulez : Sur Incises. Ensemble InterContemporain. Pierre Boulez.
Frank Zappa: "Dupree's Paradise". Ensemble InterContemporain. Pierre Boulez.
Anton Webern: Five Movements, Op. 5. (Version for String Orchestra) No. 5. Berlin Philharmonic. Pierre Boulez.