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.
Surgeon THOMAS SCULCO on meeting Vladimir Horowitz:
"And I'll never forget this, he extended his hand to me and I looked at him and I said, 'Mr. Horowitz, aren't you concerned that I might crush your fingers by shaking your hand?' And he looked at me and said, 'Well, Dr. Sculco, you're a surgeon, aren't you?' I said 'Yes.' He said, 'Well, you have as much respect for your hands as I have for mine, so I have no problem shaking your hands.'"
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Symphony No. 40 in G minor, L.550. First movement. Sir Charles Mackerras. Prague Chamber Orchestra.
Johann Nepomuk Hummel: Trumpet Concerto in E flat. Third movement. Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields. Sir Neville Marriner. Håkan Hardenberger, trumpet.
Sergei Rachmaninoff: Prelude in G major, Op. 32 No. 5. Vladimir Horowitz, piano.
Traditional Neapolitan Song: "Core 'ngrato". Giuseppe Di Stefano, soloist.
Anton Bruckner: Symphony No. 8 in C minor. Third movement [excerpt]. Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. Herbert von Karajan.
Richard Wagner: Siegfried [excerpt]. Orchestra of the Bayreuth Festival. Clemens Krauss. Wolfgang Windgassen, tenor; Astrid Varnay, soprano.
Soprano DIANA DAMRAU on singing duets with her 6-year old brother:
"I received as a Christmas present a CD of Turandot with Sutherland, Caballé and Pavarotti. And with my little brother, he was six years old, and I was six years older than him, we sang Turandot up and down the duets. Our neighbors were at the windows, listening and watching and trying to figure out what happened to these children? It was wonderful."
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Die Zauberflöte, "Der Hölle Rache". Le Cercle de l'Harmonie. Jérémie Rhorer. Diana Damrau, soprano.
Antonio Salieri: L'Europa riconosciuta "Numi, respiro…Ah, lo sento" [excerpt]. Le Cercle de l'Harmonie. Jérémie Rhorer. Diana Damrau, soprano.
Giacomo Puccini: Turandot "Principessa di morte". London Philharmonic Orchestra. Zubin Mehta. Joan Sutherland, soprano. Luciano Pavarotti, tenor.
Edvard Grieg: Peer Gynt Suites "Morning Mood". Berlin Philharmonic. Herbert von Karajan.
Michael Jackson: "Thriller" [excerpt].
Francis Poulenc: Gloria "Qui seds ad dexteram Patris" [excerpt]. Boston Symphony Orchestra. Tanglewood Festival Chorus. Seiji Ozawa. Kathleen Battle, soprano.
Frederic Chopin: "Revolutionary Etude". Vladimir Horowitz, piano.
Banker STEPHEN SCHWARTZMAN on total immersion into classical music:
"Between my sophomore and junior year in college I had been playing touch football and I slipped, fell down, and separated my shoulder. So I wasn't going to be able to have any activity that summer. So I decided to take on a project of learning classical music. I decided to listen to literally every composer and I started with Gregorian chants."
Gregorian Chant: "Gloria". Benedictine Monks of St. Michael's de Laudes. Dom Julio Fernandez. The Monks of the Benedictine Abbey of St. Benoit. Albert Rhuland. The Ambrosian Singers. Denis Stevens.
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake [excerpt]. Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre. Valery Gergiev.
Johannes Brahms: Concerto for Violin and Orchestra [last movement]. Philadelphia Orchestra. Eugene Ormandy. Isaac Stern.
Bee Gees: "Stayin' Alive". Bee Gees.
Rod Stewart/Martin Quittenton: "Maggie May". Rod Stewart.
Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 "Choral" [conclusion]. London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. Bernard Haitink. Twyla Robinson, Karen Cargill, John Mac Master, Gerald Finley.
Architect RAFAEL VIÑOLY on Martha Argerich's "ownership" of Chopin:
"Chopin Preludes have an enormous well of extraordinary interpreters in history. But for me, Martha Argerich is the epitome of interpretation for my taste. It is a very rare occasion when a pianist really appropriates the ownership of the music in a way that goes beyond interpretation, and I think that Martha plays these pieces as if she had composed them."
Frederic Chopin: Preludes (24) for Piano, op. 28. [Nos. 8, 10, & 16] Martha Argerich, piano.
Hector Berlioz : Le Spectre de la rose. Songs for voice & piano or orchestra (Les Nuits d'eté), H. 83, Op. 7/2. New Philharmonia Orchestra. Sir John Barbirolli. Dame Janet Baker, mezzo.
Luciano Berio: Thema (Omaggio a Joyce).
Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, op. 37. [Second Movement] Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Sir Georg Solti. Vladimir Ashkenazy, piano.
Anibal Troilo and Roberto Grela: "Madame Ivonne" [Tango].
Johannes Brahms: Trio for Violin, Horn & Piano in E flat major, op. 40. [Second Movement] Vladimir Ashkenazy, piano. Itzhak Perlman, violin. Barry Tuckwell, horn.
Best-selling author KEN FOLLETT on happiness and Mozart:
"If you had to pick the person who has brought the most happiness to the most people in the history of the human race, it would have to be Mozart. All those tunes, such good tunes, such a variety of tunes. Mozart is probably the greatest man ever, in my pantheon. His music is like a fix, there's a rush. It makes you want to jump up and say, 'Yes! Life is just terrific, isn't it? Thank you, Mozart!'"
George Frideric Handel: Messiah. Excerpt. Academy and Chorus of St. Martin in the Fields. Sir Neville Marriner. Jerry Hadley.
Willie Dixon: "(I'm Your) Hoochie Coochie Man". Stranger than Fiction Album. Ken Follett (lead vocal, bass, acoustic guitar).
Ludwig van Beethoven: Für Elise. Vladimir Ashkenazy, Piano. Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Sir Georg Solti.
Attorney ALAN DERSHOWITZ on discovering opera at the Met for 50 cents:
"Early in my life, I fell in love with opera. For a nickel, I got right on the train in Borough Park in Brooklyn, and I was at 40th Street and the Metropolitan Opera in no time at all. In those days, if you had a score of the opera with you, you could get in for $.50. I couldn't read music, but I went to the library, the public library, and I borrowed scores of operas and was given chairs with lights over them. I must have gone to fifteen or twenty operas that way and I just fell in love with the Met and continue to go to opera all the time."
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64. Fourth Movement: Coda. Vienna Philharmonic. Valery Gergiev.
George Gershwin: Porgy & Bess. "Summertime." 1951 Studio Recording conducted by Lehman Engel. June McMechen.
Guiseppe Verdi: Don Carlo "Dio, che nell'alma infondere amor." Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra. Carlo Maria Giulini. Sherill Milnes. Placido Domingo.
Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 2 in C minor. Fifth Movement, excerpt. Vienna Philharmonic. Gilbert Kaplan. Wiener Singverein. Latonia Moore. Nadja Michael.
Cantor Moshe Koussevitzky: "Akavya Ben Mahalalel".
Ludwig van Beethoven: In questa tomba oscura, WoO 133. Arietta for voice and piano (or orchestra). Philharmonia Orchestra. Pierino Gamba. Luciano Pavarotti.
Guiseppe Verdi: Requiem. Excerpt. Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Herbert von Karajan. Wiener Singverein. Mirella Freni, Christa Ludwig, Carlo Cossutta and Nicolai Ghiaurov.