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.
Conductor MARISS JANSONS on how to avoid problems with orchestras: "First, I think, you should know what you really want, how this piece should sound. You should have an interpretation model and you should know the sound model. You must come prepared completely 100%, and know what you want from your musicians. When you start too much improvisation, people feel, oh, he's not sure, you immediately lose your authority."
Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 7 in A major, OP. 92 [excerpt]. Berliner Philharmoniker. Herbert von Karajan.
Jean Sibelius: Symphony No. 1 in E major, OP. 39 [excerpt]. Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks. Mariss Jansons.
Richard Strauss: Ein Heldenleben, OP. 40 [excerpt]. Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Mariss Jansons.
Igor Stravinsky: The Firebird Suite. London Symphony Orchestra. Leopold Stokowski.
Dmitri Shostakovich: Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk [excerpt]. London Philharmonic Orchestra. Ambrosian Opera Chorus. Mstislav Rostropovich.
Ella Fitzgerald: "Stairway to the Stars."
Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 1 in D major [excerpt]. Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Leonard Bernstein.
Former Chief Executive of Sony SIR HOWARD STRINGER on his trumpet solo mistake: "By the time I was seventeen, I was first trumpet in the school orchestra and we were going to be recorded playing the Messiah and obviously the trumpet part in the Messiah is quite tricky. I played the solo, 'The trumpet shall sound,' and I had played it in rehearsal that morning and I got it perfectly. And then [in the concert] came the moment when I stood up to play the solo for 'The trumpet shall sound' and I got half way through it and I blew up. My lip went. I just sagged. And it was heartbreaking."
George Frederic Handel: Messiah. "The trumpet shall sound" Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Sir Thomas Beecham. Jon Vickers.
Benjamin Britten: A Ceremony of Carols, Op. 28 [excerpt]. Cambridge King's College Choir. Sir David Willcocks. James Clark and Julian Godlee, trebles.
Giacomo Puccini: Tosca. "Vissi d'arte" La Scala Orchestra. Victor de Sabata. Maria Callas.
Domenico Scarlatti: Sonata in E major, K.380 (L.23) Vladimir Horowitz.
Freddie Mercury: "Bohemian Rhapsody." Freddie Mercury and Queen.Hector Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Op. 14 [Conclusion]. Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Paavo Järvi.
Actor ALEC BALDWIN on why he doesn't connect to Mozart: "This is going to sound blasphemous in a way, I would imagine some people are going to cringe, but I think the person who I listen to the least is Mozart. For some reason, I just don't respond as much to Mozart's music. Again, I don't hate it, but I would much rather have a dark, brooding piece from Mahler or Beethoven than the gaiety of some of Mozart's music."
Hector Berlioz : Symphonie fantastique, Op. 14. "March to the Scaffold."
Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 6. [Excerpt from Movement 1].
Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 4. [Excerpt from Movement 4].
Cy Coleman and Carolyn Leigh: "Firefly."
Frederic Chopin: Impromptu for Piano No. 4, Op. 66 "Fantaisie-Impromptu."
Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 9. [Excerpts from Movements 3 & 4].
Aaron Copland: Rodeo: Hoe-Down.
Former West German Chancellor HELMUT SCHMIDT compares conductors Leonard Bernstein and Herbert von Karajan: "Bernstein was a man interested in politics. He wanted to know about the world. He had a philosophical mind. Karajan had a knack for high technology and he flew his own airplane, he sailed his own yacht. A man of unbelievable self-discipline. Lenny Bernstein had no discipline, except when the concert had begun."
Johann Sebastian Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D, BWV 1050. First Movement.
Johann Sebastian Bach: Goldberg Variations.
Giuseppe Verdi: Nabucco. "Va pensiero" (Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves).
George Frideric Handel: Water Music, HWV 348-350.
Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 in D minor, op. 125 [excerpt].
Johann Sebastian Bach: Concerto for 4 Pianos and Strings in A minor, BWV 1065. Third Movement.
John Lennon and Paul McCartney: Yesterday.
Conductor ZUBIN MEHTA on being ready to conduct Bruckner: "Karajan once told me that you cannot conduct a Bruckner symphony unless you're at least 80 years old, and I told him, yes, but you didn't say that when you were 40, did you!"
Richard Wagner: Tristan und Isolde. "Liebestod."
Ludwig van Beethoven: Concerto for Violin in D major, Op. 61.
Edward Elgar: Cello Concerto in E minor, Op. 85 [excerpt].
"Raga Mishra Piloo" adapted by Ravi Shankar.
Johannes Brahms: Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98 [excerpt].
Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 5 [excerpt].
Former FBI Agent ROBERT WITTMAN on how Chopin influenced his decision to become an art sleuth: "I was playing the Fantaisie Impromptu and while I was playing, I thought there's a couple of cases I had worked on earlier in my career; and the ones that were most important to me where I got the most self-satisfaction were the cases where I was able to recover artwork, cultural property, that belongs to all of us throughout the world, not just to museums or collectors but to humanity, and all generations past and to come. As I was playing, the music really swept me away at the moment and made a decision for me."
Frederic Chopin: Fantaisie-Impromptu.
Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5 "Emperor". Second movement [excerpt].
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Piano Sonata No. 11 "Alla Turca."
Angus Young and Malcolm Young: "Thunderstruck" [excerpt].
Franz Liszt: Hungarian Rhapsody for piano No. 2 [excerpt].
Modest Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition.
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.