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.
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.
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."
Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, op. 37. Alfred Brendel, piano. Chicago Symphony Orchestra. James Levine.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Mass in C minor, K.427. "Et incarnatus est" from the Credo. Barbara Bonney, soprano. Berlin Philharmonic. Claudio Abbado.
Robert Schumann: Cello Concerto. Yo-Yo Ma, cello. Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. Sir Colin Davis.
Antonio Carlos Jobim: The Girl From Ipanema. Stan Getz, tenor saxophone. Astrud and João Gilberto, vocal.
Johannes Brahms: Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D major, Op. 77. Isaac Stern, violin. New York Philharmonic Orchestra. Zubin Mehta.