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.
Film Director WILLIAM FRIEDKIN on discovering classical music:
“There was something very strange emanating from the radio that I had never heard before. It sounded otherworldly. It sounded like it was coming from the planets or somewhere else. And it was a performance of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. And it just completely captivated me. I stopped driving, I pulled over to the side and listened to this, and it was an absolutely life-changing experience.”
Igor Stravinsky: Le Sacre du printemps. (Excerpt – concluding minutes) The London Philharmonic, Kent Nagano.
Dmitri Shostakovich: Symphony No. 11 in G minor, Op. 103 'The Year 1905'. (Excerpt from Second Movement) London Symphony Orchestra, Mstislav Rostropovich.
Sergei Prokofiev: Toccata, op. 11 Martha Argerich, piano.
Johann Sebastian Bach: Cantata No. 147, "Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben," BWV 147. (Choral: "Jesu Bleibet Meine Freude" ["Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring"]) Dinu Lipatti, piano.
Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67 (Fourth Movement) Vienna Philharmonic, Carlos Kleiber.
Former Israel Prime Minister EHUD BARAK on playing Chopin just before meeting Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat:
"I met Arafat for the first time in my life when I was a foreign minister. I had to wait some half an hour. I looked around and I saw a very lovely brown grand piano. So I sat down, I ordered my security guy to be close enough to the door to avoid surprises and I played the Military Polonaise of Chopin. In the middle of it, the security man noted to me, 'Arafat is coming.' I
found myself stopping it immediately, closing the piano and running to the entrance and this was my first meeting with Arafat."
Felix Mendelssohn: Lieder ohne Worte [Songs without Words]. Opus 30, No. 3 in E major. "Consolation". Daniel Barenboim, piano.
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D major, Op. 35. Second Movement. Philadelphia Orchestra; Eugene Ormandy; Isaac Stern, violin.
Ludwig van Beethoven: Sonata No. 23, Op. 57 in F minor "Appassionata". Third Movement. Murray Perahia, piano.
Scott Joplin: Piano Rags. "The Entertainer". Joshua Rifkin, Piano.
Johann Sebastian Bach/Charles Gounod: Lyrics: Noa "Ave Maria". From NOA. Achinoam Nini (aka Noa).
Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 8 in E flat major "Symphony of a Thousand". "Chorus Mysticus". Chicago Symphony Orchestra; Sir Georg Solti; Vienna Boys' Choir; Vienna State Opera Chorus; Vienna Singverein; Heather Harper, Lucia Popp & Arleen Auger, sopranos; Yvonne Minton & Helen Watts, contraltos; René Kollo, tenor; John Shirley-Quirk, baritone; Martti Talvela, bass.
Paul Anka, Claude François, Jacques Revaux, Gilles Thibault: "My Way." Frank Sinatra.
Editor FAREED ZAKARIA on the power of Puccini's Turandot:
"I remember Pavarotti singing 'Nessun dorma!' from Turandot which has this one line: Il mio mistero accuse elmero -- my secret is locked up in me. There's something very moving about the lyrics, the music. It's the kind of thing that you listen to late at night, when somebody's broken your heart. It's the kind of thing you listen to when perhaps you've had one glass of wine too many. Even today, even though I've heard it hundreds and thousands of times, it still moves me."
Ludwig van Beethoven: Egmont, Op. 84. Excerpt from Overture. Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Wilhelm Furtwängler.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Don Giovanni. "Il mio tesoro intanto" Jussi Björling. Frederick Schauwecker, Piano.
Giacomo Puccini: Turandot. "Nessun dorma!" London Philharmonic. Zubin Mehta. Luciano Pavarotti.
Gustav Mahler: Das Lied von der Erde. Excerpt from "Das Trinklied vom Jammer der Erde." Philharmonia Orchestra and New Philharmonia Orchestra. Otto Klemperer. Christa Ludwig. Fritz Wunderlich.
Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 23 in F minor, Op. 57 "Appassionata" Excerpt. Alfred Brendel.
Lata Mangeshkar: "Allah Tero Naam, Ishwar Tero Naam."
Joseph Haydn: The Creation, excerpt. Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Vienna Singverein. Herbert von Karajan. Gundula Janowitz, Soprano. Walter Berry, Bass.
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. Berliner Philharmoniker. Herbert von Karajan.
Jean Sibelius: Symphony No. 1 in E major, OP. 39. Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks. Mariss Jansons.
Richard Strauss: Ein Heldenleben, OP. 40. Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Mariss Jansons.
Igor Stravinsky: The Firebird Suite. London Symphony Orchestra. Leopold Stokowski.
Dmitri Shostakovich: Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk. London Philharmonic Orchestra. Ambrosian Opera Chorus. Mstislav Rostropovich.
Ella Fitzgerald: "Stairway to the Stars."
Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 1 in D major. Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Leonard Bernstein.
Director of the Museum of Modern Art GLENN LOWRY on the need to take musical risks:
"There are the rare moments when a performer gets an insight that compels us to rethink the way we understand a work. And one of the great examples of that, to me at least, is Glenn Gould's performance of the Piano Concerto No. 1 by Brahms in a recording that is absolutely mesmerizing. We should always give our sympathy, our understanding to performers who are willing to take risks."
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Don Giovanni. Overture. Philharmonia Orchestra. Carlo Maria Giulini.
Thomas Tallis: Spem in alium. The Sixteen. Harry Christophers.
Johannes Brahms: Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15. Excerpt. New York Philharmonic Orchestra. Leonard Bernstein. Glenn Gould.
Nick Drake: "River Man."
Richard Wagner: Tannhäuser. "O du mein holder Abendstern" ["Song to the Evening Star"] Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. James Levine. Bryn Terfel.
Georges Bizet: Les Pêcheurs de Perles [The Pearl Fishers]. Excerpt. RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra. Renato Cellini. Jussi Björling. Robert Merrill.
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.