The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #90211   Message #3954719
Posted By: Steve Shaw
04-Oct-18 - 04:58 PM
Thread Name: Classical music - what makes you listen?
Subject: RE: Classical music - what makes you listen?
The last night of the Proms in 2001 occurred four days after 9-11. The usually rumpus-ridden second half was completely rejigged into a sombre affair with Barber's Adagio at its heart. Towards the end there was a defiant performance of the finale of Beethoven's Choral Symphony (conducted by Leonard Slatkin). The previous evening featured Verdi's Requiem, dedicated to the victims. I remember well the rather rumbustious performance of the Choral conducted by Lenny Bernstein in Berlin after the fall of the Berlin Wall. In the Ode To Joy finale he directed the choir to sing “Freiheit” (freedom) instead of “Freude” (joy). There's a great photo of Lenny, fag in mouth, hammer in hand, chipping away at that wall. I think I've already mentioned Slava Rostropovich's angry and tearful rendering of Dvorak's Cello Concerto in London on the day the Russian tanks rolled into Prague. Music adding to history!

Leonard Slatkin's dad, Felix, was a member of the Hollywood String Quartet, a bunch of musicians used to playing film music. But that quartet got together and made one of the most memorable set of recordings of Beethoven's late string quartets ever. To me, that's the greatest music of all.