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Studs Terkel interviews Tito Gobbi on his interpretation of Verdi. He also gets an interpretation of Gobbi's own music.
Presenting music and discussing the tuba with tubists Arnold Jacobs, Harvey Phillips, Fritz Kaenzig, and Richard Frazier. This mixdown includes recorded and live music in the last three minutes.
Placido Domingo discusses his career as a tenor singer and conductor, including his role in the film "Otello" directed by Franco Zeffirelli and based on the opera by Giuseppe Verdi.
Jazz pianist Oscar Peterson sits down with Studs Terkel to discuss historical developments in jazz piano, his own personal development as a pianist, and his experience directing a youth jazz piano school. Includes Peterson playing short excerpts from "Chicago (that toddlin' town)," "Soon," Chopin's Nocturne in E flat Major to demonstrate musical concepts.
Studs interviews Ned Rorem about his work and book "An Absolute Gift." Rorem discusses his work and how his Quaker background has influenced his work. He reflects on poets and other composers. Rorem shares the people and events that have influenced him and the arts. The musical recordings are not included in this edited version of the original.
Celebrated young tenor Giuseppe Sabbatini discusses his upcoming performance as Alfredo in "Traviata" at the Lyric Opera as well as beginnings, church music, debuts with little/no rehearsal and more.
The day before their concert performance at North Park College, the Shanghai Quartet was at the WFMT studios. Betty Bucchari explained her job was to search for great musicians that were not well-known. The Li brothers were destined to play the violins, as their parents were music teachers for 15 years.
Marilyn Horne talks about her music career and her upcoming perfomance in "Rinaldo" at the Chicago Opera Theater
Marian Anderson talks about her singing career, including her singing in Sunday School and her first singing experience in 4th grade. She shares how she interprets the songs she sings. Includes Studs reading the poem "Gertrude" by Gwendolyn Brooks. The interview takes place in Anderson's suite in the Sheraton Blackstone in Chicago.
Marian Anderson recalls singing on stage for the first time at the Metropolitan Opera House in 1957 and how it was the realization of a dream come true. Marion's nephew, James DePreist remembers being able to conduct a piece of music he had never conducted before because his aunt Marion had exposed him to it when he was a child. James said when his aunt Marion sung spirituals, he couldn't help but feel religious and he's an atheist.
Author Madeleine L'Engle discusses her novel "A Severed Wasp," about a retired concert pianist (Katherine Forrester, who appeared in L'Engle's first novel, "The Small Rain") who puts on a benefit concert at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine at the request of her old friend, Felix Bodeway. Like Katherine, L'Engle is a pianist and the interview is interspersed with Bach fugues throughout. In addition to discussing the plot, Terkel and L'Engle discuss several of the book's characters and their histories and motivations.
Now retired from singing opera, when Madame Lotte Lehmann is not traveling around Europe, she teaches, what she says, are the best students she has encountered, at Northwestern University. Lehmann explains her hope is to not only teach but to inspire singers to be larger than life and to bring out their own personalities in a song.
Being a Pisces, Pavarotti says he's always looking for perfection. He admits the biggest critic of his work is himself. Pavarotti said that he loves the charm of the French language and he likes to learn new languages. He talks of recording some music in Russian. Being able to reach those high C notes, Pavarotti says, is the most athletic part of his voice.
Pavarotti recalls his meeting with the Pope was very special. Singing "Ave Maria" for him was like God lit up, explained Pavarotti. There are more younger people in the audience, said Pavarotti. They're very surprised that opera's so beautiful, as they believed it was an old fashioned thing.
Instead of being called "The King of the High C's," Pavarotti would rather be known as "The King of the Bel Canto". Pavarotti said he didn't have the greatest of enthusiasm prior to performing his first concert. However, it ended up being a phenomenal experience, he said. A great singer, Pavarotti added, is very human and romantic. One needs to feel what one's singing and lastly, one must be a beautiful person inside.