The Corner

Tutti per Muti

Riccardo Muti, the venerable conductor, has rolled into New York to lead his Chicago Symphony Orchestra in two concerts at Carnegie Hall. I seized the chance to do a podcast with him — a Q&A, here. When I arrived at his suite, he was frustrated because he was not getting reception on his cellphone. (An antique job, not a smartphone.) And the landline in the suite was too difficult to use, with its codes and so on.

“I can read twelve lines of counterpoint,” said Muti, “but I can’t use a phone like that.”

In our podcast, we cover the waterfront, or a fair stretch of it: Muti’s life; the nature of music; our society today. He has a lot to impart, this man. One of his mentors was Nino Rota, whom most of us Americans know as the composer of the Godfather music. At the end, Muti pays tribute to Mozart, his lifelong companion, and that of millions.

Muti is famous for, among other things, a glorious head of hair (which is no disadvantage to a conductor). We talk about this for a bit. Muti uses the phrase “la forza del destino.” It’s a matter of destiny. In acknowledgement of this remark, I end the podcast with Muti conducting the overture to La forza del destino, Verdi’s opera.

A leisurely and enjoyable hour, I think you’ll find. Again, here.

By the way, I should explain the heading of this blogpost. When Muti took over the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1980, the orchestra dressed in T-shirts that said “Tutti per Muti,” or “Everyone for Muti.” The photo went ’round the world. I’ve never forgotten it, as you can see.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More