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Music

‘If Summoned, I Will Try to Be of Use’

Christopher Rouse in 2013 (via YouTube)

In a Music for a While earlier this month, I included a Gershwin song, “Who Cares?” I had thought of the song while writing something political. In my new Music for a While, I have another Gershwin song: “They Can’t Take That Away from Me.” I mentioned it in a political post last week.

The new episode begins with Bach, arranged by Jean Guillou, the late organist (and played by him). “Just under four minutes of pure joy,” I call it. (Indeed, the title of the episode is “Pure Joy.”) I also have a story or two and a couple of tributes. One is to Myron Bloom, a great French-horn player, who passed away this month. Another is to Christopher Rouse, a composer, who also passed away this month.

He wrote out a statement, to be released after his death.

Without music, my life would have had no meaning. It has not only informed my life or enriched my life; it has GIVEN me life and a reason for living. . . .

My hope has been to do for my listeners what Beethoven and Berlioz and Bruckner and Ibert and all of those others did, and still do, for me. I’ve wished to “pay it forward” by inviting listeners to call on me to enter their hearts and their lives and to allow me the honor of accompanying them on their road through life. If summoned, I will try to be of use: to sing you a song, to paint you a picture, to tell you a story. Perhaps we can take a journey together. . . .

So, a mix of music, personalities, and ideas.  Again, that new episode is here.

P.S. For a review of Friday night’s New York Philharmonic concert, go here. That concert was actually an operatic double-bill: Erwartung (Schoenberg) and Bluebeard’s Castle (Bartók). Two one-acters, a walk (two walks) on the dark side.

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