The Corner

Leonard Cohen

Andrew, I have something you may be interested in. A few years ago, I did a public interview of Markus Hinterhäuser, then director of concerts at the Salzburg Festival. This is pretty much the most prestigious festival in the world. And I said to him, “Is there anyone you can’t get? Johnny Carson used to say that the one guest he most wanted was the one he couldn’t get: Cary Grant. Do you have a Cary Grant?”

Hinterhäuser said, “Yes. Leonard Cohen.” That was an answer that absolutely stunned me. Hinterhäuser never missed a chance to hear Cohen, and those chances were rare, he implied.

I’m sorry I didn’t know about the MSG concert, Andrew. (This has nothing to do with Chinese food.) I have never heard Cohen — except on YouTube, this second. “Hallelujah,” indeed (though one may prefer Handel).

P.S. I ought to say that there has never been non-classical music at the Salzburg Festival (though they might give Plácido Domingo an evening of zarzuela, let’s say). This is what made Hinterhäuser’s response so stunning. He really, really wanted Cohen. Had the highest regard for him.


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