Saturday, December 13, 2008

Sir Charles Mackerras - Naxos podcast review

Naxos Classical Music Spotlight Podcast is more than a promotional podcast. It does more than a promotional podcast. Even if each episode is to publicize a new CD that is out at the company, the podcast almost always manages to bring in some added value. The added value comes to the extent it is even valuable listening to the podcast even if you are not considering a purchase. Even if you are only remotely interested in the music discussed.

Personally I am fascinated by conductors. So when Naxos interviewed the conductor Sir Charles Mackerras, I rushed in to listen. Even though Mackerras is in his eighties, he is still working and he is also sharp and engaging in his remarks about the music he was involved with in his life. As must be the case with conductors, his attention goes from the playing of the various instruments, to the history of music and naturally to the question of how pieces of music need to be interpreted. His contribution to the performance of the music of Mozart, Handel, Janacek and Strauss are discussed.

In addition, the interview receives the quality of a history podcast with his personal witness of the communist coup of 1948 in Czechoslovakia. Sir Charles had come to Europe to study and wound up in Prague, right after the war, when affairs had settled. However, as it turned out, he had to leave soon, as the communists ceased power. Not only did the atmosphere change from day to day, but also his teachers had fallen out of favor. For a moment this worked to Sir Charles's advantage though. Listen and find out.

Previously about the Naxos podcast:
Pictures at an Exhibition,
Hildegard von Bingen.

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