Friday, February 24, 2023

Saturday 9

Saturday 9 -- Mahler: Symphony No. 8 (1968)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) Mahler's No. 8 is sometimes referred to as "Symphony of a Thousand" because it was scored for a large orchestra and choral force. Do you often listen to classical music? No, no. Never, never. Nuh-uh-uh. 

2) This piece has solos for each of the main vocal ranges: soprano, alto, tenor, bass. Do you know which range your voice is in? In junior high, my music teacher declared me an alto. But I think that's simply because she needed more sound from that part of the choir. I'm tone deaf and can't carry a note in a bucket.

Photo by The Nix Company on Unsplash
3) Historians tell us Mahler kept fit by swimming and riding his bike along the Alpine trails. What's your favorite form of exercise? In December I began doing yoga. I'm not good at it (at all!) and I don't really enjoy it yet. But while I don't like doing it, I like having done it. I'm proud of my commitment to getting myself to the studio and I like how much better my back feels.

 4) Mahler could be difficult to work with because when it came to his music, he was a stickler over even the most minor details and wouldn't give an inch. Would you rather work as part of a team or on your own? I was a writer by trade and that's a rather solitary endeavor. There were parts of my job where I enjoyed collaborating (like brainstorms), but for the most part I thrived on my own.

5) This week's featured artist, Leonard Bernstein, said his father didn't want him to pursue music. Instead the elder Bernstein wanted his son to either join the family business (a beauty supply company) or become a rabbi. Did your family try to influence your choice of career? No. I don't recall ever discussing it with my dad at all, and my mom just wanted me to be happy.

6) Bernstein's best-known work is West Side Story. Without looking it up, can you name a song from this beloved Broadway classic? "When you're a Jet, you're a Jet all the way from your first cigarette to your last dying day."

7) Born in Lawrence, MA, Bernstein "went home" when he performed with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood in Lenox, MA. Tanglewood has played host to a variety of musical artists. In 2022, Ringo Starr, Bonnie Raitt, and James Taylor all performed there (with James Taylor scheduled to return this summer, as well). What's the first concert you ever attended? Bobby Sherman. 1970. I swooned over the hair, the teeth, the fringe and the swively hips.


8) In 1968, when Bernstein released this album, a sitcom called Mayberry R.F.D. premiered. It was a spin off of the highly successful Andy Griffith Show, which ran from 1960 to 1968 and is still broadcast and streamed today. Were you an Andy Griffith Show fan? Yes. Sheriff Andy Taylor remains my favorite TV dad.


9) Random question: When people ask for your advice, what do they usually ask you about? Usually work stuff or pet stuff. I'm really not good with relationships or money.