Q & A
Matthew Guerrieri asks 'em, we answer 'em.
1. Name an opera you love for the libretto, even though you don't particularly like the music.
Cavalleria Rusticana, although "love" is putting it a little strong. Give me hot-blooded Sicilians any day; I just wish Leoncavallo had written the score.
2. Name a piece you wish Glenn Gould had played.
Vingt regards (he didn't, did he?)
3. If you had to choose: Charles Ives or Carl Ruggles?
4. Name a piece you're glad Glenn Gould never played.
The People United Will Never Be Defeated!
5. What's your favorite unlikely solo passage in the repertoire?
Haydn, Symphony No. 93, slow movement, m. 80: the original bassoon fart joke.
6. What's a Euro-trash high-concept opera production you'd love to see? (No Mortier-haters get to duck this one, either—be creative.)
Billy Budd in the era of "Don't ask, don't tell."
7. Name an instance of non-standard concert dress you wish you hadn't seen.
Nigel Kennedy in what I called in my review "Emmett Kelly chic": one spotted cravat around his neck and another serving as a belt, shirt hanging out, jacket sleeves hiked up above the elbows, and one black and one pink sock. What a wanker.
8. What aging rock-and-roll star do you wish had tried composing large-scale chorus and orchestra works instead of Paul McCartney?
9. If you had to choose: Carl Nielsen or Jean Sibelius?
Per Nørgård. Don't push me, man.
10. If it was scientifically proven that Beethoven's 9th Symphony caused irreversible brain damage, would you still listen to it?
Never again, not even once. The Schubert C-Major Quintet stays on my playlist even if it brings a slow gruesome death.