Leonard Bernstein Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra of New York – 1956 (Bruno Walter: Piano)
In 1970, I began playing the flute at the Instituto Musical Gaffurio in Lodi, I was 6 years old. By the time I graduated from the Conservatory of Picenza I was 18 and considered an undisciplined talent. Torn between a possible career in music, football or basketball I simply lacked the patience to stay still for hours listening and playing in orchestras, preferring instead the possibility of playing solo pieces or short Baroque compositions. In 1982 I found myself the 1st Flute of an orchestra in London practicing Carmina Burana with a full Choir for an upcoming concert. In one particular day, I did not play a single note, the Director and orchestra got stuck on a particular passage and so for 8 hours I idly sat there, contemplating life as a musician.
I distanced myself from Classical Music but through the years there are a few records that in my mind are timeless:
- Mozart: Requiem (Karajan with the Berliner Philharmoniker Orchestra from 1976 of course)
- Brahms: Symphony no. 1 in C Minor (The Bernstein 1960 Recording with the New York Philharmonic of course)
- Holtz: The Planets
nd then there is this, Beethoven’s 5th, the Everest of the Symphonies, the King Kong of composition, the music that put everything before and after to shame and prevented many composers from attempting a symphony in fear of being compared to it (legends says that Brahms suffered of this malady, and that it took him over 25 years to finally finish his No. 1 Symphony).
I am not going to even attempt to critique or explain the meaning of Beethoven’s 5th, for that you only need approximately 36 minutes of free time and total concentration, cellular phone on airplane mode, a decent turntable, solid wood speakers, an easy chair, lights down low, and voila. Music after this, will simply become mundane.