Sunday, January 29, 2006

Vancouver Symphony Orchestra

I feel proud! The symphony orchestra of my town sounds great.

In the second night concert of the Mozart’s 250th birth date celebrations, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Maestro Bramwell Tovey, main conductor and the musical director of the orchestra, performed a bunch of most beautiful works by the genius, at the tremendous Orpheum Theatre.

The program started with The Abduction from the Seraglio Overture, which was followed by the incredible A Major Violin Concerto No. 5. This is the last one of the 5 concerti all completed in 8 months at the age of 19. It’s sometimes called “Turkish” because of the Turkish melodies in the finale. Soloist Joan Blackman, associate concertmaster of the orchestra, seemed to be a little bit nervous, and made a dozen of recognizable false sounds especially in the opening movement. I recalled a 1976 concert by Tehran Symphony Orchestra, performing the same concerto, in which George Mardirosian, Iranian-Armenian concertmaster of the orchestra played the solo part so smoothly and so perfect. Like many Mozart's solo parts, the whole work is emotionally hard to do, while it's not technically that much tough to play.

The second part started with Mozart’s selected arias, from The Marriage of Figaro. First prize winner of the prestigious Plácido Domingo "Operalia" Competition in 2000 and a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee medal, Canadian-Armenian soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian was the soloist of this part. With an angel's voice coming from above, she made an impressive series of appearances in the 2003/2004 season, including return engagements at Chicago Lyric Opera and Los Angeles Opera as Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, and at the Metropolitan Opera as Teresa in Benvenuto Cellini. She made a critically acclaimed debut at San Diego Opera as Leila in Les Pêcheurs de Perles and performed recitals and concerts in Toronto with Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Tafelmusik (a program of Cleopatra arias, which was recorded for her 3rd CD with CBC Records), Vancouver, New York, Minnesota, Atlanta and San Francisco.

And the Kochel 183 Symphony No. 25 was the last piece of the concert. Often called “Little G Minor” comparing to Symphony No. 40, it’s one of the most charming symphonies among the forty one. The main theme of the first movement is that used in the Milos Forman’s picture, Amadeus, at the opening sequence.

Thursday, January 26, 2006


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791), Austrian composer, is considered one of the most brilliant and versatile composers ever. He worked in all musical genres of his era, wrote inspired works in each genre, and produced an extraordinary number of compositions, especially considering his short life. By the time Mozart died at age 35, he had completed 41 symphonies, 27 piano concertos, 23 string quartets, 17 piano sonatas, 7 major operas, and numerous works for voice and other instruments.

As a child prodigy Mozart toured Europe and became widely regarded as a miracle of nature because of his musical gifts as a performer of piano, harpsichord, and organ and as a composer of instrumental and vocal music. His mature masterpieces begin with the Piano Concerto No. 9 in E-flat Major (Jeunehomme, 1777), one of about a dozen outstanding concertos he wrote for piano. Also successful as an opera composer, Mozart wrote three exceptional Italian operas to texts by Italian librettist Lorenzo da Ponte: Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro, 1786), Don Giovanni (1787), and Così fan tutte (All Women Do So, 1790). They were followed in 1791 by his supreme German opera, Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute).

Mozart’s works were catalogued chronologically by Austrian music bibliographer Ludwig von Köchel, who published his catalog in 1862. The numbers he assigned, which are called Köchel numbers and are preceded by the initial K, remain the standard way of referring to works by Mozart. The Jeunehomme Concerto, for example, is K. 271.

Mozart was born in Salzburg. From his father, violinist and composer Leopold Mozart, he received his early musical training. By age six he had become an accomplished performer on the clavier, violin, and organ and was highly skilled in sight-reading and musical improvisation. In 1762 Leopold took his six-year-old son on his first concert tour through the courts of Europe. The young Mozart absorbed the musical styles of the time through travel to Austria’s capital, Vienna; the German cities of Munich and Mannheim; Paris, France; London, England; and various centers in Italy. From 1762 to 1766, while he was often touring, he composed several symphonies, a few sacred works, and a number of sonatas for keyboard and violin.

In London in 1764 Mozart met then-popular German composer Johann Christian Bach, son of Johann Sebastian Bach. The eight-year-old Mozart played four-hand piano sonatas with Bach while sitting on the composer’s lap. The symphonies of the younger Bach and of Carl Friedrich Abel, another German composer living in London, offered models for Mozart’s first symphonies (K. 16 and K. 19), written in 1764 and 1765 when he was eight and nine years old. In 1767, at age 11, Mozart transformed piano sonatas by various composers into his first four piano concertos through the addition of interludes and episodes for orchestra. He intended these works (K. 37, K. 39, K. 40, and K. 41) for his own performance. In 1768 he composed his first opera buffa (comic opera), La finta semplice (The Simple Pretense), and his first German operetta, Bastien und Bastienne. The following year La finta semplice was performed at the palace of the Salzburg archbishop, who appointed Mozart his concertmaster.

From 1769 to 1773, Mozart made three extended journeys to Italy with his father, during which he was remarkably productive and wrote not only symphonies and operas but also string quartets and several sacred works. In Milan he was commissioned to write an opera seria—that is, a serious opera in Italian on a heroic subject. The opera, Mitridati, rè di Ponto (Mithridates, King of Pontus), was produced in 1770 in Milan under Mozart’s direction with success. Also that year the pope made Mozart a knight of the Order of the Golden Spur.

From 1775 to 1780 Mozart was based mainly in Salzburg working for the archbishop Hieronymous von Colloredo. Although dissatisfied with the low pay and limited opportunities his employment offered, Mozart composed many works during this period, including his first important piano sonatas (K. 279 to K. 284, 1775). Despite his mother’s death in 1778 during a trip they made to Paris, he completed his Symphony No. 31 in D Major (Paris, K. 297) and Piano Sonata No. 8 in A Minor (K. 310) during the journey. In 1780 he received a commission from the court at Munich for an opera seria. He fulfilled this commission with Idomeneo, rè di Creta (Idomeneo, King of Crete, 1781), the most important opera seria of Mozart’s maturity and perhaps the greatest opera seria ever written.

Demeaning treatment from Colloredo, who had little interest in music, led Mozart to ask for dismissal from his service in 1781. This Mozart received, along with a kick in the rear as he departed, delivered by an employee of the archbishop. Mozart then began a career as a freelance musician in Vienna.

While working in Germany in 1777, Mozart fell in love with a singer, Aloysia Weber. His father warned him against marriage in a letter: “… it depends wholly on your own good sense and good conduct, whether you become a commonplace artist whom the world will forget, or a celebrated Capellmeister, of whom posterity will read hereafter in books—whether, infatuated with some pretty face, you one day breathe your last on a straw sack, your wife and children in a state of starvation, or, after a well-spent Christian life, die peacefully in honour and independence, and your family well provided for.” Aloysia did not return Mozart’s feelings, however. Despite opposition from his father, Mozart married Aloysia’s sister, Constanze, in August 1782. Two years later he joined the fraternal order of Freemasonry.

In the years after his marriage Mozart experienced some notable professional successes. These included an enthusiastic response from Austrian composer Joseph Haydn, the dominant figure in music at the time. Haydn was particularly impressed by a set of six string quartets (K. 387) that Mozart composed in 1785 and dedicated to Haydn, his admired friend and source of inspiration. A series of inspired piano concertos that Mozart composed for his own performance began with No. 14 in E-flat Major (K. 449) in 1784 and culminated in the premiere of No. 24 in C Minor (K. 491) in March 1786. Moreover, The Marriage of Figaro was first performed later that year in Vienna, Prague (in what is now the Czech Republic), and other cities to enthusiastic public response. In 1787 the premiere of Don Giovanni in Prague received a similar response.

During the last years of his life Mozart was plagued at times by financial difficulties, as revealed in a series of letters he wrote to his fellow Freemason Michael Puchberg, in which he begged for loans. The resounding success of The Magic Flute, which had its premiere in late 1791, would have solved these problems, but it came too late for Mozart, who died on December 5, 1791. He spent his last months in feverish activity. In September he completed an opera seria, La clemenza di Tito (The Clemency of Titus). On his deathbed, Mozart labored on the Requiem Mass in D Minor (K. 626), while suffering from delusions that he had been poisoned. He died with the Requiem unfinished. The cause of his death is uncertain and has been the subject of much speculation.

Mozart’s music can be divided into periods of stylistic assimilation and stylistic innovation. From childhood he showed skill at imitating virtually any type of music, including the sacred style of church music and the so-called galant (courtly) idiom. The elegant though often superficial galant style dominated much instrumental music of the 1760s and 1770s. Mozart’s mastery often demonstrates itself in an ability to expand and deepen the stylistic possibilities of the time. The manner in which he extended the character and form of the concerto, for instance, owes much to his experience in writing operatic arias.

In the masterful Jeunehomme Concerto of 1777, the slow middle movement in C minor contains passages suggesting vocal recitative (music structured to resemble the tones and rhythms of speech). The movement’s heartfelt but dignified tragic aura recalls the operas of an earlier German composer, Christoph Willibald Gluck. The first and third movements of the concerto brilliantly exploit dramatic contrasts between the piano soloist and the orchestra. At the beginning of the first movement, the pianist surprisingly answers the orchestra’s opening phrase, although the usual practice called for this section to be given exclusively to the orchestra. The third and final movement of the concerto introduces a lyrical minuet, or dance tune, in the middle of a lively musical form called a rondo. The rondo, in which musical themes recur, is played in a rapid tempo, with virtuosic solo passages, called cadenzas, given to the pianist.

Many of Mozart’s most impressive works date from the last decade of his life, 1781 to 1791, which he spent primarily in Vienna. His comic German opera Die Entführung aus dem Serail (The Abduction from the Seraglio, 1782), which takes place in a Turkish palace, shows an exceptional range of musical characterization. The “stupid, surly, malicious Osmin,” as Mozart described the overseer of the palace’s seraglio (harem), is depicted in the opera with frenzied music that is intended to sound Turkish; the music’s colorful orchestration (combination of instruments) includes piccolo, triangle, cymbals, and drum. On the other hand, Constanze, the German woman Osmin holds captive, has an elaborate aria that gives noble expression to her heroic defiance of her captor, no matter what tortures she might suffer. The aria, “Martern aller Arten” (“Tortures of Every Kind”), is introduced by a long passage of 60 measures, featuring solo parts for flute, oboe, violin, and cello that express a range of emotions. By the time of Idomeneo and Die Entführung, Mozart had found musical equivalents for an entire spectrum of dramatic events and human responses.

Mozart was especially proud of his Quintet for Piano and Winds in E-flat Major (K. 452) from 1784. As far as scholars know, this is the first quintet ever composed for piano and woodwinds (oboe, clarinet, bassoon, and horn). In Mozart’s piano concertos from this time, the wind parts become independent, departing from the usual practice of doubling (playing the same notes in different octaves) the string instruments (violins, violas, and cellos). The Piano Concerto No. 15 in B-flat Major (K. 450) from 1784 opens with solo woodwinds, and later concertos show a resourceful use of woodwinds for solos as well as for color. Particularly innovative in Mozart’s later work is his use of the clarinet, which was not a fixed member of the orchestra at that time. His writing for this instrument culminates in two works written for Austrian clarinet virtuoso Anton Stadler: the Clarinet Quintet in A Major (K. 581, 1789) and Clarinet Concerto in A Major (K. 622, 1791).

Few composers have written so unforgettably in minor keys using chromaticism, in which all of the tones and semitones (half steps, as from F to F-sharp) of the musical scale are employed. Chromaticism means composing with tones that are not part of the established key, as Mozart does, for example, at the beginnings of the String Quartet in C Major (Dissonance, K. 465, 1785) and the Piano Concertos No. 20 in D Minor (K. 466, 1785) and No. 24 in C Minor (K. 491, 1786).

Mozart associated the key of D Minor with music that conveys vengeance and fear, as in the music heard at Don Giovanni’s confrontation with the stone guest near the end of Don Giovanni. Here, Mozart combines chromaticism with majestic contrasts in sonority (sound) and an orchestration featuring trombones to evoke a powerful sense of foreboding and terror. Mozart deepens the dramatic evocation of the demonic by foreshadowing this D-minor music at the beginning of the overture to the opera, and throughout the opera he associates references to Don Giovanni’s slaying of the Commendatore (whose statue is later the stone guest) with ominous references to the key. Similar associations with this key appear in other works, such as in the D-minor revenge aria of the Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute.

Another key closely associated with Mozart is G minor, which he employed to convey agitation and emotional turbulence in his Symphony No. 25 (Little G Minor, K. 183, 1773), Symphony No. 40 (K. 550, 1788), a string quintet in this key (K. 516, 1787), and the moving lament “Ach, ich fühl’s” (“Ah, I feel it”) sung by Pamina in Act II of The Magic Flute.

During his Vienna years, Mozart could combine the most popular tuneful charm with the most learned compositional devices, as in the serenade Eine kleine Nachtmusik (A Little Night Music, K. 525, 1787). He absorbed the older styles of German composers George Frideric Handel and Johann Sebastian Bach, even arranging some Bach fugues (works based on interwoven melodies) for string instruments. Fugues also appear in the last movement of Piano Concerto No. 19 in F Major (K. 459, 1784) and in the overture to The Magic Flute, in which Mozart blends music of a vivacious, humorous character—marked by quick, repeated notes—with rigorous fugal structure.

Two other examples of Mozart’s stylistic resourcefulness are the three dances in the finale of the first act of Don Giovanni and the remarkable final movement of the Symphony No. 41 in C Major (Jupiter, K. 551, 1788). In Don Giovanni, Mozart combines three dances that embody the different social positions of the characters. The musical confusion creates almost unbearable tension before the peasant girl Zerlina stops the dancing by crying out for help during Don Giovanni’s attempt to seduce her. In the last movement of the Jupiter Symphony, the climactic last section, or coda, contains a simultaneous presentation of nearly all the motifs (short segments of melody or rhythm) and themes (repeated melodies) of the movement.

The most celebrated of Mozart’s sacred compositions is the unfinished Requiem (K. 626), which combines learned fugue techniques with the vocal features of opera. Masonic elements also are present in the Requiem, as in The Magic Flute where they are represented in the music of the wise and benevolent Sarastro. In the Requiem, Masonry is reflected in the use of basset horns, late-18th-century instruments associated with the order, and in the hymnlike solemnity of the music, sometimes reminiscent of the music for Sarastro. Before his death Mozart reportedly discussed the completion of the Requiem with his student Franz Xaver Süssmayr, who may have received specific directions from the composer. Süssmayr’s completion remained the version of the Requiem used in most performances until recently. Debate over its merits and shortcomings continues, and several scholars have offered alternative completions of the Requiem.

Mozart is one of the most universal of composers and one of the greatest geniuses of Western civilization. His output was huge (more than 600 works). Drawing on various national traditions, he brought the classical style to its highest development. This style, which evolved from about 1750 to 1800 when Vienna was the center of European music, is characterized by lively contrasts of themes and by symmetry of forms. In the dramatic genres of opera and concerto, Mozart enjoyed unique success. The richness of musical characterization and the psychological insights of his operatic masterpieces find parallels in much of his purely instrumental music. In the concertos he demonstrates that powerful expressive forces can coexist with serene formal structures.

Although Mozart has been viewed as the quintessential composer of the classical period, early-19th-century critics such as German romantic writer and composer E.T.A. Hoffmann regarded him as an archromantic, much in their own image. (Elements of the supernatural and fantastic figure in Don Giovanni and The Magic Flute, as they do in romanticism.) Mozart’s music also influenced innovative German composers of the romantic period, including Ludwig van Beethoven and Richard Wagner, as well as the 20th-century creator of the twelve-tone chromatic tone system, German composer Arnold Schoenberg. Mozart’s influence stems not just from the graceful beauty of his music, but also from its flexible phrasing, startling contrasts, and unstable chromaticism. At the time of their first performance, many of his works were regarded as difficult, with “too many notes,” as Austrian emperor Joseph II purportedly said. If Mozart’s music embodies something of the elegance and refinement of the privileged aristocratic world before the French Revolution (1789-1799), it also affirms values subversive to that world. He lodged this critique in the depiction of flawed aristocrats in Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni, and in the glorification in The Magic Flute of the ideals of the Freemasons, who were deemed dangerous by Vienna’s aristocracy. Many of his finest instrumental works in their beauty and perfection also acknowledge the darker sides of human experience.

Source: Encarta Reference Library 2003

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Conservative Government

Conservatives defeated Liberals 124-103 (36%-30%).

Stephen Harper, leader of the Conservative Party will be 22nd prime minister of Canada.

Prime Minister Paul Martin called Governor General Michaëlle Jean on Tuesday morning to tell her he would resign following his party's election loss on Monday.

Hours after winning a minority government, Conservative Leader Stephen Harper promised to get to work implementing his top campaign priorities.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Hingis Is Back

Beautiful Martina Hingis is back.

After 4 years of injuries, the Switzer legend, 3 times Australian Open winner in row (1997, 1998, 1999), one time Wimbeldon winner (1997), and one time US Open winner (1997), is back to ground.

Martina defeated Vera Zvonareva 2-0 in the first round, Emma Laine 2-0 in the second, and Iveta Benesova 2-0 in the third round of the Australian Open Grand Slam.

She is also taking part in mixed doubles with the Indian Mahesh Bhupathi.

Saturday, January 14, 2006


As a music lover, you may know a lot about classical music. You may know what a sonata or symphony or concerto is, but if you don’t, you can still enjoy the music. But one thing you definitely know is when you go to a music store to buy a Beethoven’s symphony, or Bruckner’s, or Mahler’s, nothing less than Berlin or New York Philharmonic under the superb baton of Maestro Herber von Karajan or Leonard Bernstein would satisfy you. Of course some former extraordinary superstars such as Arturo Toscanini are temporarily ignored here, just because of the poor quality of their recordings, although it is still worth a lot to listen to these mono archives, especially for music students and professionals.

Herbert Von Karajan was born in Salzburg on April 5, 1908. He began studying the piano at the age of four and performed for the first time in public at a charity concert the following year. Karajan studied at the Mozarteum Conservatory in Salzburg from 1916 until 1926 and was taught by Bernhard Paumgartner, who encouraged him to be trained as a conductor.

Leonard Bernstein was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts, in 1918. He took piano lessons as a boy and attended the Garrison and Boston Latin schools. At Harvard University he studied with Walter Piston, and Edward Burlingame-Hill. Before graduating in 1939, he made an unofficial conducting debut with his own incidental music to The Birds and directed and performed in Marc Blitzstein's The Cradle Will Rock. Then, at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, he studied piano with Isabella Vengerova, conducting with Fritz Reiner and orchestration with Randall Thompson.

Notice specifically the great names as instructors in both cases: Bernhard Paumgartner, and Fritz Reiner, two great conductors of their time.

Karajan made his conducting debut in Salzburg on January 22, 1929. He first participated in the Salzburg Festival in 1933 and the following year conducted the Vienna Philharmonic for the first time. In 1938, he began his long association with the Berlin Philharmonic, but it took 18 years before 1956 when he was awarded the music director of the orchestra for life, after his precedent Wilhelm Furtwangler had died in 1954.

Bernstein was appointed to his first permanent conducting post in 1943, as assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic. On November 14, 1943, he substituted on a few hours notice for the ailing Bruno Walter at a Carnegie Hall concert, which was broadcast nationally on radio, receiving critical acclaim. Soon orchestras worldwide sought him out as a guest conductor. In 1945 he was appointed music director of the New York City Symphony Orchestra, a post he held until 1947. After Serge Koussevitzky died in 1951, Bernstein headed the orchestral and conducting departments at Tanglewood, teaching there for many years. At last, Bernstein became music director of the New York Philharmonic in 1958.

Therefore in late 1950s, two incredible orchestras started a golden era of some 30 years under the batons of two superstars, and conquered the world with live concerts and tours as well as many immortal audio and video recordings.

Karajan’s long and distinguished recording career with the Berlin Philharmonic made him an international superstar. Over the years, these recordings consistently set new audio and musical standards against which other performances were judged, and of course most of them were with Deutsche Grammophon. Among his many honors, Karajan received two Gramophone awards for recordings with the Berlin Philharmonic in 1981: Mahler’s Ninth Symphony, best orchestral recording; and the complete Parsifal, record of the year. Throughout his career, Karajan championed the use of visual media and new audio technology to enhance musical expression. Beginning in 1965, Karajan produced films of concerts and operas in association with French film director Henri Georges Clouzot. Always interested in improving the listening experience for his audience, Karajan quickly adopted technological innovations. In January 1980, for example, Karajan made the first digital recording of Mozart’s The Magic Flute, and at the Salzburg Easter Festival on April 15, 1981, joined Polygram, Philips and Sony in introducing the “Compact Disc Digital Audio System” to the music world.

Bernstein, for much of his career, including his legendary tenure as music director of the New York Philharmonic, recorded exclusively for Columbia/CBS Masterworks, which is now Sony Classical. This vast legacy of recordings, featuring his work as both composer and conductor, is now being remastered and collected in a comprehensive new Sony Classical series entitled Bernstein Century.

There are certain differences to keep in mind when dealing with these two stars. First of all, recordings of Bernstein seem to be much more natural, just the same as a live concert. You cannot draw a line between forte and fortissimo, for instance. Sometimes even the breathing of the players could be heard. But Karajan supervised the recording process himself, and used technology to balance the sound effects and dynamics. It would be of great interest to compare these two in the first movement of Tchaikovsky’s fourth. The wide range of extreme piano (pppp) to extreme forte (ffff), just as the composer needed, could be heard in the Karajan’s recording, but in extreme pianissimo parts nothing can be heard unless the volume is increased! Secondly, Karajan often uses faster tempos, maybe a result of the players’ virtuoso and pride that obviously has certain influence on the conductor too. Compare Karajan with Karl Bohm (with his Vienna Philharmonic) in the Mozart’s 40th symphony, first movement. The former is faster in tempo by at least 10 beats per minute.

And at last, in Karajan’s recordings of concertos, not so many great names could be recognized. Maybe again as a result of his pride, he thought his name on the record cover would be more than enough. Compare, for instance, the Beethoven’s Violin Concerto performed and recorded by the two legendary artists. The Karajan recording, of course with Berlin Philharmonic and Christian Ferras as soloist, is one of the worst recordings of the concerto, while the Bernstein performance conducting New York Philharmonic with Isaac Stern playing the solo part, is absolutely the best.

In total it is advisable to forget both Karajan and Bernstein when dealing with the Baroque or early classics, and preferably listen to Imusici with Felix Ayo, or St. Martin-in-the-fields with Neville Mariner for Baroque music, and Vienna Philharmonic with Karl Bohm for early classic music and specifically Mozart, instead.

Karajan was the recipient of many honours and awards, including the “Médaille de Vermeil” in Paris, the Gold Medal of the Royal Philharmonic Society in London (other conductors who have received this award include Arturo Toscanini, Sir Thomas Beecham and Bruno Walter.)

Bernstein received many honours as well. He was elected in 1981 to the American Academy of Arts and Letters, which gave him a gold medal. The National Fellowship Award in 1985 applauded his lifelong support of humanitarian causes. He received the MacDowell Colony's gold medal; medals from the Beethoven Society and the Mahler Gesellschaft; the Handel Medallion, New York City's highest honor for the arts; a Tony Award (1969) for distinguished achievement in the theater.

Herbert Von Karajan never composed a single piece of music, at least something that could be named.

Inspired by his Jewish heritage, Leonard Bernstein completed his first large-scale work, Symphony No. 1 “Jeremiah” in 1943. The piece was first performed with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in 1944, conducted by the composer, and received the New York Music Critics' Award. Koussevitzky premiered Bernstein's Symphony No. 2 “The Age of Anxiety” with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Bernstein as piano soloist. His Symphony No. 3 “Kaddish”, composed in 1963, was premiered by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. Kaddish is dedicated "To the Beloved Memory of John F. Kennedy." Other major compositions by Bernstein include Symphonic Dances from West Side Story (1960); Halil for solo flute and small orchestra (1981); Missa Brevis for singers and percussion (1988); Thirteen Anniversaries for solo piano (1988); Concerto for Orchestra: Jubilee Games (1989); and Arias and Barcarolles for two singers and piano duet (1988.)

It may be of interest to know that Bernstein was a Jewish (and not a Zionist, two terms that are often mistaken), while Karajan was accused of being a Nazi. When he set foot in New York to perform music in 1940's, 750 members of the American Federation of Musicians signed a petition seeking to prevent the Berlin Philharmonic concerts and protesting the US Government subsidy of the tour. At the opening concert, pickets representing Zionist Youth marched in front of Carnegie Hall. But the fact is that all Karajan’s life was concenterated on music. He lived in a world of music, and he was never interested in politics. Nazi or not, not a single artist has done what he has done in performing the nine Beethoven’s symphonies, Mahler’s, Brahms’, and Bruckner’s symphonies, and Richard Strauss symphonic poems. You listen to “Thus Spoke Zarathustra” under Karajan with Berlin Philharmonic, and you will not bear to listen to any other performances of the masterpiece.

Herbert von Karajan died in Salzburg on July 16, 1989. Karajan was the father of two daughters: Isabel, and Anabel.

Leonard Bernstein died in 1990. Bernstein was the father of three children: Jamie, Alexander, and Nina, and the grandfather of two: Francisca, and Evan.
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