Jimmy Carter: A Musical President

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Jimmy Carter with Mad About Music host Gilbert Kaplan.

Former President Jimmy Carter embraced classical music and made it a prominent feature of White House. In conversations with the host Gilbert Kaplan, Carter revealed that:

— Recordings were played non-stop in the White House.

— He considered it a coup to have persuaded legendary pianist Vladimir Horowitz to perform at the White House.

— That his knowledge of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde helped him land a key job in the Navy.

— The only instrument he ever learned to play was the ukulele (and that his wife Rosalynn, "was the best hula dancer among all the Navy wives").

— And what has now become a legendary tale of the romantic power of Sigmund Romberg’s operetta The Student Prince.

This episode is the first of four shows with political personalities leading up to the election.


Sigmund Romberg: The Student Prince, Overture. Philharmonia Orchestra. John Owen Edwards. Jay Master Works Edition CDJAY2 1252.

Sergei Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 2, first movement. Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Fritz Reiner. Arthur Rubinstein, piano. RCA 63035.

Giacomo Puccini: La Rondine, “Doretta’s Dream.” Mirella Freni. EMI Records 65163.

Glenn Miller:  “Moonlight Serenade.” The Secret Broadcasts. RCAVictor 52290.

Francisco Tárrega: Recuerdos de la Alhambra. Andrés Segovia, guitar. MCA Classics MCAD-42069.

Richard Wagner: Tristan und Isolde, “Liebestod.” Berlin Philharmonic. Herbert von Karajan. Helga Dernesch, soprano. Musical Heritage 544623T.