The Violin Dreams of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia

« previous episode | next episode »

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia with Mad About Music host Gilbert Kaplan. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia with Mad About Music host Gilbert Kaplan.

Antonin Scalia is one of the most talked about Justices on the Supreme Court, known for his unflinching conservatism and hard-hitting opinions. He is also a passionate music-lover and in this wide-ranging and candid interview with host Gilbert Kaplan, he reveals the enduring power of music in his life:

— Though he became “really quite good” at the piano, he reveals why he hasn’t played in 15 years.

— He recounts his experience as a super (extra) at the Washington Opera when a “perky little participant” suddenly jumped upon his lap -- not his “most notable theatrical performance”, he concludes.

— Bach is his choice for background music when writing opinions.

— Whether being forced to hear modern hard rock with its “noise and ugliness” might constitute cruel and unusual punishment as envisioned in the Constitution.

— Favorite singers: Renée Fleming, Plácido Domingo, Cecilia Bartoli; pianists: Glenn Gould; conductors: Georg Solti, Wilhelm Furtwängler.

— Two musical fantasies: “To be a good tenor” and to play the violin.

— His musical selections included works by Strauss, Handel, Boyce and Brahms.

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


Richard Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier, “Is halt vorbei” from Act III. Philharmonia Orchestra & Chorus. Herbert von Karajan. EMI 7 49354 2.

Fritz Kreisler: Liebesleid. Joshua Bell, violin; Paul Coker, piano. Decca D 112473.

George Frederic Handel: Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno (The Triumph of Time and Disillusionment) “Lascia la spina, cogli la rosa” (“Leave the thorn, pluck the rose”). Les Musiciens du Louvre. Marc Minkowski. Cecilia Bartoli. Decca B0005151-02.

James Edwards, James Keyes, Claude Feaster, Carl Feaster, Floyd McRae: "Sh-Boom,” The Chords. Flashback R2 72716.

William Boyce: Symphony No. 1, third movement. The English Concert. Trevor Pinnock. Archiv 419 631-2.

Johannes Brahms: Ein Deutsches Requiem [excerpt]. Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique. Monteverdi Choir. John Eliot Gardiner. Philips D 115329.

Comments [1]

guitry from usa

Anyone who likes Joshua Bell can't be all bad.

Nov. 01 2012 02:32 PM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.