For News Anchor Tom Brokaw, Music a Constant Companion

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For more than 20 years, Tom Brokaw was the visible symbol of television news at NBC where he served as the award-winning anchor of the "Nightly News." As a reporter he has covered every presidential election since 1968, and his familiar face and voice will be prominent in NBC’s election night coverage this coming Tuesday.

And throughout his distinguished career, music has always been his companion. He reveals in this interview with host Gilbert Kaplan:

— Listening to Bach cantatas in the cockpit flying across the country.

— Why Aaron Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man is often played at Democratic party conventions.

— The enduring appeal of Mozart’s Requiem.

— How the American classic Shenandoah reminds him of his Missouri River roots and why he wants this song played at his funeral.

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


Johann Sebastian Bach: Cantata “Nun ist das Heil und die Kraft,” BWV 50. Bach-Ensemble. Helmuth Rilling. Hänssler Classic 98857.

Joseph Haydn: Horn Concerto No. 1, third movement. Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. Sir Neville Marriner. Barry Tuckwell, horn. London 430633.

George Frideric Handel: Samson, “Let the Bright Seraphim.” English Chamber Orchestra. Barry Rose. Dame Kiri Te Kanawa. Crispian Steele-Perkins, trumpet. EMI 57231.

American Folk Song: "Shenandoah.” Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Orchestra at Temple Square. Mack Wilberg. MTC 6313.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 21, second movement. Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. Sir Neville Marriner. Alfred Brendel, piano. Philips 442269.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Requiem, “Recordare” and “Confutatis.” Wiener Philharmoniker. Konzertvereinigung Wiener Staatsopernchor. Sir Georg Solti. Arleen Auger, soprano; Cecilia Bartoli, mezzo-soprano; Vinson Cole, tenor; René Pape, bass. London 433688.

Aaron Copland: Fanfare for the Common Man. London Symphony Orchestra. Aaron Copland. Sony Classical 90403.