Musicians: The good, the bad, the ugly

David and I like to discuss music from time to time, especially since we both are musicians. He plays the clarinet; I play the violin.

David mentioned that Gustav Mahler applied for a conducting job in anti-Jewish Germany and was told to drop his pants to see if he was circumcised. Well, sure enough, he was circumcised and, therefore, a Jew. He didn’t get the job because of it. Mahler is David’s favorite composer, even though his symphonies sometimes last 1.5 hours. Too long for me.

Gustav Mahler (1860-1911):


Mozart rose from being a child prodigy in Austria to being the greatest composer on earth. Yet, despite his fame and his prolific output, he died a pauper and nobody knows where he is buried. A world famous composer with no tombstone. Mozart is my kind of guy: Quick and witty. I love his “Haffner” Symphony.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791):


Then, we discussed Jacqueline du Pre, the famous French concert cellist, who was popular during the 1960s. She would sometimes appear half-nude on stage, showing off her breasts partially covered by her long hair. What the hell was Jacqueline du Pre trying to prove by doing that?

Jacqueline du Pre (1945-1987) and her husband, Daniel Barenboim:

Then, she later developed multiple sclerosis and could no longer perform. Her husband, Daniel Barenboim, was a Jewish conductor and supported his wife by going on long tours. Well, guess what, he was also having an affair with a Russian pianist and fathered several children. He managed to keep this a secret, and his wife never discovered the truth. After Jacqueline du Pre died, her husband married his mistress, and they now live happily together with their children.

Conductor Daniel Barenboim (1942-):


The Beatles (John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and George Harrison):

Album cover of “Double Fantasy,” composed and sung by John Lennon and Yoko Ono:

Then, there’s the rock band, The Beatles, who lasted 10 years, 1960-1970. I remember hearing their “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” which is kind of a dumb song, but very catchy. That song made The Beatles famous and started “Beatle Mania.” Most people attribute the Beatles’ demise in 1970 to Yoko Ono, John Lennon’s wife. She was a very strong, very opinionated woman, who loved avant-garde art and music. When Lennon was murdered in 1980, I immediately bought “Double Fantasy,” composed and sung by Lennon and Ono. I absolutely loved Lennon’s songs, but felt that Ono’s songs were inferior. You can definitely tell who is the more talented of the two. Anyway, that era is over and done. They’re not coming back.


Musicians: The good, the bad, the ugly.

This is the type of conversation we sometimes have during dinner. We don’t watch TV while dining.

I enjoy discussing music. It certainly beats talking about politics. Politics makes my blood boil. Music doesn’t.

12 Responses to “Musicians: The good, the bad, the ugly”

  1. DavidH Says:

    You are right, dinner time is a very good time to discuss music. It is such a broad and complex subject that our conversations are never boring.

  2. Valerie-Jael Says:

    Music is a much better theme for discussion than politics, that’s for sure! Have a great day! Valerie

  3. Iris Flavia Says:

    I´ll never understand why people cannot get along, especially with those who don´t try to force their faith on you.

    Mozart also made it to The Simpsons.
    Oh, the 60´s and 70´s are not gone, music-wise!

    I´m with you on politics!

  4. tomthebackroadstraveller Says:

    …there’s music for every taste.

  5. Doug M Says:

    Certainly a couple of big jumps here! I don’t have much to add other than that was very sad to read about Jacqueline, and I wrote about Double Fantasy on my own blog once before; it bears the distinction of being the last vinyl LP I bought (before switching to cassette and then CD). Now that we have music out of the way can we get back to politics? 😉

  6. DJan Says:

    I am amazed that I still hear many Beatles songs being played in stores. After all this time, they are still relevant. And I have one of their albums on my playlist.

  7. Arkansas Patti Says:

    I enjoy classical music but am not a very learned in who is who. Some very interesting backgrounds here. Thanks.
    I thought the early Beatles were a bit bubble gum but they really brought it in the later years.

  8. Tom from Sightings Says:

    Enjoyed your discussion!

  9. marmeladegypsy Says:

    Well, no one ever said the talented were perfect, good people! But this is fascinating. I think I knew about Jacqueline duPre but not about Mahler.

  10. Lois Evensen Says:

    Very interesting. Thanks for your great posts.

  11. Elephant's Child Says:

    Music is largely a closed book for me. I envy those for whom it isn’t.

  12. Christine Says:


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