Thursday, July 15, 2010

Ciao, Sir Charles

Conductor Sir Charles Mackerras died today and millions of tributes are flying around but I liked this straightforward little number by my Facebook friend Norman Lebrecht.

Leonard Pennario performed with Mackerras so Mackerras was on my radar because of that. You know what, though, you cannot get too worked up. Because, I mean, someone is always ready to go. These guys are old. It actually makes me tired sometimes to look at Twitter and see the most recent wave of mourning for the latest death. Every week it is someone else!

Pop music fans are starting to bear this cross too as many of their heroes are now entering their 80s.

Mackerras was 84, pretty much the same age as Leonard was. A good life, full of triumph and success. I do not think you can ask for more.

On this Web log we like to run pictures of old musicians when they were younger so here is a good pic of Sir Charles, once upon a time.

One thing, I had not realized Mackerras was born in Schenectady. That is not far from here! His family was Australian but his father was working over here for General Electric.

With every death you learn something.

I always associate Mackerras with Mozart and one thing I love that he did was the recording of Handel's "Messiah," rewritten by Mozart. A weird recording, as one commenter on this YouTube clip points out, but it shows Mackerras' spirit of adventure. My brother Tony gave this recording to me for Christmas one year and I love it. In farewell to Mackerras, here is the Hallelujah Chorus.


  1. With the Mahler double year (b 1860, d 1911) at hand, death is trendy. One of my favorite observations about death is by E. B. White: Death is the end of what began by the merest accident - no quotation marks because I'm writing from memory.

  2. Well, Mahler was death-obsessed...

  3. Why the &^#$% can't I post a comment anymore on your primary weblog? This one works, but the other one has removed the "Comment as" feature and requires a Google sign up account and mobile phone, which I don't have.