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March 2012
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Andrew Patner on Arts and Culture

Critical Thinking: A New Conversation with Maestro Riccardo Muti

Andrew presents a new conversation (recorded Sunday 3/11) with Chicago Symphony Orchestra Music Director Riccardo Muti.

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  • Norma Byrd

    I was entralled with the interview with Maestro Muti, and more than that, enlightened about a mystery of my own life. I was raised in the Catholic church over sixty years ago and up until my mid teens sang in the choir. In grade school we were taught that Latin was used in the Mass because it was a dead language therefore not so subject to change of meaning and original intent through modern usage. I never felt closer to my creator than singing the beautiful Latin Mass and hymns. Then the church in some misguided reasoning decided to ditch Latin and as you and Maestro Muti discussed, replaced it with what I can only call pap. I felt something vital and sacred had been ripped from from the entire religious experience and left the church, never having returned except for rare marriages or funerals of friends or family. On those occasions I felt embarrassment for the loss of substance, and sadness for those who would never have what I had. I don’t think I ever fully understood my own desertion until Mr. Muti vocalized exactly what I felt. I had no idea anyone was championing that philosophy towards the church’s abandonment of the traditional sacred music. Thank you for asking the question that initiated the ensuing conversation!

  • Mary Pfeifer

    The interview with Ricardo Muti last night was incredible. What an erudite man.
    And he has the knowledge, wit and facility with language to put forth opinions which need to be said in today’s society. His summary of art and music in the Catholic Church was brief but to the point without excess words or personal judgement on his part. Wow! is the best I can do just now.

    • Thanks very much, Mary! The comment below is also of great interest.