17 Feb 2018

Bunky’s Day of Music

Bunky Mortimer III is clearly one of the great fanatical connoisseurs of the recorded repertoire. Over at Taki’s Magazine, Bunky has prepared a well-thought out program of recorded music to take you through your entire day.

Some sample recommendations:

[Late Morning]

My chaise-lounge-bound researches reveal that the sinewy modulations of a violin concerto are well suited to the onward section of the morning. Sibelius’ has an icy gymnasticism that is most refreshing, while Tchaikovsky’s stays just the right side of sentimentalism (the only absolute sanction is against the regressive schmaltz of Brahms’ offering; one of the few pieces of music we would be better off without). And then there is the beautiful arc of Beethoven’s; the last movement of which has a piratical swagger, which is a great tonic if planning to break the law later in the day. You will notice this morning menu crosses the peaks of the Romantic repertoire—yet contains no opera. Morning music—like morning drinking—is a means to an end: the day itself. Opera is too distracting and all-encompassing to serve this end; although we may make an exception for its instrumental passages. Here we can catalog some Wagner. The Tannhäuser overture will send you out the door as if fired by a circus cannon (if it were made by Krupp and pointed at Poland, that is). “Siegfried’s Funeral March” carries a similar risk: that unless you’ve repositioned your country’s borders by lunch, you’re going to feel like an underachiever. The same nourishing snarl is present in the opening of Mahler’s Second Symphony. By now a palate cleanser may be needed with your pre-lunch cocktail. For this you may turn to the final piece of classical music ever created: the last of Strauss’ Four Last Songs, fittingly entitled “Im Abendrot (At Sunset).”

[Ending the day:]

Where then to end? With the greatest musical recording ever made: Dinu Lipatti’s rendition of Bach’s “Ich Ruf Zu Dir, Mein Herr (I Call to You, My Lord).” Lipatti was dying of leukemia and recorded it against the instructions of his doctors. Its sublime cadences instruct us fully in the acceptance of our condition. As he called out from the keyboard, Dinu Lipatti was approaching eternal rest. You will hopefully not be: Soon another day will dawn, and your journey can begin anew.


2 Feedbacks on "Bunky’s Day of Music"

Capt. Craig

It is a chaise longue, tisk tisk.


I suspect that Mr. Kaufmann is interested in being more of a part of his kids” lives than their being a part of his. Who knows? And I really don”t want to know. That is his private life. That is my guess. And if he is busy in rehearsal, who would look after all three kids (especially if they are teenagers.as seen by this working mom) ? I think the one-two week rehearsal time for the revival of an extremely popular, frequently done opera could provide an attendance exception for an opera superstar.. especially in the age of the internet, good enough for “extremely fast learners like Mr.Kaufmann, as one musician who had worked with him told me. Anyway, we shall see how it works next fall. Perhaps Mr. Kaufmann can explore coming to Philadelphia, my home territory, where Mr. Neguet-Sezin conducts regularly, and where an award-winning Opera Philadelphia company is attracting great singers and exciting new repertoire not to mention the many great music schools, including the Curtis Institute.


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