I was driving Jorja Fleezanis and Michael Steinberg back to their hotel after our first meal upon their arrival when we got stuck at a railroad crossing. While I was chatting away to Jorja about trains as part of the rhythms of small town life, Michael was relatively quiet. To my mild relief, the train was gone pretty quickly.
“Phew, I was expecting that to take much longer,” I said.
“Ninety-eight cars,” said Michael. Aha, that was why he’d been a little quiet, he was counting!
“Okay,” I ventured, “here’s a trivia question- what is the best Op 98 ever….”
Being the end of the day, neither of us had too many great ideas, but here are some notable Op 98s
Beethoven- Song Cycle “To the Immortal Beloved” (“An die ferne Geliebte”).
Brahms- Symphony no. 4 in E minor
Shostakovich- Five Romances on Poems of Dolmatovsky
Dvorak Suite in A Major for Piano
Prokofiev- Unpublished Sketches for the Soviet National Anthem
So, this is an easy one- Brahms a decisive winner, with Beethoven a clear, if deeply moving, 2nd…. Prokofiev gets the nod for least likely to get programmed
Redneck Longhair Music update-
Weather- improving, roads melting
Ken’s Mood- mellowing (cautiously)