SA's new spin doctors

2008-09-29 00:00

Some years ago I was driving to Pretoria from Johannesburg, listening to Classic FM and I heard the most astonishing rendition of the Mahler Sixth Symphony being played. So amazing was it, and so impressed was I by it that I phoned the station to ask who was conducting. I was told it was one Benjamin Zander. Since then I have bought all his recordings of the Mahler Symphonies and I have found that I was as entranced by all of them, except one — the ninth — as I had been on that very first hearing of the sixth.

But I put my feelings of unease aside with the view that, very possibly, I was just being prejudiced, or mean-minded. So, I got up bright and early to have breakfast with the great Zander.

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