Stanford’s Operatic Ear

Greg Stanford Photo

Greg Stanford

An Amicable Disclosure

                                                          M. C. Gardner

I became a fan of Greg Stanford’s Operatic Ear on a bus ride.  The bus carried myself, Greg and a half dozen other auditors of Mozart’s Idomeneo.  We were traveling from a Vienna Court  of the 1780s down Pennsylvania Avenue in the 1970s.  Greg held his own court at the rear of our conveyance and discoursed  on the evening’s many virtues and lamented a few of its regrettable  ills.  During the course of our journey he also threw in a moving biography of the composer to bolster his claim of Mozart’s position in a select pantheon that admitted only a celestial quartet: Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and Wagner.  I was in general agreement with him on the first three of those four. What was to become a preeminent friendship spanning a quartet of decades was predicated on an extraordinary immersion into the fourth of the masters previously named. A radio program followed our (successful) attempt to listen to  Wagner’s Ring over a twenty-four hour period.

It was a weekend of musical wonders–I had been baptized in the Rhine–Wagner joined my pantheon to the strains of the Gods’ entrance to Valhalla.

Needless to say the complete Wagner oeuvre was intimately explored in the months that followed. It is fitting that a review of a celebrated performance of Wagner’s last opera should begin these contemporary observations of Greg’s musical recollections.  His review of the Knappertsbusch Parsifal was submitted to  It is succinct and a worthy directive.  AnotherAmerica welcomes Greg’s The Operatic Ear to its pages.

A select few on that bus have yet to deboard — it was a mystical transport —  musical dilations continue on its magical ride…


Leave a Reply

Portal for New Writing