Capricorn Conversations

Composers Samuel Barber and Gian Carlo Menotti reading and smoking in the study at their home, "Capricorn," in Mount Kisco, New York, 1950. (Photo by Nina Leen/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images)

An occasional podcast series, in the after-life of this film project, featuring more composers and musicians from Barber’s 20th century American lineage, in conversation with director H. Paul Moon.

“Alexa, play podcast Capricorn Conversations”

EPISODE 1: DARON HAGEN

In this inaugural episode, composer Daron Hagen chats with filmmaker H. Paul Moon at the Wintergreen Music Festival in the Appalachian mountains of Virginia, where Daron has just premiered his feature-length score The Passion of Jekyll & Hyde for chamber orchestra (click here to watch the complete film fused with his original music in concert). He also recently released his memoir entitled Duet With the Past, and in this hour of conversation, we talk about that book, his insights as a composer, and his memories of peers like Gian Carlo Menotti, Ned Rorem, David Diamond, Leonard Bernstein, and Samuel Barber.


EPISODE 2: JOHN MAUCERI

In this second episode, conductor John Mauceri talks with filmmaker H. Paul Moon in New York City about Gian Carlo Menotti, Leonard Bernstein, and other 20th century contemporaries of Samuel Barber, whose opera Antony and Cleopatra he recounts attending when it opened the Metropolitan Opera House. He also discusses his new book For the Love of Music: A Conductor’s Guide to the Art of Listening, and the worlds of film music and Broadway musicals alongside his distinguished career conducting the world’s leading opera companies and symphony orchestras.


EPISODE 3: BARBARA HEYMAN

In this third episode, author Barbara Heyman talks with filmmaker H. Paul Moon in New York City about the new second edition of her biography about Samuel Barber, almost 30 years after the initial publication of her definitive research that won the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award. Her book is available now from Oxford University Press, and at: amzn.to/3c4w8wG


EPISODE 4: HOWARD POLLACK

In this fourth episode, author Howard Pollack talks with filmmaker H. Paul Moon in Brooklyn about his forthcoming biography of Samuel Barber, the latest in his distinguished career writing about other leading American composers and lyricists including Aaron Copland and George Gershwin: amzn.to/2S3ngSW


EPISODE 5: DAVID DEL TREDICI

In this fifth episode, renowned composer David Del Tredici is joined by pianist Marc Peloquin in a conversation with filmmaker H. Paul Moon, discussing David’s distinctive and bold Neo-Romantic body of work, ranging from his settings of Lewis Carroll’s “Alice In Wonderland,” to his piano works performed and recorded by Marc. David recounts his interactions with Samuel Barber, Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein, Leonard Slatkin, and many more legends in 20th century music.


EPISODE 6: STEVEN MERCURIO

In this sixth episode, Maestro Steven Mercurio talks about his emergence as a composer and conductor, and his intersections with mid-20th century American composers including David Del Tredici, Lukas Foss, John Corigliano, and Gian Carlo Menotti leading to his tenure at the Spoleto Festival. Steven addresses the climate of music today, offering hope around politics and the pandemic.


EPISODE 7: JON DEAK

In this seventh episode, composer Jon Deak talks about his Very Young Composers program that empowers children to create music for orchestras, his long career with the New York Philharmonic, and the endless power of orchestral music. He also reflects with filmmaker H. Paul Moon about their collaborative transformation of his concert drama The Passion of Scrooge into a film (scroogeopera.com).


EPISODE 8: TOBIAS PICKER

In this eighth episode, composer Tobias Picker reflects on his affinity for Johannes Brahms, his childhood correspondence with Gian Carlo Menotti, and his body of work including Old and Lost Rivers. He also talks about his operatic adaptation of Oliver Sacks’ Awakenings and its haunting resonance with the pandemic of our own time. This Capricorn Conversation is a companion to director H. Paul Moon’s concert film that includes the composer himself on piano, as seen at: vimeo.com/hpmoon/tobiaspicker