John Check Articles

Fear Itself

The art of sharing the stage with dread.
Aug 10, 2015

Vladimir Horowitz and Maria Callas, Ella Fitzgerald and Laurence Olivier, Sarah Bernhardt and Luciano Pavarotti—these transcendent performers communicated a point of view, an inexpressible feel for life. And they did so despite their spells of stage fright.

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Rosie the Riveting

How a great pop singer regained her voice.
Dec 23, 2013

Rosemary Clooney was brought back to popular consciousness a half-dozen years ago in an episode from the first season of Mad Men. Viewers were treated to a rendition of “Botch-a-Me,” one of her conspicuous successes of the 1950s, a time when she recorded many hit records (the biggest being “Come On-a My House”), appeared on her own weekly television show on CBS and, later, NBC, and starred opposite Bing Crosby in White Christmas (1954).

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The Wonder Man

A second opinion on Mozart’s final days.
Oct 22, 2012

Discussions of what would prove to be Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s last years tend to fixate on his death. Much talk there is—for Christoph Wolff, too much talk—of Mozart’s decline or fall, of the quality of resignation that supposedly crept into his music, even of the “autumnal world” that his late work is said to inhabit. 

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