A more perfect union: A musical tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Mar 25, 2021

Ruth Bader Ginsburg in the WFMT studio, Chicago
Credit WFMT Radio Network

This week on Classical IPR in Concert, we present a special from the WFMT Radio Network that honors the musical legacy of the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Listen Friday at 8 p.m. or Sunday at noon on Classical IPR. This special is not currently available for on-demand listening.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg spent a lifetime championing her two passions: equal rights and classical music, often referencing the similarities between the courtroom and the concert hall. WFMT presents a new special as family and friends, including her son Jim Ginsburg, Renée Fleming, Denyce Graves, Lawrence Brownlee, Francesca Zambello, and Nina Totenburg, honor Ginsburg’s legacy and devotion to music.

Ginsburg was a frequent opera-goer, classical music aficionado, and champion of equal rights that extended into the fine arts sector. On several occasions, Ginsburg hosted talks about the correlation between opera and the law. These programs were made up of selected scenes from a wide range of operas that deal with the subjects of law and justice. Some examples include Bizet’s Carmen and Gilbert & Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance, which RBG herself presents in a past WFMT Impromptu. Other musical selections are hand-picked by family and friends: arias from Don Giovanni, Fidelio, selections from Chicago’s Cedille Records release Notorious RBG in Song, and much more.

From trailblazing jurist, cultural and feminist icon, and passionate classical music admirer, hear stories and memories of the Notorious RBG and her reverence in the legal and opera worlds as told by family and friends in A More Perfect Union: A Musical Tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The special is hosted by WFMT’s Lisa Flynn, and is produced by Rebecca Nystedt.

Playlist for A More Perfect Union: A Musical Tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsburg

“Dance of the Hours” from La Gioconda by Amilcare Ponchielli (excerpt)

Prelude in G-sharp minor, Op. 32 No. 5 by Sergei Rachmaninov (excerpt)

Overture from Don Giovanni by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (excerpt)

“Deh! Vieni alla finestra” and “Fin ch’han dal vino” from Don Giovanni by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

“Pres des remparts de Seville” (Seguidilla) from Carmen by Georges Bizet

“Komm Hoffnung” from Fidelio by Ludwig van Beethoven

“The House I Live In” by Earl Robinson and Abel Meeropol

“Making the Best of It”; “First Ask Yourself”; “To Understand” from Half-Minute Songs by Carrie Jacobs-Bond

“Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor” by Irving Berlin (from “The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus)

Romance for Violin and Piano, Op. 23 by Amy Beach

“Marie Theres! …Hab mirs gelobt” from Der Rosenkavalier by Richard Strauss

Nocturne from String Poetic by Jennifer Higdon (excerpt)

“Ah! mes amis … Pour mon ame” from La fille du regiment by Gaetano Donizetti

“All Night, All Day,” African American Spiritual

‘Leap Day Paradox’ from Pirates of Penzance by Arthur Sullivan and William Schwenck Gilbert

Chaconne, from the Partita for Violin No. 2 in D minor by J.S. Bach (excerpt)

“V. Anita’s Story” from THE LONGVIEW: A Portrait of Ruth Bader Ginsburg in Nine Songs by Patrice Michaels

“You Are Searching in Vain for a Bright-Line Solution” from Scalia/Ginsburg by Derrick Wang

“American Anthem” by Gene Scheer, arr. Floyd

“Deep River,” African American Spiritual

“VIII. Dissenter of de Universe: Five Opinions and a Comment” from THE LONGVIEW: A Portrait of Ruth Bader Ginsburg in Nine Songs (excerpt) by Patrice Michaels

Prelude in G-sharp minor, Op. 32 No. 5 by Sergei Rachmaninov (excerpt)