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Ether Game

Year in Review

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: A tricky gambling game

We saw a lot of dirty dealings this past year. In addition to the economy causing headaches and grief for everyone, we also got to see business folks behaving very badly. 2009 was the year of Bernie Madoff, ponzi schemes, and businesses splurging and flaunting their wealth. Such dirty dealings have been around for centuries, and was certainly the case back in the 50s when Leonard Bernstein composed his comic operetta Candide. Based on Voltaire’s biting satire, Candide is the madcap story of a young, naïve man who travels around the globe seeking “the best of all possible worlds.” In this selection, “What’s the Use?,” we find Candide and his friends in a grand Venetian casino. We soon find, though, that the manager of the casino, Ragotski, has his own dirty little scheme to swindle customers of their hard-earned money and support his lavish lifestyle!

Music Heard On This Episode

Leonard Bernstein: Candide: What’s the Use?
Christa Ludwig, Nicolai Gedda, Kurt Ollman; London Symphony Chorus and Orchestra; Leonard Bernstein — Bernstein Conducts Candide (Deutsche Gramophon, 1997)
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