Playing Condi Rice's Favorite Music

What does a list of Condoleezza Rice's 10 favorite songs say about the secretary of state? She's a little bit classical and a little bit rock 'n' roll. Brahms, Beethoven and Bono, topped off with a dollop of Cream.

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LINDA WERTHEIMER, host:

I nominate Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice the most tasteful member of this administration, not that there's much competition. I noticed she mostly shows up at congressional hearings or departmental briefings in very well-fitted dark suits with some splendid but understated jewelry. But then there was the short skirt and super high-heeled shiny black boots that she wore to Germany. She kind of cuts loose when it comes to evening clothes, more colorful and revealing. And now we find that her taste in music is a similar combination of the classics. Most of it, greatest hits from the 19th century and the 1970s, with some exceptions.

In a list published by the online edition of the British newspaper, the Independent, SOS Rice names as her number one hit Mozart's Piano Concerto in D Minor.

(Soundbite of Mozart's Piano Concerto in D Minor)

WERTHEIMER: The most impressive thing about that choice is that the Honorable Ms. Rice can actually play that piece. She learned it when she was just 15. Most of her pop choices are obvious. Aretha Franklin's Respect. Celebration by Kool and the Gang. Elton John's Rocket Man, which brings back her college years, she says. The best thing on that part of her list is this by Cream.

(Soundbite of Cream song)

WERTHEIMER: As a classically trained musician, Ms. Rice has to go for the three B's, Brahms, Beethoven and Bono. Beethoven Seventh, obvious again, but then two by Brahms. One she does play and this one she hopes to master.

(Soundbite of Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2):

WERTHEIMER: That was Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2. And she put Anything by Bono on her list. As befits an internationalist, Ms. Rice concludes her list with a bit of blood-soaked state craft: Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov, the story of a usurper who seizes the throne then goes mad with guilt and dies. But things go well for him at first. This is from the coronation scene.

(Soundbite of Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov)

WERTHEIMER: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice picking her greatest hits.

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