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Subject: Re: thomas beecham quotes
From: tom ponti <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:tom ponti <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 8 Mar 2017 23:23:34 +0000
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Many years ago in a book store I saw a copy of, I think an autobiography by Elizabeth Schwarzkopf, in which she said that she could never understand why Beecham did not like Victoria's Mi Mi. Elizabeth said that after seeing Victoria as Mi Mi, she gave up singing the role. Victoria and Beecham also clashed during the recording of Carmen. Things got so bad that Victoria walked out and the recording was delayed for about a year. Beecham was a great conductor but I doubt that most purchased the Carmen, and especially the Boheme, because of him


________________________________
From: Discussion of opera and related issues <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Maxwell Paley <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, March 8, 2017 5:50 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [OPERA-L] thomas beecham quotes

I don't know if it was as much that Beecham didn't like Sutherland or if he was being contrary because he thought that Decca and RCA were pushing her down his throat. RCA was very unhappy about the switch to Vyvyan; Sutherland was a sudden star and via their new partnership with Decca they were going to have her on their label.  This was why the Sutherland/Bonynge "Norma" was released on RCA - it took several years but it was payback

Beecham also badly wanted to take advantage of the success of his "Boheme" recording to conduct it with the same cast at Covent Garden, except that he vehemently did NOT want Victoria de los Angeles as Mimi.  He never explained.

For me, the really great Beecham recordings were pre WWII, including symphonic recordings (Sibelius, Mozart) and the terrific Berlin "Magic Flute." The later recordings tend to be on the slow side for me, although I love the nuance, detail and, even with some basic slower tempi, sheer "swing" and thrust he brought to the studio "Carmen." I also like the stereo Beethoven Mass in C a lot.

I have somewhat similar feelings about Bruno Walter. To me, the really great work is pre-war although there were some really outstanding postwar Mahler recordings ("Das Lied von der Erde" from Vienna with Ferrier and Patzak and the stereo New York 2nd Symphony with Forrester as alto soloist).  I find that the stereo Beethoven and Mozart symphonies too often justify Toscaninis criticism: "When Walter comes to something beautiful, he melts."

Max Paley

Sent from my iPhone

> On Mar 8, 2017, at 13:31, David Kubiak <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> I didn't see one about a performance of 'Messiah':  'I want hundreds and
> hundreds of singers, but I don't want that Australian woman.' She being Joan
> Sutherland.
>
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