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Subject: Re: Great but unglamorous conductors
From: francis augustus <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:francis augustus <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 2 May 2017 11:51:45 +1000
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I may well have posted this before, but here’s some good close ups of Mackerras in 1973 opening the Sydney Opera House* in an all Wagnerian programme with Nilsson. The eyes have it.

https://youtu.be/a12G8F2tX9o <https://youtu.be/a12G8F2tX9o>

I was there, and get a bit choked up to this day watching him.

John Augustus (Sydney)

(*the Concert Hall part of it; the Opera Theatre would open the following night with Sam Wanamakers’ production fo War and Peace c Sir Edward Downes.)


> On 2 May 2017, at 9:59 AM, Vesna Danilovic <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> Hi Max and list,
> 
> I already wrote about Milanov a few times in the past and will pass on it
> this time, but would like to add a few thoughts (and names) to this
> interesting post. I couldn’t say it better than you did about how much
> conducting in operas matters.
> 
> As for Mackerras and Davis, I love them both. I have a sense that the Czech
> opera would not have been as highly appreciated and a part of the
> mainstream opera canon in the world today had it not been for Mackerras’
> devotion to this music and land. I wish every country with some degree of
> its own opera tradition has their Mackerras. Who knows how many opera gems
> are out there that we never heard because of their unfamiliar language and
> similar reasons.
> 
> My favorite conductors whom I would rank along the greatest ones of the
> past, even though they didn’t share their “glamour” status: Panizza,
> Markevitch, and Mitropoulos. Great, great conductors. There’s not a single
> recording, including orchestral in case of Markevitch and Mitropoulos, that
> disappoint, always bringing interpretive insights and style like no other.
> 
> Panizza somehow went into oblivion in the West after his successful Met
> tenure in the late 1930s and early 1940s. Both he and Markevitch also
> composed and Panizza's opera "Aurora" has an aria that is to this day
> considered an unofficial anthem of his native Argentina. The 1940 UN BALLO
> broadcast from the Met is still my all-time favorite, not least for his
> conducting from the first to the last note. He magnificently captured the
> lightness of gaity and the dark tragedy, both flawlessly interwoven in this
> great score. The same could be said for his magisterial conducting in SIMON
> BOCCANEGRA and OTELLO from the same period.
> 
> Some of our listers who heard Mitropoulos live reminisced fondly about him
> on this forum and we occasionally mention him. Markevitch, however, is
> hardly mentioned these days, but I wouldn't be without his DAMNATION OF
> FAUST (the live recording finds Gedda and Crespin in even better voice than
> in studio, though Markevitch is consistently inspired in them both),
> Glinka's A LIFE FOR THE TSAR, all Tchaikovsky symphonies, Haydn's CREATION
> (with Seefried and Borg in their prime), Stravinsky's "The Rite of Spring",
> and so much more...
> 
> Vesna
> 
> On Mon, May 1, 2017 at 12:07 AM, Maxwell Paley <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
>> Much as I’m devoted to the human voice, both in opera and in popular music
>> and jazz, for me the conductor is the foundation of a great operatic
>> performance. The shape and color he gives, at least for the way I listen,
>> creates the template that makes the statement of the work and serves as a
>> platform for the expressive capabilities of the soloists. A great conductor
>> doesn’t just “accompany” but he has to allow space for the artists to make
>> their own statements about the role and music. <snip for space>
> 
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