Conductors are "bullies" now!!

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Belle
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Conductors are "bullies" now!!

Post by Belle » Sat May 12, 2018 5:43 pm

I prefer "dictators" or "tyrants"!!! :roll:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/11/opin ... llies.html

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Re: Conductors are "bullies" now!!

Post by Lance » Sun May 13, 2018 12:36 am

Wow. What a piece of writing! It certainly does make one think. Szell was called a tyrant (and worse), as was Toscanini, among others. Furtwangler didn't seem to be referred to that way; but look what ALL of them attained with their orchestras. I always think it is a matter of approach, respect, and encouragement to get the best from people. Maybe that's considered passé these days.
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barney
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Re: Conductors are "bullies" now!!

Post by barney » Sun May 13, 2018 3:08 am

Fascinating article. But I don't believe conductors can behave as Toscanini or Szell did any more. By and large relations between musicians and conductor have become more collaborative, though some still wield strong authority (I've heard Thielemann is one). I don't mind authority, but abuse is a different matter.

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Re: Conductors are "bullies" now!!

Post by lennygoran » Sun May 13, 2018 6:24 am

barney wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 3:08 am
Fascinating article. But I don't believe conductors can behave as Toscanini or Szell did any more. By and large relations between musicians and conductor have become more collaborative, though some still wield strong authority (I've heard Thielemann is one). I don't mind authority, but abuse is a different matter.
Barney this article made me think more about Trump and his supporters than about conductors although the recent harrassment cases involving Levine and Dutoit also come to mind. Regards, Len :(

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Re: Conductors are "bullies" now!!

Post by John F » Sun May 13, 2018 7:13 am

Brooks is a sociologist and the president of the American Enterprise Institute. He does have a little bit of experience as an orchestral player, three years in Barcelona 25 years ago. But compared with the behavior of Toscanini, Reiner, and others not so long ago, his one example involving a guest conductor is hardly enough to support his conclusion. Musicians' unions now protect players' jobs and provide a medium for complaints by the players; unless Catalonian musicians have no such protection, and the player who spoke up was not just dismissed from the rehearsal but was fired, as used to happen in the bad old days, his one example doesn't amount to much.

Conductors are held responsible by the public and critics not only for the quality of their interpretations but for the playing of the orchestras they conduct. With good reason: top conductors not only can get orchestras to play better than usual for them but to take on a sound identifiable as the conductor's. (Stokowski!) This puts the conductor under a lot of pressure, and if an orchestra can't or won't work him to play music his way, I should think he is likely to let them know it, and may not be gentle about it. Hardly worth a New York Times op-ed.
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Re: Conductors are "bullies" now!!

Post by maestrob » Sun May 13, 2018 11:04 am

Great conducting these days is a dying art. It takes energy and enthusiasm to bring out the best in an orchestra, and often these are mistaken for negative energy. Bernstein was often excoriated privately by his NY players, yet look at the results he produced consistently. Nowadays we have too many polite conductors, and they produce polite read-throughs (even on recordings) that disappoint. Enthusiasm is the key to musical enjoyment, and it's lacking in so many "paint-by-the-numbers" interpretations I'm hearing.

Power is corrupting. Absolute power is absolutely corrupting. Just take a long look at the MET. Then look at the consistently amazing performances Levine was able to produce, and wonder again.

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Re: Conductors are "bullies" now!!

Post by Ricordanza » Sun May 13, 2018 11:25 am

Just some more detail from Arthur Brooks' bio on the AEI website:
Professor of French Horn, Harid Conservatory of Music, Lynn University, 1992–95
French Hornist, City Orchestra of Barcelona, 1989–92
French Hornist, Annapolis Brass Quintet, 1983–89
I agree with those who have said that Brooks' generalization about conductors does not fit the music scene in the United States these days. For example, from what I've heard (and observed in one open rehearsal), the Philadelphia Orchestra's Yannick is no bully, although I am sure he is demanding in order to get the results he wants.

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Re: Conductors are "bullies" now!!

Post by Lance » Sun May 13, 2018 11:32 am

Totally agree, conductors today can never treat orchestral members like they did in the Toscanini era given union protection. Among the celebrated conductors of the past, I never hear anything about Pierre Monteux promoting these tyrant/dictatorial/bully attitudes and he certainly was one of the greats. Nor did I hear about Mitropoulos in this manner. Stokowski could be fanatical about his "sound" at times, but not usually in the manner of a Szell or Toscanini.
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Re: Conductors are "bullies" now!!

Post by Heck148 » Sun May 13, 2018 12:14 pm

Lance wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 11:32 am
Totally agree, conductors today can never treat orchestral members like they did in the Toscanini era given union protection. Among the celebrated conductors of the past, I never hear anything about Pierre Monteux promoting these tyrant/dictatorial/bully attitudes and he certainly was one of the greats. Nor did I hear about Mitropoulos in this manner. Stokowski could be fanatical about his "sound" at times, but not usually in the manner of a Szell or Toscanini.
Monteux and Bruno Walter got great results without being tyrannical sobs - they were polite, courteous to their musicians...However, they knew exactly what they wanted, and how to get it...the outstanding musicianship was persuasive...Bud Herseth [long-time principal Trumpet of CSO] said that Monteux was his favorite conductor, and that of many other orchestra members...He said that the musicians might take advantage of his good nature in rehearsals, but when it came show time, everybody was putting out 100%...Mitropoulos was nice, probably too nice...the NYPO took advantage of him, tho they loved him as their conductor...
Reiner and Szell were notorious tyrants - and they were bullies as well - using their position of authority to belittle or abuse their underlings...they had the power, and they knew how to use it...
With these conductors, I think a parallel can be made between conductors and Major league coaches of sports teams....there have certainly been some tyrants in that arena - Bill Belichick and Vince Lombardi being but two examples...these are/were great coaches, who had tremendously successful records...absolutely tyrannical and demanding....Reiner and Szell are remarkably similar...the success is undeniable, the methods often brutal...but musicians, like athletes, like to play on "the winning team", so they will tolerate the abuse and tyranny from the head honcho, because the results achieved are superb...

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Re: Conductors are "bullies" now!!

Post by John F » Sun May 13, 2018 12:19 pm

With Mitropoulos it was the other way around - the players of the New York Philharmonic bullied him mercilessly, and he never retaliated. I never heard that "they loved him as their conductor," their behavior sometimes rose to contempt. But when conducting in Europe, especially Vienna, the musicians were evidently on his side.
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Re: Conductors are "bullies" now!!

Post by Heck148 » Sun May 13, 2018 5:49 pm

John F wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 12:19 pm
With Mitropoulos it was the other way around - the players of the New York Philharmonic bullied him mercilessly, and he never retaliated. I never heard that "they loved him as their conductor," their behavior sometimes rose to contempt. But when conducting in Europe, especially Vienna, the musicians were evidently on his side.
I can't speak for all of the NYPO musicians, but I studied with Bill Polisi, the principal bassoonist in those years; he loved Mitropoulos, loved playing for him, and said that many of his colleagues felt the same way...it's true that they got away with murder, and Mitropoulos just wasn't the personality type to bring them back in line.

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Re: Conductors are "bullies" now!!

Post by Belle » Sun May 13, 2018 5:52 pm

I remember Brigitte Fassbaender saying of Carlos Kleiber ("Traces to Nowhere").."Carlos Kleiber was a dictator through and through, but very human with it".

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Re: Conductors are "bullies" now!!

Post by Heck148 » Sun May 13, 2018 6:04 pm

Belle wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 5:52 pm
I remember Brigitte Fassbaender saying of Carlos Kleiber ("Traces to Nowhere").."Carlos Kleiber was a dictator through and through, but very human with it".
A strong personality is a pre-requisite for a successful conductor...you have to have it if you're going to get in front of 80 Heifetz/virtuoso wannabes, and tell them that they have to play the music the way YOU want it...
Strong personalities of course, can be expressed in many different ways. I've played under some conductors who were quite talented musically - good ear, clear sense of rhythm, good overall concept of what they wanted to do - but they were wimpy personalities..They simply couldn't control what was going on...they had no ability to assert their will over the collective ensemble.

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Re: Conductors are "bullies" now!!

Post by Belle » Sun May 13, 2018 6:13 pm

Heck148 wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 6:04 pm
Belle wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 5:52 pm
I remember Brigitte Fassbaender saying of Carlos Kleiber ("Traces to Nowhere").."Carlos Kleiber was a dictator through and through, but very human with it".
A strong personality is a pre-requisite for a successful conductor...you have to have it if you're going to get in front of 80 Heifetz/virtuoso wannabes, and tell them that they have to play the music the way YOU want it...
Strong personalities of course, can be expressed in many different ways. I've played under some conductors who were quite talented musically - good ear, clear sense of rhythm, good overall concept of what they wanted to do - but they were wimpy personalities..They simply couldn't control what was going on...they had no ability to assert their will over the collective ensemble.
I remember reading about Robert Schumann's disastrous forays into conducting in Dusseldorf..."they don't seem to be able to play in time"!!! The man had 'issues', as we know, and leadership was a quality he definitely lacked.

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Re: Conductors are "bullies" now!!

Post by barney » Sun May 13, 2018 6:21 pm

Heck148 wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 6:04 pm
Belle wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 5:52 pm
I remember Brigitte Fassbaender saying of Carlos Kleiber ("Traces to Nowhere").."Carlos Kleiber was a dictator through and through, but very human with it".
A strong personality is a pre-requisite for a successful conductor...you have to have it if you're going to get in front of 80 Heifetz/virtuoso wannabes, and tell them that they have to play the music the way YOU want it...
Strong personalities of course, can be expressed in many different ways. I've played under some conductors who were quite talented musically - good ear, clear sense of rhythm, good overall concept of what they wanted to do - but they were wimpy personalities..They simply couldn't control what was going on...they had no ability to assert their will over the collective ensemble.
True, but the better the orchestra the more they should respond to the musical ability of a fine conductor. Or is that naive? How did the NYPO make Mitropoulos' life a misery?

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Re: Conductors are "bullies" now!!

Post by Heck148 » Sun May 13, 2018 7:23 pm

barney wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 6:21 pm
True, but the better the orchestra the more they should respond to the musical ability of a fine conductor. Or is that naive? How did the NYPO make Mitropoulos' life a misery?
Any conductor needs a strong personality - the better the orchestra, the more the need for both musical ability and strength of personality. professional musicians have very strong convictions, they know how they want to play, and they do not suffer fools. They'll do all sorts of stuff to expose a phony - play wrong notes on rehearsal, transpose section parts just to see if the conductor notices...if a conductor comes in, knows what he/she is doing, makes their wishes known clearly, gets it to work, corrects what is wrong, musicians will develop a respect for that conductor..it's not easy - orchestras will challenge a conductor. the musicians really don't need to "like" the conductor - they need to respect him/her and to play their very best for them.

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Re: Conductors are "bullies" now!!

Post by Heck148 » Mon May 14, 2018 11:06 am

maestrob wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 11:04 am
Great conducting these days is a dying art. It takes energy and enthusiasm to bring out the best in an orchestra, and often these are mistaken for negative energy. Bernstein was often excoriated privately by his NY players, yet look at the results he produced consistently. Nowadays we have too many polite conductors, and they produce polite read-throughs (even on recordings) that disappoint. Enthusiasm is the key to musical enjoyment, and it's lacking in so many "paint-by-the-numbers" interpretations I'm hearing.
Maestro, I think you may be right - there is so much jet-setting, conduct-in-as-many-venues-as-possible mode now among conductors - they just aren't putting in the amount of time in rehearsal and concert that music directors of the past did...There are certainly some talented people around, who are giving fine performances and recordings, but not alot of individuality, chance-taking...is conducting all merging into a generally homogeneous "Bb" reality, like orchestral playing seems to be??

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Re: Conductors are "bullies" now!!

Post by maestrob » Mon May 14, 2018 11:09 am

Heck148 wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 7:23 pm
barney wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 6:21 pm
True, but the better the orchestra the more they should respond to the musical ability of a fine conductor. Or is that naive? How did the NYPO make Mitropoulos' life a misery?
Any conductor needs a strong personality - the better the orchestra, the more the need for both musical ability and strength of personality. professional musicians have very strong convictions, they know how they want to play, and they do not suffer fools. They'll do all sorts of stuff to expose a phony - play wrong notes on rehearsal, transpose section parts just to see if the conductor notices...if a conductor comes in, knows what he/she is doing, makes their wishes known clearly, gets it to work, corrects what is wrong, musicians will develop a respect for that conductor..it's not easy - orchestras will challenge a conductor. the musicians really don't need to "like" the conductor - they need to respect him/her and to play their very best for them.
Exactly right!

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Re: Conductors are "bullies" now!!

Post by barney » Tue May 15, 2018 9:25 pm

maestrob wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 11:09 am
Heck148 wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 7:23 pm
barney wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 6:21 pm
True, but the better the orchestra the more they should respond to the musical ability of a fine conductor. Or is that naive? How did the NYPO make Mitropoulos' life a misery?
Any conductor needs a strong personality - the better the orchestra, the more the need for both musical ability and strength of personality. professional musicians have very strong convictions, they know how they want to play, and they do not suffer fools. They'll do all sorts of stuff to expose a phony - play wrong notes on rehearsal, transpose section parts just to see if the conductor notices...if a conductor comes in, knows what he/she is doing, makes their wishes known clearly, gets it to work, corrects what is wrong, musicians will develop a respect for that conductor..it's not easy - orchestras will challenge a conductor. the musicians really don't need to "like" the conductor - they need to respect him/her and to play their very best for them.
Exactly right!
Yes, I get that, of course. It might be idealistic of me, but I feel that if a conductor lacks a driving personality but has all the other qualities - clear communication, sense of shape and line, sensitive interpretation etc - professional musicians should cut him or her some slack.
I suppose it's the same as many fields, including my own, that a certain ego and confidence is needed to progress far. Being shy and humble, as I am, obviously stopped me editing the New York Times!

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Re: Conductors are "bullies" now!!

Post by Heck148 » Sat May 19, 2018 8:32 am

barney wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 9:25 pm
Yes, I get that, of course. It might be idealistic of me, but I feel that if a conductor lacks a driving personality but has all the other qualities - clear communication, sense of shape and line, sensitive interpretation etc - professional musicians should cut him or her some slack.
It really doesn't work that way...musicians respect a conductor who has clear idea of what is to be achieved, can impress his/her ideas on the orchestra in a convincing fashion, and can rehearse efficiently. A weak, wimpy personality doesn't cut it...

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Re: Conductors are "bullies" now!!

Post by John F » Sat May 19, 2018 9:23 am

Some orchestras, maybe many, test their conductors' competence by making deliberate mistakes during rehearsals to see if the conductor can detect and correct them. If not, then the orchestra doesn't think much of him. To me this is unprofessional, orchestral players shouldn't make mistakes deliberately (or otherwise), but there it is.

Richard Horowitz, long-time timpanist in the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, told me once about rehearsals for "Elektra" in the early 1950s. Fritz Reiner was the conductor, and some of the players tested him in this way - and Reiner failed the test; he let the mistakes pass. The orchestration of "Elektra" is so thick, with many lines in the huge orchestration not really meant to be heard (Strauss said this of his own orchestration though not necessarily of "Elektra") that perhaps it wasn't a fair test. But Reiner being the kind of person he was, the orchestra probably felt he was asking for it.

On the other hand there have been conductors who caught and corrected mistakes printed in the players' parts which had been played unwittingly for years. Toscanini did so when rehearsing "Götterdämmerung" at the Met before World War I, and of course this won the players' respect.
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Re: Conductors are "bullies" now!!

Post by Heck148 » Sun May 20, 2018 10:15 am

John F wrote:
Sat May 19, 2018 9:23 am

Richard Horowitz, long-time timpanist in the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, told me once about rehearsals for "Elektra" in the early 1950s. Fritz Reiner was the conductor, and some of the players tested him in this way - and Reiner failed the test; he let the mistakes pass. The orchestration of "Elektra" is so thick, with many lines in the huge orchestration not really meant to be heard (Strauss said this of his own orchestration though not necessarily of "Elektra") that perhaps it wasn't a fair test. But Reiner being the kind of person he was, the orchestra probably felt he was asking for it.
Fudging notes in "Elektra" is not particularly brazen, or brave on the part of the musicians - the texture is very thick, bi-tonal, heavily chromatic and dissonant...one could play a wrong note here and there and Strauss himself would probably fail to pick it out...same with large works by Schoenberg, Berg or Varese - it's doubtful the composer would notice... a wrong note [unless in a prominent solo or exposed passage] would probably get by undetected....now, playing a wrong note in say, Brahms, Dvorak, Tchaikovsky, even Liszt or Wagner would/should be quickly detected.
In school, we played a trick on this one graduate conducting student, a South American guy who was pretty arrogant and condescending....Dvorak New World mvt II - opening chorale, we played it down a half-step...naturally, the strings sounded completely off when they entered...we re-started, again, total harmonic disaster....the conductor knew something was wrong, but didn't get it...the concertmistress is the one who got it - glared at the back rows - "WTH are you doing??!!" :P 8)
Of course, we'd never have tried that with the regular faculty conductors [Walter] Hendl, Willis Page or [Laszlo] Halasz.

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Re: Conductors are "bullies" now!!

Post by John F » Sun May 20, 2018 11:14 am

I'm not saying that deliberately playing wrong notes to test the conductor is brave, but I would say it's pretty brazen. And there are those, such as Pierre Boulez, who have heard wrong notes in the most complex and dissonant modern scores, and corrected them. That's why the New York Philharmonic players called him the French Correction. :)

It may not be reasonable to blame Reiner for not hearing the heckelphone playing wrong notes in the middle of the full Strauss orchestra playing fortissimo, but given the kind of tyrant he was, I'd say he was fair game. Since Toscanini almost never conducted that kind of music, except when he did "Salome" at La Scala before World War I, it would have been harder to catch him out, but I wouldn't be surprised if the New York Philharmonic tried it. They're the orchestra whose first oboe Bruno Labate scolded Otto Klemperer, "Mista Klemps, you talka too much."
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Re: Conductors are "bullies" now!!

Post by Heck148 » Sun May 20, 2018 12:30 pm

John F wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 11:14 am
I'm not saying that deliberately playing wrong notes to test the conductor is brave, but I would say it's pretty brazen. And there are those, such as Pierre Boulez, who have heard wrong notes in the most complex and dissonant modern scores, and corrected them. That's why the New York Philharmonic players called him the French Correction. :)
Depends upon what instrument, of course...a 2nd clarinet note in the middle of Berg "3 Pieces" fortissimo passage is not likely to be audible, let alone corrected...but you're right, audible mistakes will be heard and corrected - supposedly Solti did this in Schoenberg's "Moses and Aaron" -correcting an error in the 2nd flute part where the texture is quite thick...
There's a story about Richard Strauss - I heard from Willem Valkenier, former principal horn with BSO, who performed at the premiere of several of R. Strauss's later operas - the English horn player remained in the pit after end of rehearsal, feverishly working out some awkward not quite identifiable arpeggio passage, which was buried in a whole sweep of notes for woodwinds and strings....over and over he practiced it...Strauss heard the poor guy struggling with the awkward passage - came over to him - told him that <he needn't worry so much about the exact pitches in that particular part, it was part of a whole sweep of sound that was desired, let's not be too obsessed with each note>> or something to that effect...of course, that's Strauss, not Schoenberg, who was pretty exact regarding the pitches he wanted played.

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Re: Conductors are "bullies" now!!

Post by barney » Mon May 21, 2018 6:14 pm

Heck148 wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 10:15 am
John F wrote:
Sat May 19, 2018 9:23 am

Richard Horowitz, long-time timpanist in the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, told me once about rehearsals for "Elektra" in the early 1950s. Fritz Reiner was the conductor, and some of the players tested him in this way - and Reiner failed the test; he let the mistakes pass. The orchestration of "Elektra" is so thick, with many lines in the huge orchestration not really meant to be heard (Strauss said this of his own orchestration though not necessarily of "Elektra") that perhaps it wasn't a fair test. But Reiner being the kind of person he was, the orchestra probably felt he was asking for it.
Fudging notes in "Elektra" is not particularly brazen, or brave on the part of the musicians - the texture is very thick, bi-tonal, heavily chromatic and dissonant...one could play a wrong note here and there and Strauss himself would probably fail to pick it out...same with large works by Schoenberg, Berg or Varese - it's doubtful the composer would notice... a wrong note [unless in a prominent solo or exposed passage] would probably get by undetected....now, playing a wrong note in say, Brahms, Dvorak, Tchaikovsky, even Liszt or Wagner would/should be quickly detected.
In school, we played a trick on this one graduate conducting student, a South American guy who was pretty arrogant and condescending....Dvorak New World mvt II - opening chorale, we played it down a half-step...naturally, the strings sounded completely off when they entered...we re-started, again, total harmonic disaster....the conductor knew something was wrong, but didn't get it...the concertmistress is the one who got it - glared at the back rows - "WTH are you doing??!!" :P 8)
Of course, we'd never have tried that with the regular faculty conductors [Walter] Hendl, Willis Page or [Laszlo] Halasz.
It may be the child in me, but I find that story very funny. Thanks for sharing it. :lol:

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Re: Conductors are "bullies" now!!

Post by barney » Mon May 21, 2018 6:15 pm

John F wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 11:14 am
I'm not saying that deliberately playing wrong notes to test the conductor is brave, but I would say it's pretty brazen. And there are those, such as Pierre Boulez, who have heard wrong notes in the most complex and dissonant modern scores, and corrected them. That's why the New York Philharmonic players called him the French Correction. :)

It may not be reasonable to blame Reiner for not hearing the heckelphone playing wrong notes in the middle of the full Strauss orchestra playing fortissimo, but given the kind of tyrant he was, I'd say he was fair game. Since Toscanini almost never conducted that kind of music, except when he did "Salome" at La Scala before World War I, it would have been harder to catch him out, but I wouldn't be surprised if the New York Philharmonic tried it. They're the orchestra whose first oboe Bruno Labate scolded Otto Klemperer, "Mista Klemps, you talka too much."
Another lovely story. When, roughly, did that happen John? I never thought of Klemperer as a talker - both his person and his performances seemed carved from granite. Permanently serious face.

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Re: Conductors are "bullies" now!!

Post by John F » Tue May 22, 2018 9:34 am

Klemperer guest-conducted the New York Philharmonic in the 1934-5 and 1935-6 seasons in repertoire ranging from Bach to Berg's "Lulu" symphony. More specific than that I can't get.

An imposing Bruckner 9th from October 1934 was broadcast and has been recorded; naturally, it's on YouTube, in pretty awful sound. The first movement is 4 minutes shorter than OK's EMI recording with the New Philharmonia.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9PVmLN-Wn4

This was Toscanini's NY Phil, then at its peak. I don't suppose Labate talked back to the maestro like that. :)
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Re: Conductors are "bullies" now!!

Post by Heck148 » Wed May 23, 2018 10:36 pm

barney wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 6:15 pm
John F wrote: They're the orchestra whose first oboe Bruno Labate scolded Otto Klemperer, "Mista Klemps, you talka too much."
Another lovely story. When, roughly, did that happen John? I never thought of Klemperer as a talker - both his person and his performances seemed carved from granite. Permanently serious face.


That is a very famous story - in his earlier years Klemperer was known as quite a talker. What adds to the humor is the contrast in physical stature of each man - Klemperer was a giant, very tall and austere, Labate was tiny, they said when he sat in his chair, he was the same height as when he was standing!! OK could probably have swallowed him in one gulp.....

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Re: Conductors are "bullies" now!!

Post by Heck148 » Wed May 23, 2018 10:43 pm

John F wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 9:34 am
This was Toscanini's NY Phil, then at its peak. I don't suppose Labate talked back to the maestro like that. :)
LOL!! No way!!

The NYPO did give Rodzinski a hard time tho - He was conducting Mahler's 1st Symphony - sometime in the 30s - rehearsal was not going well, and Rodzinski, he of the Vesuvian temper, was getting increasingly frustrated..... he says quite sarcastically <<Well, my esteemed friends, what might we do to improve the Mahler>>
from the back row - Harry Glantz [principal trumpet]: "Get Bruno Walter!!"
:lol: :P

RebLem
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Re: Conductors are "bullies" now!!

Post by RebLem » Wed May 23, 2018 10:53 pm

Heck148 wrote:
Wed May 23, 2018 10:36 pm
I never thought of Klemperer as a talker - both his person and his performances seemed carved from granite. Permanently serious face.
Per Wikipedia, "...​after completing the 1939 Los Angeles Philharmonic summer season at the Hollywood Bowl, Klemperer was visiting Boston and was diagnosed with a brain tumor; the subsequent brain surgery to remove "a tumour the size of a small orange" left him partially paralyzed."
That had a lot to do with why he had such a stony face. Controversy persists as to whether the operation was even necessary. Some believe Klemperer was misdiagnosed and that he never had a tumor at all.
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maestrob
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Re: Conductors are "bullies" now!!

Post by maestrob » Thu May 24, 2018 9:42 am

Heck148 wrote:
Wed May 23, 2018 10:43 pm
John F wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 9:34 am
This was Toscanini's NY Phil, then at its peak. I don't suppose Labate talked back to the maestro like that. :)
LOL!! No way!!

The NYPO did give Rodzinski a hard time tho - He was conducting Mahler's 1st Symphony - sometime in the 30s - rehearsal was not going well, and Rodzinski, he of the Vesuvian temper, was getting increasingly frustrated..... he says quite sarcastically <<Well, my esteemed friends, what might we do to improve the Mahler>>
from the back row - Harry Glantz [principal trumpet]: "Get Bruno Walter!!"
:lol: :P
:lol: 8) :D

barney
Posts: 2871
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2008 11:12 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Conductors are "bullies" now!!

Post by barney » Thu May 24, 2018 4:19 pm

Heck148 wrote:
Wed May 23, 2018 10:43 pm
John F wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 9:34 am
This was Toscanini's NY Phil, then at its peak. I don't suppose Labate talked back to the maestro like that. :)
LOL!! No way!!

The NYPO did give Rodzinski a hard time tho - He was conducting Mahler's 1st Symphony - sometime in the 30s - rehearsal was not going well, and Rodzinski, he of the Vesuvian temper, was getting increasingly frustrated..... he says quite sarcastically <<Well, my esteemed friends, what might we do to improve the Mahler>>
from the back row - Harry Glantz [principal trumpet]: "Get Bruno Walter!!"
:lol: :P
Brilliant. :lol: :lol:

barney
Posts: 2871
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2008 11:12 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Conductors are "bullies" now!!

Post by barney » Thu May 24, 2018 4:21 pm

RebLem wrote:
Wed May 23, 2018 10:53 pm
Heck148 wrote:
Wed May 23, 2018 10:36 pm
I never thought of Klemperer as a talker - both his person and his performances seemed carved from granite. Permanently serious face.
Per Wikipedia, "...​after completing the 1939 Los Angeles Philharmonic summer season at the Hollywood Bowl, Klemperer was visiting Boston and was diagnosed with a brain tumor; the subsequent brain surgery to remove "a tumour the size of a small orange" left him partially paralyzed."
That had a lot to do with why he had such a stony face. Controversy persists as to whether the operation was even necessary. Some believe Klemperer was misdiagnosed and that he never had a tumor at all.
I knew he had been paralysed. He conducted at the end from a wheelchair, though not a high-tech version like Levine's. My aunt sang in the chorus in a Mass in B Minor with OK and the Philharmonia in the late 1950s - a great privilege (the aunt who tripped over Artur Rubinstein's feet at a concert).

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