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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000097.txt from 1999/01

From: David Bourque <>
Subj: [kl] Re: Richard Strauss' duet concertino
Date: Mon, 4 Jan 1999 08:11:47 -0500

>Date: Sun, 3 Jan 1999 09:53:43 -1300
>From: "Dan Leeson:>
>Subject: Richard Strauss' duet concertino
>Message-ID: <>

Dan Leeson wrote:
>(Burghauser) also told me that Strauss was a great conductor but a very bad
>card player.

A few years ago we were playing "The Happy Workshop" with Franz Paul
Decker, the Swiss conductor. For those of you who do not know him, Decker
is one of the last of the "old" generation of conductors -- thoroughly and
impeccably trained as a conductor. A superb musician. Anyone who could
facilitate a great and exciting performance of that banal Alpine Symphony
has to be doing something right. Some say that he is also a crazy man.

I could only wish that there were more conductors of his calibre around.
Sadly, there are few. Lots of charlatans and people who would be great at
charades, but few people who can bring insight to the music *and*
coordinate the performing forces in such a way as to bring out the artistry
of the players resulting in great performances. Over the years, he has
also found a respect for the players. (Apparently, it was not always

But I digress.

Decker has to be the leading conducting authority on the music of Strauss,
if not only for his personal insights into Strauss' card playing. His
conducting teacher was a buddy of Strauss and Decker would join them in the
mountains for extended card games.

David Bourque
Bass Clarinet, Toronto Symphony Orchestra


Hey! Check out the TSO Musicians Website!


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