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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000061.txt from 2000/09

From: Daniel Leeson <>
Subj: Re: [kl] An interesting story about Schoenberg
Date: Sun, 3 Sep 2000 17:58:16 -0400

The story is not hearsay. Haggin is stating what Burghauser told him
and in Burhauser's words. Burghauser was there when the incident
allegedly occurred. Haggin is acting as a reporter of a number of
Burhauser's comments about conductors and is introducing nothing of
himself into these stories. We are speaking about, perhaps 50 separate
anecdotes all reported to Haggin by Burghauser. Perhaps another such
anecdote will be helpful to understand the context in which these are
given, keeping in mind that the article's title is "Vienna's Great
Conductors" and Burghauser, having been principle bassoon with the VPO
from 1918 to 1938, comments on a number of conductors he worked with
including Toscanini. The comments were given late in Burghauser's life
since one of them references a remark of Daniel Barenboim. Here is one
of Burghauser's comments about Strauss:

"I told him of having been charmed, in Salzburg in the summer of 1928,
by the Cosi conducted by Bruno Walter, and how in Vienna, the following
winter, I had been overwhelmed by the more spirited, sharper-witted Cosi
conducted by Richard Strauss, of which I recalled in particular Strauss'
witty piano accompaniments for the recitatives. Burhauser had of course
played both performances; and as one who placed Strauss above all the
German conductors he had worked with, he nodded and smiled as I spoke,
then told me of his visit to Strauss in Montreux in 1949, the year of
his [Struass'] death. The royalties from Strauss' works were still
being withheld from him; and though Boosey & Hawkes were providing him
with room and meals at the Montreux-Palace Hotel in return for the new
works they were to receive from him, he didn't have money for tips, or
for the repair of the frayed cuffs of his shabby coat. At one point
said Burhausger, 'I begged him to write out those enchanting
accompaniments for the recitatives of Cosi. But he pointed to the Four
Last Songs and the Duettino for clarinet and bassoon, which he had to
finish. So the accompaniments for Cosi were lost.'"

For you info, the Strauss work for clar. and bassoon was written for and
dedicated to Burghauser.

Tony Pay wrote:
> On Sun, 3 Sep 2000 16:58:28 EDT, said:
> > Dan Leeson wrote, quoting from B. H. Haggin
> >
> > > "At one point the clarinetist Polatschek leaned over to whisper to
> > > Burghauser that he had just discovered he had by mistake been playing
> > > a clarinet in B-flat instead of the one in A specified in the score,
> > > and Schoenberg hadn't noticed it -- which led to Burghauser's
> > > suggestion that the musicians play wrong notes to see if Schoenberg
> > > would hear them, and their discovery that he did not hear them."
> >
> > B. H. Haggin didn't witness this incident. It's hearsay and obviously
> > not a complete story, since such a large part of it is innuendo
> > between the lines.
> Yes, that's clearly *very* important -- I missed that. Thank you,
> Lelia.
> I made the assumption that Haggin was reproducing what Burghauser wrote
> in his memoirs, and didn't notice that the form of language, reported
> speech, contradicts that.
> Dan, do you have anything to add to that? like, is the original German
> quoted anywhere, or is there further discussion of the incident? (The
> last bit, after the '--', might be read as referring to another
> statement.)
> Is *anything* verbatim, even if translated, or is it all reported
> speech?
> Tony
> --
> _________ Tony Pay
> |ony:-) 79 Southmoor Rd
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** Dan Leeson **
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