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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000104.txt from 2002/02

From: "Gregory Smith" <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Solti and Barenboim
Date: Sat, 9 Feb 2002 13:24:10 -0500

----- Original Message -----=20
From: "Tony Pay" <>
Subject: Re: [kl] Solti and Barenboim

Tony Pay:
> We've had this sort of discussion before here. I tend to represent =
> notion that someone who does arguably wrong things even superlatively
> well is just as criticisable as someone who does arguably right things
> less well. I thought that quite a lot of Solti fell into the former
> category, though that's just a personal opinion, I know.

Gregory Smith:
Tony, I see your point and indeed have not seen this particular subject =
discussed here at Klarinet. I and many others here at the CSO do have a =
different opinion re: your two viewpoints vis-a-vis these two maestros. =
I suppose that it all perhaps depends on what one considers "right" and =
"wrong" to begin with?

> Of course Solti was a maestro. On the other hand, when at Covent
> Garden, he blocked the career of Reginald Goodall, who subsequently
> conducted all of Wagner at the Coliseum to great acclaim, saying, "It =
> not a question of how well he conducts. He simply cannot conduct at
> all."

Setting aside for a moment obvious sour grapes, even this assessment =
would be considered here and by many to be OTT. As an aside, the great =
conductor George Szell was an arch enemy of Sir Rudolph Bing who was =
head of the Metropolitan Opera. Upon hearing from others that "George =
Szell is his own worst enemy", Bing was heard to retort "Not as long as =
I'm alive, he's not!".=20
> I'm more than happy, on the other hand, to call Barenboim 'maestro',
> even though, as I indicated, I recognise that he transmits his
> musicianship in a, how shall we say, less expert manner, on the =

Yes and then No. I think musicianship is what is on the table in =
assessments from these CSO orchestra members also.=20

Let's face it, they both are not model communicators with their stick =
technique compared to a Kleiber or Szell or Maazel (now there's someone =
that is eccentric or perhaps considered "wrong" by many because of their =
interpretations but has some of the best communicative skills around). =
But musical ideas regarding interpretive style and even competency, =
expressly communicated from them directly to the Chicago Symphony =
Orchestra have risen and fallen on their own merit. Respectfully, the =
overall judgement here seems to be dissimilar to yours, that's all.

Best to you!



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