Opinions on music will always vary, depending on the person with whom you interact. Musical performance is a personal thing, and how some black notes on a piece of paper are transformed into sound that is alive in the moment and then disappears, is filled with personal feelings.
We humans have many biases, as well. Some like to see tall men on the podium; others will accept a woman conductor; yet others will not accept her, no matter how competent she is (!) All of this is based on a person’s previous education, training, personal preferences in music performance, possibly some psychological factors, and more.
I like many conductors. I have written previously about my admiration of Sir Georg Solti. I love his performances of Richard Strauss, Schubert, Bartok, and Beethoven. I also like many young conductors who have recently emerged on the music scene, such as British conductor, Daniel Harding.
There is one man, whom we lost in 2004, who continues to be the subject of my greatest admiration. His name is Carlos Kleiber.
Every time that I hear Maestro Kleiber conduct a performance, I experience something new: It may be the transition from a slow musical introduction to an explosive Allegro; it might be a well-known masterpiece that suddenly has new detail under Mr. Kleiber’s interpretive direction. Frequently it is a complete painting of Nature in Europe which Kleiber presents to me, as I listen to how he carves out the fine details of a Beethoven symphony. For me, Carlos Kleiber holds a singular position as a musical director of an orchestra who is at the very top.
Listen please to Keliber’s opening bars and the subsequent development of Beethoven’s Symphony #4:
Carlos Kleiber conducts the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra:
It is clear to me that Maestro Kleiber loved the music of Johann Strauss. Here he is “Die Fledermaus” Overture at the Bayerische Staatsoper:
Finally, here is Carlos Kleiber in Mozart’s Symphony Number 36 with the Vienna Philharmonic:
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Tags: Maestro Carlos Kleiber, symphony conductors