Remembering Solti.


The great conductor, Sir Georg Solti, was born on October 21st, 1912, and he died in France just before his 85th birthday. In my view, he was one of the all-time great Orchestra and Opera conductors of the 20th century.

The family name was originally “Stern”; and during the early 1930’s the conductor’s father changed the name of his son to the less Semitic-sounding name of “Solti”. The parents did not survive World War II.

I listened and watched Georg Solti conduct the music of Franz Schubert during the past few days on this DVD collection. His musical interpretation is so lyrical, so loving, and so sensitive, it is really amazing!

Solti achieves a unique conversation between the strings and the winds of the Chicago Symphony in his interpretation of Schubert’s wonderful symphonies #6 and 8 that are included in the 3-DVD album issued by EuroArts.

Solti studied with Leo Weiner, Bela Bartok, and Zoltan Kodaly at the Budapest Music Academy. What a resume that is! During the late 1930’s he was an assistant to Arturo Toscanini in Salzburg, Austria.

Solti recounts that during his preparation of the Orchestra and singers in Salzburg, Toscanini walked into the concert hall, and Solti heard him say “Bene”, meaning “Good” in Italian. That totally made Solti’s day, and perhaps his month, to hear such limited praise from the famous Italian conductor.

You can see the titles of the five symphonies included in this DVD collection from the photo in this post. Each one of these is a gem, and totally worth your undivided attention.

DVD #1 in this collection is a wonderful biography called “The Making of a Maestro” that takes the listener through Mr. Solti’s amazing life. Don’t miss it.

Here is Schubert’s Symphony No. 8, in B-Minor, (Unfinished), with Georg Solti conducting the Chicago Symphony Orchestra:



Now let me end with a historic video of the “Mozart Requiem” performed by George Solti in 1991 on the 200th anniversary of Mozart’s death; the performance took place at Vienna’s St. Stephens Cathedral.

What an honor that was for Sir Georg Solti to conduct this music!



Tags: Sir Georg Solti, Maestro, conductor, Chicago Symphony, Mozart, Schubert, Bartok, Leo Weiner