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CLASSICAL  March 2000

CLASSICAL March 2000

Subject:

Boulez in Carnegie Hall & Mitropoulos

From:

Alexandros Rigas <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 22 Mar 2000 05:02:23 -0500

Content-Type:

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I was lucky enough to be in the concert the London Symphony Orchestra gave
in Carnegie Hall on March 12, 2000 under Pierre Boulez.:  Berg's 3 Pieces
for Orchestra Op.  6, Mahler's 6th and a US Premiere - Olga's Neuwirth
"Clinamen/Nodus".

The new piece sounded interesting enough (orchestration incl.  two
amplified austrian zithers!!) and it deserves more listening.  Strings
and Percussion influenced by Varese in a very passionate context.  Boulez
was of course at his home with Berg and Mahler (extremely fast and dark).

I would like to congratulate Carnegie Hall's great initiative to note
in the Program the dates and other details on the first Carnegie Hall
performances of the works included in the concert.  It is quite interesting
to see that both Berg's and Mahler's works were premiered in Carnegie Hall
by Dimitri Mitropoulos conducting the New York Philharmonic (then NY
Philharmonic-Symphony); Berg's in 1952 and Mahler's 6th in 1947 (also a
US premiere!!!!!).

For the history I would like to note that for that particular US premiere,
Mitropoulos purchased at his own expenses the scores of the 6th which
they could not even be found at that time in USA!!!  Of course the critics
attacked him then without any pity (first of all Taubman who was the main
responsible for all the attacks Mitropoulos received for programming
Mahler, Schoenberg and other non-accepted composers' works in the US 50's
musical world!  The same Taubman of course went wild in his comments about
the performances of the same works by Bernstein in the 60's.).  After all
Mitropoulos paid for his programming choices by being expelled from his
NYPO post and dying from a broken heart in Europe where on the contrary was
dearly loved and revered by all the orchestras he worked with.  He could
not live long enough to see the "Mahler Renaissance" in the USA in the 60s
and 70s which was due mainly to his pioneering efforts during the 30's,
40's and 50's.

Finally, don't you think that Mitropoulos who conducted the NYPO in more
than 650 concerts, who brought it for the first time in its history in
Europe (Edinburgh Festival 1951) and in tours in South and Central America,
who, finally (for God's sake!) was NYPO's musical director from 1949 to
1958, deserves his photo to be hanged in some place in the Carnegie Hall,
while photos of over 100 musicians who perhaps appeared there for only
one or two times in their career are there.  Yes, believe it or not,
Mitropoulos' photo does not appear anywhere in the Carnegie Hall, home
of the NYPO during his 9-year directorship!!!.....

I would really and greatly appreciate if you could share your thoughts on
this matter with me.

Alexandros Rigas

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