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Herbert von Karajan

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Norman Lebrecht - Slipped disc

February 9

Nicolai Gedda has died, aged 91

Norman Lebrecht - Slipped discThe family has confirmed the death , on January 8, of the great Swedish tenor, one of the most lasting ornaments of the opera stage. He was a fixture of the international opera calendar from 1952 to his retirement in 2003. He mastered 70 roles and made 200 recordings. News of his death was given today to the forumopera site by his daughter, Tania. Rising in the footsteps of his compatriot Jussi Björling, Gedda made his Paris debut in Weber’s Oberon in 1954 and was immediately awarded a company contract. He appeared at Covent Garden that same year and at the Met in 1957, returning regularly for quarter of a century. A master of controlled power, he excelled as much at recital as in opera. He stood up to conductors, famously resisting the demands of Herbert von Karajan, and was kind to colleagues. He endured two turbulent marriages before finding domestic contentment.


February 13

Facing the music: conductor Daniele Rustioni

From a teenage obsession with Wagner to the inspirational Giulini and the daily necessity of Bach, the conductor shares his musical passionsVinyl or digital?I have wonderful memories of the vinyl recordings my father used to play at home – Il barbiere di Siviglia (Abbado, Berganza, Pray, Alva), Le nozze di Figaro (Bohm, Prey, Mathis, Janowitz, Fischer-Dieskau) and Beethoven 9 (Karajan with the Berlin Philharmonic). I still have a big collection of vinyl, especially historical performances of Italian opera, but I don’t often have the chance to listen to them because I am rarely at home. But I consider these recordings to be some of the most precious things I own. As a student I bought lots of CDs, and nowadays I always listen with headphones on my phone or laptop to digital music. But of course, nothing is better than the live concert experience and live music making. Continue reading...

Herbert von Karajan
(1908 – 1989)

Herbert von Karajan (5 April 1908 - 16 July 1989) was an Austrian orchestra and opera conductor. To the wider world he was perhaps most famously associated with the Berlin Philharmonic of which he was principal conductor for 35 years. Although he was not without criticism, he is generally considered to have been one of the greatest conductors of all time, and he was a dominant figure in European classical music from the 1960s until his death. Part of the reason for this was the large number of recordings he made and their prominence during his lifetime. By one estimate he was the top-selling classical music recording artist of all time, having sold an estimated 200 million records.

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