The world of the conductor; Conductor as music historian, part 5
The world of the conductor. A series of programs in which leading conductors of today speak about symphonic music in the 20th century. New. To. The world of the conductor is produced and recorded by a station W.H. y y in Philadelphia under a grant from the National Educational Television and Radio Center in cooperation with the National Association of educational broadcasters. Thank you. This is James Keeler inviting you to join us for this the second of two programs bearing the subtitle The conductor as a historian of music. We'll be speaking with Eugene Ormandy about his personal acquaintance with Carl Orff Bela
Bartok and Sarg Iraq might a little bit later on in the program we'll be joined by two distinguished members of the Metropolitan Opera the mezzo soprano Rosalind Elias and the bassist Jerome Hines. They will join Mr Ormandy in a discussion of Bela bar talks one act opera. Duke Bluebeard's Castle. The German composer Carl Orff has become one of the most frequently performed of today's composers of course and is particularly well-known for the cantata Carmina Burana. We remarked to Eugene Ormandy that it was rather unusual these days to find a work by a contemporary composer which has so quickly become part of the standard repertory. It's so refreshing in these times to find a work by a composer which is taken to the public heart shall we say as much as this one has. That's right I saw him. I met him this summer and we were together almost every
day. He's a real good meatless German is a lot of fun and having more laughs which came out he can tell a lot of wonderful anecdotes musical and otherwise and another very bad at them either way just exchanged. One of the stories we were just together constantly and he I told him about not only of their performance but also to be able to record it is oh my god the eleventh time. The only reaction you had. But he was very happy. He told me he would he wishes he could be here which I'm afraid not because it was too expensive you know to come over here. Yes. I'm hungry and by birth you know I'm a day studied at the Royal Academy in Budapest with the late Bela Bartok. Recently Mr Ormandy planned to begin a season by the Philadelphia Orchestra with the performance of talks opera Duke Bluebeard's Castle and as we began a conversation with Mr Ormandy
Rosalind Elias son Jerome Hines who were to sing the roles of Judas and Bluebeard we spoke to Mr On Monday about the difficulties of the work. Maestro this is quite a work to begin the season with. Yes it is to be found out. Well I wonder if I might direct for a moment my questions to. Miss Elias and Mr. Hines. We so often associate leave vocal writing in 20th century music with mixed extreme difficulty. Of course I'm thinking of the 12 tone school and that sort. What about bar talks vocal writing we don't hear very much this Bluebeard's Castle was written I believe in the beginning of his career and it's very it's not to act on it's very single and it's not that easy I must say it but vocally it's very singable I don't find any difficulty at all. My view was that I feel that most of the dissonance is all of the accompaniment
particularly but the vocal lines themselves are almost conventional action to that one the word Mr Hines. I like dissonance or you know you said something else. The company man says. All right we must allow the accompanist. Excuse me. Nothing could be further from the truth. The fact is that I know what you're meant but I just had to think of it with NBC this is the years I have you are giving now its very symphony or any opera has ever been so funny this is a very very vocal line is so interwoven with the orchestra. But go right ahead. I've only heard it with piano music so I have to think in terms of a government that's true. Maestro What about the style of this work it does take from with 911 or something like that it's just a little before our little are just around the second dip around town. Had to work very surprisingly and
strangely then almost a no school thing Bartle was more as the creator of his own school. That's what's so fun. Yes it is. But sometimes you do trace back Beethoven back to Mozart Mozart back to Haydn Bach you trace back and handle your days back to books to who they etc. you always these days these composers back I'm sure that Bartok could be traced back if you're very careful about that and carefully trying to find where he comes from his musical ideas but he was an innovator in every sense of the word musically speaking. That the study of the Hungarian folk songs and the Rumanian for songs from an early childhood his and called out as they were separately searching making long sometimes lasting months at the time just go among the peasants of Hungary and Transylvania and dying too. Listen to the song folk songs does Beza saying to their children to
themselves as various occasions. He has noted down everything that he had heard and many of these folks will quality is noticeable and found to be found in his after us in our other works on these Ballys but I dare say that bottled himself in my opinion was the father of his own school. And I ask a question here yes I am particularly fascinated by the wonderful variety of rhythmic structures in his work is that particular do you think. Well it's a it's going to be very probably better than I was yes especially for music of course. Part of the typical Hungarian rhythm but you can tell I was like you know so I just wanted to go I know it was me but I was a very sort of one of a variety of of the great variety but it's again bottle himself. Do you feel that he's in school because he brings in folk and then changes to contemporary and goes back. Not exactly he sees it the way he sees it.
The music goes through his mind his creative mind in the ways that I have to tell your story that very few people know because I have I only told it two or three times in my whole life when I was about eight or nine years old already a student at the Royal Academy bar talk gave me one of his annual piano recitals of his own works. And to me it was a great a shock to learn that people made fun while he was playing on the stage. So much so of being a sensitive child I went backstage and he was my professor and I said to him Professor. I was so shocked to see what they did with your music that I could have the expression and I can't even apologize because it made so much fun about it. And he says oh I heard it very well. As a matter of fact he says I have been going through this for years. He said My dear young boy you're very young yet but remember what I tell you now. I am 30 years ahead of my time in 30 years time they will appreciate my music. And he had to die one
day to become world famous the following day. Isn't this tragedy. We were speaking about you mentioned stock you point out. Yes and I've always felt that in a way our talk in Stravinsky's composing crews had a certain similarity in that each had a sack to plant on Bartok had the Miraculous Mandarin. After I got a start in a way not all over again but from a completely new direction. And what about the wooden Prince. Yes yes another one. The question comes to one's mind I don't know who can answer is accepting. Because bottled is unfortunately dead. But it had to have ever met before during that period a formative period as well when they developed their own individuality it's that's a question that someday I'm going to ask you because I often thought of the great parallel musically speaking between the two men even though their ways parted thereafter. But each had something new to
to give to the world of music. Same as in painting and architecture at the very same time. Yes you mentioned that during rehearsal tonight we had a break. You mention that there is so much there yet so much in garments and Stravinsky dark talks are the same as in paintings you find modern French School of the early early century this is nineteen hundred and 10 and 11 and 12 it will do this. So it's great paintings were created and they's a similarity in still each goes his own individual way. You are singing this in an English translation. Yes. Well that will certainly be of great help to the audience. Yes in fact we were very careful about the English. Unfortunately we've only discovered the last week so to speak that there's another very good English translation. But that would be murder to asked to great artists for saying saying this opera so beautiful it to jeopardize the
security and jeopardize their wonderful interpretation for the sake of maybe looking for a word that they had just learned against the one they had learned six months ago. So I refused to use that very good. Well I rather imagine that riles a woman like I. And always when we don't operate in the past is somewhat tempered with translation a little bit it's Fox to make it a times. Yes it's very difficult I often found translations to English that don't always stick to music or terrorism. And then one of the two have to has to be changed. I've been giving Mr Ormandy trouble all evening because I went back and put the original Hungarian rhythms back into my translation whereas the English translation had followed the German changes have been brought about. I've always got rather purist about trying to make the words fit the music well make music at the worst the highest you could never get give me trouble but if you really want to know the trouble it was during the rehearsal and some people didn't didn't notice I only have the germs and I know
that's my score. That's what so I had to guess what he was singing in English that's right so the notes were different everything else. This reminds me of that famous round robin translation of Poe's The bells for the Rachmaninoff Sendak which comes from the English to the Russian back to the German And how is it. Well the English was translated to the original English was translated to German and the German was transferred to Russian Rachmaninoff read the Russian poem and he wanted to do it in English so he made his own English translation from the original English. This is all very funny and I know him very well as you probably all know. Yes he told me the story Al he had laughed about it but he says I'm sorries said the wonderful Russian English she says. After all the first time I read it I could not speak English and because in the rational it sounded this way so I had to have it translated just from the Russian.
We've been speaking with Eugene Ormandy about Karloff fan of our talk and Sergei Rock'em on and off in this program subtitled The conductor as a historian of music in the series the world of the conductor. Our special guest in the discussion of our talks opera Duke Bluebeard's Castle were two members of the Metropolitan Opera Company the mezzo soprano Rosalind Elias and the bass Jerome Hines. This is James Keeler inviting you to join us again next week for the final program in the series which might have as its subtitle A world of surprises. On. The world of the conductor is produced and recorded by a station W.H. y y in Philadelphia under a grant from the National Educational Television and Radio Center and is being distributed by the National Association of educational broadcasters.
- The world of the conductor
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- WHYY (Radio station : Philadelphia, Pa.)
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- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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- Episode Description
- This program features Eugene Ormandy, Rosalind Elias and Jerome Hines talking about the conductor as historian of music.
- Series Description
- A series of interviews with leading symphonic conductors about aspects of symphonic music and their profession.
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Host: Keeler, James
Interviewee: Hines, Jerome, 1921-2003
Interviewee: Ormandy, Eugene, 1899-1985
Interviewee: Elias, Rosalind
Producing Organization: WHYY (Radio station : Philadelphia, Pa.)
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 62-3-12 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
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- APA: The world of the conductor; Conductor as music historian, part 5. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-t727fp91