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The world of the conductor. A series of programs in which leading conductors of today you speak about symphonic music in the 20th century. The world of the conductor is produced and recorded at 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. This is James Keeler inviting you to join us for this program the first in a group of broadcasts subtitled Mozart the universal genius. In the course of this program we'll be speaking with Eric Leinsdorf and Les opposed to.
The universality of the genius of Mozart his calls for continual wonderment among both musicians and layman alike as a master of all forms. Mozart poses unusual problems for the musician. These cover a variety of musical matters ranging from details of the range of dynamics and tempi to be used to problems of details and balances in those works requiring large instrumental and vocal forces. The problems posed by Mozart's orchestral music represent a unique area of literature and view of the often divergent instrumental forces required for the performances of a separate and specific symphony. We spoke to Erich Leinsdorf about the tendency on the part of some conductors to reduce radically their forces for the performance of the orchestral works. And he replied by speaking of the vast range of Mozart's genius Mozart and more so than Mozart.
It's a matter of course of the works. I. Never make generalized statements because every time you make a generalized statement you are an excellent chance of saying something which is only partly true and partly just one of those them for remarks. Now Mozart if you speak of the Mozart of dung Giovani as you do Don Giovanni in a house like the Metropolitan you do not that articulate reduce anything because you want it to sound. Also the vices you take for Mozart. I'm not articulate it used vices we want for Dona Ana the finest dramatic soprano we can find the one for Don Giovanni the finest That it on a bass we can find if we don't see it it must have small devices for Mozart because we don't as what we don't know the devices in his favor smaller voices I don't think they were I don't think
the orchestras were smaller. I think that always in the society in the 18th century especially it was the guide and I when we speak of a radical or reducing error you must never forget that we don't produce. We try to find the right number. Now when you get into the symphony which is very light and texture there you may have one flute and two of those. And no trumpets and no kettle drums. You will be well advised to measure their relative values between your strings and you would win if you were being scammed. Here the chances are that you have too many strangers. Now these are these are the guy posts when we do these things with the largest strings we oughtn't to double or to travel the world with us because there is a definite ratio of what can be clarified in scoring and what can't be clarified is a wrong balance I mean if you have three violins
and you don't hear the oboe or the other the oboe player is no good. Other mountains are too loud or there are too many I mean there are only three or four possibilities and you have got to do it decide each time for each work differently now into G minor symphony. I like to think more of Viola's than in other works because I find that the with the owners are hidden in the dark quality of the sound I like to play the G minor in the strings 10 first 10 seconds 10 Viola's 6 channel of 4 bases so I have a 10 10 10 10 for the 4 string part as you know. I don't like these docs you would sound it I think it is right. But if for example one should not be able to hear the would be in school that then the chances of these are too many strains. Then I would have to use but not per se are not our priority and my recordings of the of the almost subs we have entirely different string compliments
far far from the various of us we decided on the basis of what the winds the wind complement was usually the trumpets and tempo are involved one takes more strings because of overt majesty and the whole force of the way of the text is great. We'll be speaking when the Erich Leinsdorf again and next week in a more detailed discussion of Mozart's symphonic literature. Although lamppost a cough is hardly a prolific month conductor we felt that his knowledge of acoustics and interest in instrumental balances might further serve to clarify the matter of the size of the forces to be used in the performance of Mozart's orchestral works. What are your feelings about this matter of the size the doubling is the amount of wind as opposed to the number of strings of course the music itself dictates to the final. Well first of all we know from Mozart's letters
that on occasion he had as many as seven and eight pursuing as he had luck to double when it was appropriate for the music and he had more the opportunity of doing that in Czechoslovakia in Prague. Then he did it in his native city of it. All his adopted city of Vienna. It's curious that Souths book in Vienna didn't understand very well really the never did quite understand him in his short life but a fun place foreign to him like did they were the first people to realize his genius. I mean his genius as a man of course as a child when he was of wunderkind he was recognised all over the European musical world at that time but it was only there in Prague that he had a freer hand and he delighted in being certain instruments. But I'm sure he did it with great
sensitivity because he was that kind of a man. Now to answer your question you see. His music was composed and conceived for their art a small opera houses and concert halls of his day. And when we play that music in academy Music in Philadelphia or the kind AG Hall in New York or any of the great halls all over America today we have quite different conditions acoustically and otherwise. We have a much enormously much great time ever for you to set into motion by the airwaves if we could be scientific just for a moment and we have also to carry it see the inspiration and the beauty of Mozart's music to all our listeners in fullness. So it might be that sometimes under some conditions it is
wise to double certain things and it certainly would be very questionable to as you use the word to mask your latest music by making it too small by counting the number of players that Mozart use in his time in small halls and reproducing that same number in large halls. We would come to a false result. So I think we must. Evaluate each composition for example the marriage to figure out all over Tira is very gay very light of full of joy de vivre and rapid accents and rapid tones. Whereas if he were let's take his last symphony to great Symphony in C major. Should be much more noble and which is great
so nominatives saw we must in each case notice what is the quality the kind of music what it expresses in human feeling. And one must remember the size of the hall. We must remember how we missed conveyed from the composer to the listener. His music as Mozart would wish it to sound because we had they are cast. I merely means to an end with something in the middle where something like that carries the content from one place to another. But we carried with it beauty and inspiration of Mozart from the composer as Saul to the minds and ears and souls of the listeners. But we are not merely the means to that end but we must do our duty wild.
We must analyze carefully the quality of the music so that when it reaches the listener it. They will respond to it and here it is nearly ideal as we can in the way that Mozart would have wished. As you were speaking about this matter of Hall acoustics I recall on two occasions where visiting orchestras had come to Philadelphia. Both of very great orchestras in the world. One orchestra throughout. There was an an overbalance in particular from the percussion and brass on the other hand. The second orchestra that I recall most vividly after it seemed to me almost like the first bar the conductor in the orchestra adjusted themselves as best they could on this sudden death at this moment to the requirements of the hall and I don't think I've ever really realized how important a matter of a characteristic of each Hall is in what you do in the balances that you try to achieve to in order to make the music
sound. You are quite right because every hole in the world is different. No two alike and really there are no two who are newly alike. They are very very different and it is part of our duty as artists to measure and to be sensitive to the acoustical conditions of everyone so that we. How to say it. It's like focusing a camera to take a picture. We must focus so to speak the tone the degree of tone and the balance of tone of all of various individual instruments and groups of instruments like the strings the word wins the brasses dip a conscience the hops etc.. They must all be unbalanced and they must all be in relation to the acoustical conditions of the hall we're playing in. And when one is on a tour that is very difficult ones in a different hall each
night with different conditions. But that is part of our duty and it's a very difficult thing to achieve. This has been the first in a group of broadcasts subtitled Mozart the universal genius in the series the world of the conductor. During this program we've been speaking with Erich Leinsdorf and Les opposed to KOSKY about the performance of Mozart's orchestral works. This is James Keeler inviting you to be back with us next week for the second program devoted to a discussion of the works of Mozart. And at that time we'll be speaking with Erich Leinsdorf about the Mozart symphonies and their relation to his entire output. The world of the conductor is produced and recorded at station W.H. y y in Philadelphia
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The world of the conductor
Mozart, the universal composer
Producing Organization
WHYY (Radio station : Philadelphia, Pa.)
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
In this program, Leopold Stokowski and Erich Leinsdorf talk about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Other Description
A series of interviews with leading symphonic conductors about aspects of symphonic music and their profession.
Broadcast Date
Media type
Host: Keeler, James
Interviewee: Stokowski, Leopold, 1882-1977
Interviewee: Leinsdorf, Erich, 1912-1993
Producing Organization: WHYY (Radio station : Philadelphia, Pa.)
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 62-3-7 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:14:30
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Chicago: “The world of the conductor; Mozart, the universal composer,” 1962-01-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed August 12, 2022,
MLA: “The world of the conductor; Mozart, the universal composer.” 1962-01-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. August 12, 2022. <>.
APA: The world of the conductor; Mozart, the universal composer. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from