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The world of the conductor a series of programs in which leading conductors of today speak about symphonic music in the 20th century. The old. Boy of. The world of the conductor is produced and recorded by 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 in this program which has as its subtitle The conductor as our historian of music through years of concentrated study and the unique knowledge acquired by actual performance the performing artist acquires a deep insight into the literature of his art and in many cases through actual personal acquaintance with the composer. An intimate understanding which I cannot help but be beyond the
domain of even the most highly cultivated listener. Dream unfortunate then being able to speak with these performing artists and through them derives added insight into the most uniquely personal. Of all the arts. As an illustration of two areas of this knowledge will be speaking in today's program with Erich Leinsdorf about the scores of Glo Debussy and with also me about Arthur hunger and Igor Stravinsky. From time to time the attentive listener may find himself confronted with a performance which may evoke certain questions which can only be answered by the performer himself. For example in the course of listening to performances of Cloe Debussy's three symphonic sketches the see you may hear the following passage played in this manner. The end.
Or he may or it sound like this. Since we have long been curious about this passage in La Mer. We asked Erich Leinsdorf which of the two versions of this passage was from the original score. Listening to your recording of Debussy's La Mer there are at least that I know of two versions of the score. I hear I know but the thing that always sticks out in my mind at the end of the last section there are there are brass costs. Yes as I close those of those are being played in the recording. Yes I do because I somehow feel that otherwise those two dark periods of the third row of the violins and nothing else
is a bit is a bit and I side with the theory of Mr R7 May who also play as the listener simply and I don't think he plays them just because he does not know I remember Didn't he have his own version of the score that he used when he made some some some instrumental retouches especially in the in the movement. Of course there are two versions of most of the DC's orchestra and works and this is the other publishing matter one is never quite clear. Unless one makes a particular study which represents the latest version of the side of the composer himself now and in the doctor this is the case too. But there is in the Nocturnes unlike LA Mayo is a set of parts which states a mistaken body and brain.
That's you know definitive data looked at a definitive version by the office. Yes they alley up plane thing does not contain the statement but in the case of La Mer there is no such statement. There are very important differences between the early and the later version like an honest answer may has been an exceedingly articulate proponent of new music throughout his career in the 20th century. During this period Mr answer may has conducted numerous first performances and among them premieres of some of the great masterpieces of 20th century music. We might cite here Igor Stravinsky's least while you still don the song of the nightingale and each of us Rex and man modify is ballet. The three cornered hat one of the great works of our century which had its origins during the
years of the activity of the ballet groups. Mr also may has long been known as one of the world's leading interpreters of the music of Igor Stravinsky. And curiously enough it has been said from time to time that his performances often go against the generally accepted conception of other conductors including the composer himself. As we began this conversation with an honest answer me we spoke of our reaction to his recording of The Rite of Spring. One thing about 1000 among many things about this recording of this article I thought it impressed me immediately and that was the feeling that I got from your interpretation that yes this was a symphonic development from the very opening bassoon you know a bit more as a symphonic piece symphonic Lee developed years on as as ballet music. Oh yes oh yes I did the thinking to the
pure musical form. Yes trying to give each of the pieces to eat each of the pieces the right Pope ocean and the right. The relationship between the different than I do the whole point. Yes I see you must have a city of Tempe from the very beginning of the end of the first part and then the old city on BART makes whole. Nice yes. Purely music. This matter temple isn't my kind of temple so important to the temple. The fact are number one. I always think of something like well the Course is written and this is what reminded me of it with the classical symphony with the slow introduction which I mediately think of when I hear this sucky prattle. Yeah you're from that germ germinating point yes
everything everything must be in proper relation. Yes exactly exactly. Otherwise the line oh yes or the only way they're all juniors. Another Stravinsky workers associated very closely with you. Nice try to sort out. Yes I know you. You conducted the first performance here in nineteen eighty one thousand nine hundred years during years it was during of the just at the end of an hour. And from what I have read that one of Stravinsky's reasons for writing this piece for the small company was a lack of musicians at the time. I know not only that it was a question of economy I had. We would have a little expenses but we were now when we did it. Now regarding together with the King David Yes the approach of the do was these killer years because they are so different that they are of the
same a time story of a soldier from 1918 and King they want you for a 1920. So its not so far back that I was of course Andy Capp with the story of a soldier because the best thing would be to give that with a text. But there is a big question because a real text is around me in French and if I give it three to speak of and the music in French it will be interesting for. I'm very good here and if I give it in English it is not the right effects and he's not the right text doesn't give the right impression. So I prefer to give only the music because I think the music in itself is very interesting. Well you mention that with this recording of the strike you saw this sweet King David on again. Yes this was taken I trust
stereophonic Lee also. Yes or so your your approach to it was one of intimacy. Yes. Rather than what I say epic etc.. Yes yes no no because I was you know that is an oratory you owe a toy. Yes and I try to give that also to make with the whole the whole musical you need me the old music but the music is bound by the text by the speaker. That must form a unique and I think you feel that specially in the second bar with a few big feet now when the food in the corral you go out. One part of these corps in particular which always remains my in my mind is the section of the Witch of Endor. Yes a speaking voice with percussion. Yes now this of course makes me think of like I far yes you know but all that was new in that time he's come by her nigger much before
and that's before I think most people today are in just for nigger because many of the see her nigger was first to do has been done CDs and the people forget that. Then her anger was really fantastic to think how young he was when he wrote the King David 24 who's 24 23 in the piece of work of genius. This type of spoken declamation over her own question. It strikes me it was certainly is something that is in its essence that is associated with the French language bellhops. I don't it seems to me that because of the what shall I say the attitude of the French toward their own language. Yes is such that I mean that they love it. They seem to love it just savor it and to take such
tremendous pride in it and it well spoken something it is that's a rare and in our own in them I guess or here in the U.S. as we speak generally quite slovenly very fast so yes without without savoring. Yes it is that I see what you mean. Yes I think you are quite proud of it. I remember the first time I heard David O and me oh this seemed to me like a culmination of taking the French language and putting it yes even in light. Yes yes yes. We've been speaking with Erich Leinsdorf about the scores of Claude Debussy and when I'm asked also me about author hunger and Igor Stravinsky in this the first of two programs which bear the subtitle The conductor as a historian of music in the series the world of the conductor. This is James Keeler inviting you to be with us again next week when we'll be speaking with Eugene Ormandy about Carl
Orff Bela Bartok and Sergei rock on and off our special guests in a discussion of bail of our talks. One act opera Duke Bluebeard's Castle will be two distinguished members of the Metropolitan Opera the mezzo soprano Rosalind Elias and the bass Jerome Hines. In the next program in this series the world of the conductor. And when. The world of the conductor is produced and recorded by 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. Thanks. Thanks.
Thanks. Thanks. Thanks thanks. This is the NE the B Radio Network.
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The world of the conductor
Conductor as music historian, part 1
Producing Organization
WHYY (Radio station : Philadelphia, Pa.)
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program features Ernest Ansermet and Erich Leinsdorf 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.
Broadcast Date
Media type
Host: Keeler, James
Interviewee: Leinsdorf, Erich, 1912-1993
Interviewee: Ansermet, Ernest, 1883-1969
Producing Organization: WHYY (Radio station : Philadelphia, Pa.)
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 62-3-11 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:14:04
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Chicago: “The world of the conductor; Conductor as music historian, part 1,” 1962-01-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed May 29, 2024,
MLA: “The world of the conductor; Conductor as music historian, part 1.” 1962-01-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. May 29, 2024. <>.
APA: The world of the conductor; Conductor as music historian, part 1. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from