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The world of the conductor. A series of conversations with leading contemporary orchestral conductors as they discuss various aspects of symphonic music in the 20th century. The big thanks. This is James Keeler inviting you to join us for this second programme in the series the world of a conductor in which we'll be speaking with William Steinberg musical director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. The subject at hand will be the music of Anton Brook neuron the so-called Bruckner problem and contemporary music. 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. We spoke to Mr. Steinberg about the unending search for new musical techniques which have been a dominant characteristic of music in the 20th century. We cited as examples the new Suns produced with relatively conventional instrumental means as exemplified in the works of Anton Weber's and Paul Hindemith. We also spoke of those new instrumental devices used by such composers as an honest talk in his third symphony. Mr. Steinberg qualified are placing these examples within the same category. I don't know me sticky you know with at least six seconds you may get it. But could you stop us that compose us nowadays be so that you before new sounds. Not if they were not satisfied with the sound of the Classical Symphony Orchestra. You know it's different in many folds combinations.
It is true that in the TOC symphony no instruments like the glass boards and whatever it is used they wrote they are your own and it doesn't make sense to enumerate them all but one ought not to give too much significance to these new instruments because I know from the composer himself that the way in which he used them was the kinds of necessity and not the kind of out there if I may say so embellishment are out there search for new things. I do remember that the. Spectacular effect also for instance in updating these new instruments where efforts to give to greater significance to these edition I might say
again that in this case it's also in the aforementioned pieces but they blend the new sounds are born out of the new ideas and not the other way around. Nothing new sounds taking for granted and the new ideas build them into this there is a musical reason for these. There is very strictly musical reason for this. For instance if there is no means anymore are no means anymore in the symphony orchestra to express what the composer has to say here that's just uses a new sound as for instance the he said in talk Symphony which appears at the moment where absolutely no other instrument could be used anymore. Then this is also the reason why the effect is not grotesque but regular lead grown out of the musical thought. I think it's interesting to recall that in the course of music history and say let's take for example barrios and Wagner Berlioz adding instruments to his
orchestra Wagner inventing instruments to produce sounds that he wanted for certain special effects that couldn't be produced otherwise musically. Right but also bad yos rather invented new instruments. I mean I forget this when he asked his friend the instrument maker out of sax to build clarinets out of metal and these were the best us of our today's saxophones. What I would have the property for me to call Hindemith a more conservative composer from the standpoint of new sounds I feel in this sense a greater conservatism than than in talk or in other composers in our time although talk to me were contemporaries and at the time which I very clearly recollect I'm speaking of the early 20th both the young guy but it's German music making and it showed already at this time that he was I should not
say more. Going on the in the path of concept but Davies isn't but that he was was much more in the grasp of everything which is almost quote to be classical more than talk. Rather the audacious inventor and handmaids the industrious and sometimes play for the success of the classics or the classical forms which they used and this might be the reason that today he made a P.S. As to being more conservative as top. Well I meant conservative and certainly a complimentary sense not as saying that because Hindemith is conservative I'm afraid that this adjective applied to composers today doesn't always have a complimentary connotation and I didn't mean that it taught. I don't think there's anything wrong really with conservatism in music.
It's how you the kind of patient the word is gotten nowadays. And among them he did meet in first place 70 are quite conservative only because they are using of the old forms and not using new means as they do. And I think it's also not then they care to get themselves into the field of new expressive thoughts of means. I do remember that short while ago to have made to meet in a European country where the electronic music played quite an important part. And I. Asked him what he thinks of it and answered very bluntly that this is actually not for him which clearly indicated what kind of. And now I must use the word again. Conservative personality is and without using the word in with some negative meaning.
Yes in this conversation with William Steinberg we turn next to the subject of Anton Bruckner. Well Mr. Steinberg I wonder you you who are so intimately acquainted with these scores do you have any explanation for the what shall we say the lack of in general lack of enthusiasm and certainly less than it was the lack of understanding of a book or score the skirt So for example is always the most immediately appealing thing generally and in a book or symphony the great score and so on the fourth or the Ninth Symphony remedial they come to my mind it's it's in the great opening closing and the slow movements that I know many listeners begin to feel that they're not quite sure where they are. What do you do you feel it. Where is the fault whose fault is it is that the listener is in his orientation. Since I keep myself very busy with this problem I am of the opinion that books music my has to be played
because it belongs in my estimation to the so-called great music. I tried to find an says to you a question as mystic either. Brother Martin broke now who died in 1996. Were pushed into a corner way certainly doesn't belong. The reasons may be too for the one that my esteemed colleagues simply do not take the trouble to perform balkanize music. This sounds very simple and it is simple but unfortunately it's also true. If today's audiences whether in America and Europe want to be more exposed even me use the word to book as music. They certainly would like it I suspect if you love it as much
as every musical person is able to love music at all. The fact that people nowadays are not sufficiently exposed to books as music is the one answer to the question. The other answer in case they are exposed might be that people nowadays speak very different nervous systems as there were in the late 19th century might if their difficulties do get along within arm's length of booking as music. I could be major in. That this also is one of the striking reasons why bloke dies is not to be taken now a days as he certainly ought to. And it's a book that deserves but a personal experience which I just had a few weeks ago up at this a few months ago when I was in Rome for the last time. My Be quiet and lightning in this direction.
I want to do. It sounds very strange to the first performance of booklist Fourth Symphony in Rome with such a chilly August which means in Rome at all because the piece was never played there before. I had to encounter for some reasons. The antagonism of the August with which generally speaking on very good terms. They could not get along with these music. Probably because it was too easy to play the sound score test but it is true. As soon as a new orchestra musician sees a lot of notes in which he has to try out his special abilities technically and spiritually he might catch on even in a work of much more modern language as book as it was.
Bogus music is not very difficult to gauge the difficulty in Brooklyn a book as music is a diet which used to be both sometimes even super imposed by the conductor to the music. I do remember just contrary to other experiences rather unpleasant rehearsals to these four of the pretty broke about and talking to musicians which is my head baby. I was surprised not only to find an enormous amount of antagonism toward the music but also a lot of prophecies for its humor thing yet of his performance. So in this atmosphere I went along at the rehearsal as well as I could up to the last day when the concert came if you don't win an audience is usually rather indifferent. Maybe. A little lazy. Maybe spoilt.
Decided to suddenly in favor of booking it. Contrary to the opinion of the august so I must say that these forced symphony at the end to prove to be a true triumph at these Roman before wins. And I'm pretty sure that this means from now on broke up a pharmacist in Italy. This might answer some of you which. We have been speaking with William Steinberg musical director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra about the music of Anton Bruckner and contemporary music. This has been the second broadcast in the series the world of the conductor in which leading present day orchestral conductors discuss various phases of symphonic music in the 20th century. James Keeler speaking and inviting you to join us next week when we'll be speaking with Leopold Stokowski in the first of a group of programs concerned with the conductor as a recording artist.
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The world of the conductor
Steinberg on Bruckner
Producing Organization
WHYY (Radio station : Philadelphia, Pa.)
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
William Steinberg on contemporary music and the music of Anton Bruckner.
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: Steinberg, William, 1899-1978
Producing Organization: WHYY (Radio station : Philadelphia, Pa.)
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 62-3-2 (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; Steinberg on Bruckner,” 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; Steinberg on Bruckner.” 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; Steinberg on Bruckner. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from