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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 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. Good. Morning and think. 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 car off
Bell a bar talk and segue Iraq money off. 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 Barr 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 Lincoln Tata 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 throughout almost every
day doing this they really he's a real good mate leave his wealth and we will have a more lives which came. He can tell a lot of wonderful anecdotes musical and otherwise and I'm not very bad at them Mido here we just exchanged over one of the stories we were just together constantly and he I told him about another one of the performance but also that we were going to record it was oh my god the eleventh time. That's not really to your head. But then he was very happy. He told me he would he wishes he could be here which I'm afraid not that Boston 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 a performance of Barr talks opera Duke Bluebeard's Castle. And as we began a
conversation with Mr Ormandy Rosalind Elias and Jerome Hines who were to sing the roles of Judith and Blue Beard. 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 too. Miss Elias Mr. Hines we so often associate the vocal writing in 20th century music with mixed extreme difficulty. Of course I'm thinking of a 12 tone school and that sort. What about bar talks vocal writing we don't hear very much about this Bluebeard's Castle was written I believe in the beginning of his career and it's very it's not to act on Oh 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.
I agree with you that most of the dissonance is already a compliment particularly but the vocal lines themselves are almost conventional take objection to that one the word Mr Hines while it doesn't answer by you know you say something complimentary. All right. We miss the life of the accompanist. Excuse me no I'm not going to be further from the truth. The fact is that I know what you're man but I just had to take a jab with NBC this is the years I have you are giving I know it's very symphonic work if you have any opera has ever been seen Funny this is. Where the vocal lies so interwoven with the orchestra. But go right ahead don't go so far I've only heard it with piano music so I have to think of in terms of a government that's true. Maestro What about the style of this work and does they come with a 1911 something like that it's just a little before our little are just around the second
work. Very surprising even strangely the most to no school. I think bar top was more as the creator of his own school. That's what's so wonderful. Yes it is but sometimes you you trace back Beethoven back to Mozart Mozart back to Haydn Bach and Handel uses back to books to who they intended actually obvious these days these composers back I'm sure that. Bar talk could be traced back if you were 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 he 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 trying to
listen to the song folks almost as peasants 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 operas in our other works on these Ballys. But. I daresay that Bartok himself in my opinion was the father of his own school and I asked a question here yes I am particularly fascinated by the wonderful variety of rhythmic structures in his work. Is that particular do you think of folk. Well it's a it's going to be very popular better than ours. Yes it's partially 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 sort of one of a variety of really great variety but it's again bottle himself you feel that he's in school because he brings in the bulk
and then changes to contemporary and goes. 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 you a story that very few people know because I've 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 one of his annual piano recitals of his own works and to me it was a greatest 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 her professor I was so shocked. To see what they did with your music that I can have the expression and I can even apologize because there be 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 the music. And he had to die one day to become world famous. The following day is a new strategy. We were speaking about you mentioned stock you can't own. Yes and I've always felt that in a way our talk in Stravinsky's composing careers had a certain similarity in that each had a sucky part of our talk had the Miraculous Mandarin. After I had to 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 this excepting a starving scheme sir because Barpak is unfortunately dead. Where did you two 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 part 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 the music same as in painting and architecture at the very same time. Yes you mentioned that during rehearsal tonight we had a break. You mentioned that there's so much there are so much in garments and Stravinsky barre talks were the same as in paintings you find certain modern French School of the early early century it is 900 10 and 11 and 12 it would ease some of the great paintings were created and there'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 is another very good English translation. But that would be murder to ask the two great artists who sang this opera so beautifully 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 Rosalind like I always when we don't operas in English the past is somewhat tempered with her tones were a little bit sparse to make it you know it's like arms. Yes it's very difficult I often found translations to English that don't always fit to music or to rhythm. And one of the two have to has to be true. I've been giving this or money trouble all evening because I went back and put the original Hungarian rhythms back into my translation. Whereas the English translation has followed the German changes that have been brought about I.
I've always felt rather purist about trying to make the words fit the music rather make music with the words the highest you could never get give me trouble but if you really want to know what trouble it was during the rehearsal and some people didn't didn't notice. I only have the germs and I know that my score. That's what so I had to guess when you were singing in English that's right so the notes were different. This reminds me of that famous round robin translation of the bells for the Rachmaninoff Sendak which comes from the English to the Russian back to the German And how is it that. Well the English was translated to the original English was translated to German the German was translated to Russian Rahmani not read the Russian poem. And he wanted to do it in English so he made his own English translation from the original English. I wonder was it all really funny and I knew him very well as you probably all know overweight like us and he told me the story and he had laughed about it but he says I'm sorries
it is wonderful if Rush releases. After all the first time I read it I could not speak English and then of course in the rational it's all of these ways so I have to have it translated just from the Russian and with this conversation with Eugene Ormandy Rosalind Elias and Jerome Hines. We've concluded this series of programmes in which we've spoken about symphonic music in the 20th century. With some of the leading conductors of our time. Paula Kletzky William Steinberg Leopold Stokowski Igor mark a bitch Erich Leinsdorf an ice dancer May and Eugene Ormandy. James Keeler speaking the world of the conductor was 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.
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The world of the conductor
A world of surprises
Producing Organization
WHYY (Radio station : Philadelphia, Pa.)
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program features interviews with Igor Markevitch and Pierre Monteux.
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: Markevitch, Igor, 1912-1983
Interviewee: Monteux, Pierre, 1875-1964
Producing Organization: WHYY (Radio station : Philadelphia, Pa.)
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 62-3-13 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:14:21
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Chicago: “The world of the conductor; A world of surprises,” 1962-03-10, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed January 28, 2023,
MLA: “The world of the conductor; A world of surprises.” 1962-03-10. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. January 28, 2023. <>.
APA: The world of the conductor; A world of surprises. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from