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Conversation with Hans Schmidt that this is another in a continuing series of programs each of which offers the listener a rare opportunity to hear an eminent musician informally discussing his own career and expressing his thoughts about a variety of topics related to the art of music. The regular participants in these discussions are Aaron Parsons professor of music theory at Northwestern University's School of Music and program annotator for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. And George Stone program director for Zenith radio corporation's serious music station WABE FM in Chicago. Mr. Parsons and Mr. Stone have as their guest on today's program the founder and music director of the Northwest German Radio Orchestra Homburg. Mr. Hans Schmidt. Now here is Aaron Parsons. Mr. Smith Mr. Stead I noticed in looking over your biographical sketch that we have before us that you have been very closely involved in opera conducting almost from the very earliest years. Are you still involved with
opera. Yes but not my position as often as I was and that only now and I'm conducting and I want you know with the state of the art and your metropolitan open on the American tour that yes about a year ago. Yes. This seems to be so much a part of the background of the better known European conductors opera always seems to play a part in the overall spectrum of the career. Yes I might almost become a symphony conductor Oh yeah as you know and even for Bangla that typical symphony conductor he was he began to conduct in the open
and only I think our friend he was one CEO of a conductor and he was only 71 I think he never contacted Oprah. But all the Bono and Klemp stuff floating around are of that so I know I had him when he was general then days before I came. Twenty nine twenty. Well how do you feel that this kind of early experience in opera affects you as a conductor What does it contribute to you to your skill or your musical insides as a conductor. I think it is a technique you know of a conductor and more complicated and more difficult to conduct because
if you conduct these wonderful professional orchestra it is easy. They play often without you. There are things and it's better. You must have then a form of interpretation. This is something new also but in Opa they manage to hold together or hold a very dangerous why and the music on the stage and to sing as end and the orchestra only this technical problem is much more difficult. And you blast off. Follow the thing as you can. You can't destroy even in the night the performance when you beat your time and nothing gets together.
Oh but contact has been made. Compromise you have to think hard and you'll see the more the better company for the even further instrumental is for the violin and piano concert and the concert in concert as a result of the Spirit. Yeah because you know in gaining control of this complex set of forces the stage the orchestra. Not only the stagehands were gallant even the lights all of this in gaining control. There you have a kind of a discipline that you transferred to the symphony that I suspect is not true and this is fresh gently. Understand it's so understanding what it's not for me.
Not necessary to tell tales and so far for the orchestra and often especially this one case that I told them carry me something I think only and phrase also. I don't tell you that I think it's only you do it. How can this happen. And it took me quite simple profession that profession. And so I think it sounds quite simple but ESPN is yeah. MASON Yeah. Well you know actually we have spoken of this very thing before on these programs. And I think there is something I don't know whether you would call it one of our guests Maestro Martin referred
to it as a kind of radar but it is something which is accomplished without any verbalization. It's communicated from the conductor to the orchestra and the orchestra communicate something back to him. Yeah. And it's a rapport. I don't I don't know well just what got caught. Yeah. That you'll remember. I know. Yes thank you very much and I look and I never was quite still standing his eyes and small motions. He contacted the biggest bass all of this off. Show business the form of the call we all drive and it says what I mean. And my dad forbid my
image was out when I was very young and when he had died I was 20 years or. But they have seen he's conducted more so than each musician could see what he had won and so he he made the most wonderful things. You know he was a conductor the first performance of the Booker sevens in life. See him start out alive. He did i was unique in shyness and form he might of thirty years later. This symphony first time. And it's for us such as daddy for me. But in this time I had no meaning to do. To become conductor was quite other plans I had then. But
it's unforgettable. I'd like to ask one question on the the this. Yes peace sensitivity that you were referring to with the with the orchestra. Do you find the same kind of sensitivity on the part of singers to give you a kind of a loaded question. Do you find working with singers the same kind of response to your notions about raising dynamic. Yes yes it's been a blast. Like you or his phrasing is dictated form is living breathing capacities are the same and what is breath is for the instrumentalists of what we enjoy. But as interesting as this is a book for the fiddlers and violins and that was the same almost Bri. Yeah yeah it was very creative
and it is very important to be musician you must have been in August. I vote as a feeder band and played in the office at all it's simply nice and open and so orderly so you can know what you would need from this man at the back what you don't need. Perhaps that's yeah it was significant. Yeah we were speaking of your early experience. Let's go back to that period and find out something about it. First of all was yours a family in which music was a way of life. Or my parents better than a music because my mother is such that a
very gifted singer and she was a very good contact at the piano they had a fall off playing piano like the conductor back that's have to hold it together. My father was willing to go beyond low and get out of there but he was very tricky and so we had been all over two weeks in the all of ours and Berlin and all of the movies the concerts the subscribers you name them here. Yes we my brother and I we came in these most important music a band every time and so was our musical. You say kinda And by good and I think that Dylan's Children's Hour.
Yeah yeah yeah I just saw him and then I began to feel this atheist. Vase immediately evacuated for good one year ago I should learn I was not at all interested and my parents let him. A But I am very valley 5 and my. You had you had undertaken piano study. Yeah when you were 77 Yeah yeah yeah. And this didn't work I don't know how did I happen to pick up a violin. Was there one in the family you know my father was a director of a great brewery spots over in Belize. It's a famous big and there have been many horses and so on and they started my stuff. The Their master also houses he made for me. Evelyn
from Cigar boxes. Would you know and their hair was upset or something horrid. I did bust one of them and so I began to feel this marvelous instrument and year later I got the flea quater violin and it was one of the greatest moments of my life. This instrument they are all you had to cop it and it was very solemn and I cradled you moved out and that she did was much better than the form of the horse and the my teacher for a while and then the toward become viruses quite clearly and my my patterns would be really let him. But lark and my clever father. First he has to make a segue so I be to have you do an accent. Then you must Gardy music
history and philosophy and languages. But then you must meet his doctor exam and then he can make what he what he wants. An eye toward him Poppy that is not I will make music. Lolol no you will see. You will need this or that you know you want it and you started the violin while you were doing what we call the academic work and equivalent to our high school and then you can not as we went to you could have given as young. Yeah and then I came. Yeah. Then I began to compose. When was this. In about 15 or so and then I went on the who should have your music doesn't benefit from ballin by now but was director now in front straight guy the composer was my teacher there and to me it was. Yeah and yeah I got the hang of it the same time as I normally informed them
that I need mine and that besides that meant I had to study the university things make my dissertation over Mozart and the Italian Open. And composers as well as for many many things for my poor at the. Did you continue practicing the violin during this economic period while you were at the university. Yes it's very funny. I I began to play piano of course because when I was 14 years old and her it was time to start it was clear I must become a conductor. And then I began to play piano but not this chair but this crystalline tell you quite clear and so I never loaned really good piano playing
but I could play like she did sound like August but you know the Kapellmeister playing you name it. There were all these it was not so easy. Then I was leader in the academic orchestra in Delhi. It was very nice. Think very many musical people and Dr. Jordan's especially music. I don't know why but it so effect yes. And then isn't this a curious. Yeah but it is true. Yeah. And so I want to live in OK that that. Then I made my book that is set at Stone and on my 23rd birthday. If so maybe I made my doc take some advice. Doctor
father I was happy and I couldn't go as a coach stuck to the tide as I mean everybody else got that began this began Oh man back up just a little bit down from 23 back to 14. The time when you heard Tristan. Yeah. What year was that by the way. Fourteen and I was about one hundred twenty four. Yeah I don't know 49 for 14 I bowl 19 or not and I didn't make five nine hundred fourteen that we can you know I was a boy you know for the next Yeah yeah. I'm sorry you had heard other operas before you heard Trieste on the hour. But apparently these operas let's say Mozart Strauss the repertory and the Italian repertory that you must have heard did not I think too apparently in the same way that Tristan did
this first impact of Trieste on apparently was a crucial point. Yeah in your career because of fact perhaps this is so my first you know one grain at Breakfast 9. And the funny thing then I was immensely I think move in Africa that I was this tall right from this be my impression. But one of my biggest problem then was how can one man make the point was this the right call. That means he writes for each musician in the hundreds. My orchestra what he has to play. He writes for the music. Couple of us are oral Yeah look or they quite call this seeing us
and I write in the libretto. How will the decorations must be and the stage action is Dave Jackson and the band behind the scene and the man and the mad cow disease all of us intellectuals and the creating and image and then there's sort thought laws and mere human and window Millet miracle but absolute amid all this all together was still strong to me that I must for one month lay down in bed at always Heba. Fear terrorism but nothing. What's wrong with me only something was in fact some psychosomatic event. Then I had this same that's what alone you know that same by Chris and got at them all. It was just overwhelming to young that one man was capable of
doing all these things. Yeah but the gag should all go. This command is emotionally in motion. A moment but then not this intellect so that's fine. The effect on me that if this ago I should listen critically and to show I think I did. Did any other composers strike you this way. For example Strauss did you hear in his Strauss about this then. No as far as a little bit later I heard my first thought was I think always in Cambodia and I was a little bit confused as to the markdown music but the and and the beautiful things about that very effect for me. No than the quite other thing. Lars was Mozart. He inquired direction. Has this effect on me. I couldn't explain.
Where is the magic in Mozart. Then when I saw it in the piano score it was him but I can compose the same but then I want to listen. The simplest thing then came I think do it. There's a song on me on this in the Mali thing till now. It's the same when I conduct or even hear the Tristan tell you I have the same feeling like 450 after that use you say at this time on here in Tristan at 14 you decided to become a conductor. Yeah and yeah there then I was so in these ears between 9 and FIFA 14 years I was told they were locked in my ears was musicianship. So
I've told my teachers and my father look at the violin is not enough for me. One violin look this summer concerts this one artist but they're all alive I have to practice it to play only and I don't. It was not enough for me. This one piece and the later lead up to it I really DID I JUST. Yes the literature from what I do have for a while and it's not enough and I thought the all caps lost the main thing and this was the great American and even not an outcome was of hope and symphony together do you recall your your earliest opportunities to conduct after you had made this decision that this is what you wanted for yourself. Yeah. How how long was it before you had the opportunity with a student or
orchestra perhaps. Yes I had prepared something with the the OK I thought I was the leader. So it was very good I could show them to play the thing as that's and the bowing and and this conducting this was the first time and I came. Do you think he is. You were brought up and then I had to you had the wonderful opportunity to get your act and then to take over the first couple in my stuff like Martha Carmen and very early I took over without the orchestra or the cover idea and this was a very fine think and very good for my little me but because it was a very good
performance they said yeah that's fine but. And now I composed in this time some things for orchestra and this was a symphony a concept dandle for violin and viola and big all cats as this I mean the first before Foreman's I played this role a violin and this second performance in a show that Michael invited me to and that I contacted him. And so it came from. Thanks this was a large work of an hour. But because there's not a bit and then I wrote what besides my coaching and the open and I signed when I signed given
the rebuttal from the Thousand and One night as I know I said they called me Opal just tired perhaps between the jobs dollars and pour coffee. Yes you can imagine you can imagine there was a concert perhaps closer to the Richard Strauss instrumental the in the you know I have much of an influence then bad but good stuff. So what other works did you compose at about this time. I understand that in addition to your orchestral work you did. Right some chamber music and there were some songs that I had to make many many music for the actors for Shakespeare incidental music music for play and yeah a bit of this nice job been the
Intendant told me I want to make it more now and our general music director was ironical Mendota hands you have to write some music then other that I know what the top good was I am for Shakespeare and so I wrote only the music for what is your bond. I just feel I'm only so much about nothing. Much much ado about money yeah yeah and I think you like it as you like it and well me Aunt Julia and so you yeah you go do you know your own Beethoven Listen I'm sure. Did you compose symphonies. No. I look now comes a very interesting thing. After I began in I conducted some things I
learned in four years later to horse talk show named was a character I was the first conductor and I had to see concepts to that. Last August was a very nice University of the Baltic Sea city. They had a nice choirs and I could do it myself and I did that the whole bottle of his bathtub out of the whole ring. This 45 man August is out so I had so much to do with them and I fared much better. Composer and myself. The Wagner the Mozart Beethoven video you overcharged us and I thought now I have to decide I want to say
that the great masters. It's better then to do quite nice music. I was too critical against myself and I compare this. And so yes I like this much better than my will. And so as I stop or do you want to know and I had the talent for conducting and the feeling for the scene and for the theater open and for this was decided how can they conduct I know when you are conducting these big bugs. Only then you can see and judge what bad they create. Greatness is lying in that and more the more I fared but giant and evil. You ask after symphonic Symphony of
Beethoven symphony quite simple but first tremendous and I sure many many composers don't know this all of course the kind you have been written in recent years not composed. No is he going to isn't yours. I gave it up when I came down from last talk to Dom stuck to his just let me just add that said was a lie about God being bought for before begging to be humbled. Then I came to study. You're listening to a conversation with Hans Schmidt and searched at with Aaron Parsons and George St.. We paused 10 seconds for a station identification.
A conversation with
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#3 (Reel 1)
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Identifier: 69-12-3 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
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Duration: 00:29:57
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Chicago: “A conversation with; #3 (Reel 1),” 1969-01-04, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 23, 2024,
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APA: A conversation with; #3 (Reel 1). Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from