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I'd like to but I really went only to the music classes there and I made my exams but I never finished the doctor right because then when I was about four semesters in the eight semester course I would my professional duties became so pressing that I just couldn't go. Now I'm a doctor but I'm a doctor or a scouser so that then from the opera and you're commuting to re-enter you very soon after four years of us took on a full time position that was a Dresden. Yes and then I was one year because I was there still an assistant position that was when I was assisting Bush frequently wash with Bush and then I got to be a music director of a small German opera house in the Rhineland. How did you coming back to Dresden. How did you obtain the position with as assistant of which Bush also by chance be there that was on the course during during your trip I mean to study trip.
This was my idea and I want to do that. And in the vacation time of the Opera House. Which was a little longer than the German opera as they played a longer season so when it will be finished it was me. They still play there are two weeks so I rushed off to the German opera history to the letter of recommendation from my director would be cowardly. They hear some performances and I went to Grayson and there was a performance of mine she know it was sold out and I couldn't get a ticket but I did we couldn't have more time. So I was asking around and there was a very nice blonde man coming and said Violet was the arguing with the box office people and she said What do you want her and I said I would like to get in. Why have it because I'm here just for this one day and I'm still I was Asian and I want to get this I don't know this opera so that was Prince Bush and said All right you go in my box and. Then I went into his box and after after I
heard it. And next morning I went to present myself and thank him and then he asked Well how did you like it. And then there are very few impertinently I told him what I liked and what I didn't and then I don't know what caught his fancy but then he asked whether I would like to stay with him and then of course I did want to very badly and I cut my contract with you from Budapest and went to do a story which was very useful indeed and there that however happened to be only one year because the next year I got these practical directorship which of course was for me great singing and that I really have not only conduct every night but I but I mean charge of the whole opera this was a major and different story. There was still very young. Oh yes man I was I think 21 was quite quite an early age too.
Oh yes dear dear when I went there's the new music director than the doormen didn't want to let me in you said you know anybody can say this is a student's prank and I had to call the general manager to verify this. This is all you said but you were no the director who ordered and never forgave me for days. You know what I was there three years and you already look at really good around here and I wouldn't be there. You're listening to a conversation with ontology with Aaron Parsons and George St.. We paused 10 seconds before station identification. Now resuming the conversation with I'm told a Rotty here is George St.. This is just another question to me because you were
so very young and at about this time you began guest conducting regularly with the the Budapest Philharmonic. Yes and Larry really feels once or twice a year. Yes. Yeah but I mean regularly over a period of years you didn't hear any of the orchestra. What kind of situation did this bring about and as much as your father to whom you've referred as being a very strict musician was a member of the violins in that orchestra. And here you are a very young man. And here is your strict father among the fiddles. Do this pose any problems for you. Yes yes yes yes yes. Yeah I was very embarrassed you know my father father was there but the situation resolved in an entirely different way my father a father of a be participating very much in my work you know and once when I mistake happened in the orchestra which was
rehearsed and well correctly the rest of the concert again went badly and my father lost his patience and started to shout madam and not at anybody but just indignantly. And this was such an absurd thing that then that we had a man to man talk and then my father said you did not please after that in the concerts I come back. Oh he just he was just he just didn't hear student participate he didn't actually from now but that was that was the No. Trouble and no problem there was no way I was offended that was an ASHer I said By the way I was not there I was not less impressed by him sitting in the first row that was in there in there were a bunch worse I dare say it would be. Well I rather wondered here for perhaps following a concert he would give you some fatherly advice or seem to get well yes. Oh you must be very obvious why a concert and after rehearsal and all this
and they're very Irvine's. Yes I'm sure a splendid the way he played and the many conductors many very fine conductors and he could tell very keenly about them. It was very interesting that only allowed one conductor whom he admired very much. He never could tell anything coherent anything how he did things he told me much about Mahler on the way play and there were many others and a lot Nickisch he could never see anything and he played played yours for years and he is really much in the way or rather a friendly. And knew each other very well as he told me ridiculous things when they get at his cuffs hanging out. We hit a lot of people very far from his sleeves as a summary which was quite irrelevant as I asked him why did he rehearse much. Very strict not particularly well lazy at all no not at all he was a very temperamental Was he
very rude No just a little bit too much it's not a matter resolved or you really are not all I'm doing this because it is so interesting about weakish that this was a talent very good conductor's talent which could not be defined. I wonder why this would be. And we're told for example that one because of its had the opportunity to study this technique in Berlin that he considered this the golden thing which had happened to him. Yes deliberately because he repeated exactly the same thing as my father my father also thought it was a golden thing to display underneath each where he couldn't see how he's doing it at night if it was a risk if he could. Because Kaczynski also was a very talented man so he could watch these men and and and slice himself a piece of writing of what he did but how this was done he didn't know. And mind you because
it is the other conductor with you. If you would describe what he did and how he worked to something very commonplace comes out. But it's true. Yes but if you don't if you go behind that behind this very normal and not extraordinary things very often I will be there is there some some magic happened something came out which which was most extraordinary. Those are matters of peace very fine the very exquisite exquisiteness of the house and it as a whole is a static experience or something that can be defined and that is really that is really the core of this whole profession but you said very flatteringly that you could hear many devious and work I conducted here to be a sickle. Well that pleases me very much because that I think is part of it. This thing which you cannot put into books or into rules but you bet you
can maybe if you're lucky and that you can do it once or twice in the book and doctors in the USA and I hope that I am getting that title correctly because I'm relying on my memory by started. There is a statement attributed to you that in reply to a query as to what the most important requisite for a conductor might be. Your nobility is was a fact. Yes. Would you enlarge upon us what you believe I think we get back to what I thought I just said that it is very difficult for a larger pond this and maybe this is what I was talking about. Maybe maybe this I think I want to say risky bits of talent where just nothing else but not belittling. You see I said I said these are words which would lead to that I said excuse it I said good taste. You know that that is not really I mean I really didn't mean
nobility of of a knight errant or something of this type. I meant a normal human being who I so respect and has got the means of dealing with other people that we are conducting is a human affair it is not either a musical affair. There are many such good musicians as they would conductors who are not conductors. I don't know where that is. I make myself clear planning to do quite well and if this is not saw because this musician for instance even the church guy was in for me I think I'm very I mean I think I hold myself for a very good position. So I've got I now say that we'll be mainly sound and sound harsh but I think that maybe in that you can see from their 20 25 people at school that I am there others are very good but maybe not as good but and those are the still not conducting neither of them another of their wishes too and that is not because the I am better but I'm different
and you have got this talent which makes me conduct with the same amount of relationship let's say to 75 pounds of militias if I've got many other people have got seventy five pounds of relationship and employed in other ways of musician of music but I have got these and other people have got this. Extra quality which is not musical. It's a human quality which makes them enables them to conduct and that is a kind of conducting and that is a leadership quality and the leadership qualities are me as mistaken often mistaken right say in commanding with commanding at Area Command. A leader is not a commander at all. Every policeman would be a leader then but a leader is a man who would implant and I mean somebody else as they some persons own I mean I'm not satisfied if someone is brave for
me or not softly. I'm only satisfied if he wants to play in the snow or software created balance his yes that and that is that I can see that he that leadership and that I can see there is also part of this nobility. But that cannot be seen that cannot be achieved by telling him in the course of this process it will be pronounced that this priest this and this way but the whole relationship between the two persons the one who will instruct and I want to guess ese must be such if there is a good leadership present that very soon the initiative goes to the end it in the man who executes the wish. But a key word probably also would be one you used a moment ago. Respect. Yes because this must be mutual respect of find all prayer and the final prayer immensely because I'm not there I cannot be the one I CANNOT BE THERE were right and they and those can and those the wheat and they
still will do it the way we agreed that they should do that I am leaving this arrangement and I am responsible for the fall of 400 disposition and of course if I get this far from this group of people with pleasure then the thing will be good and if I just get it because they have to because they are that we all have to make our living that it is nothing and nothing is good. Yes I think it's also one of the quality of a conductor to use what he has to its best advantage. I would not I would not hesitate to change for instance an entire floor of melody an entire section of a piece for any player who has got what one has got a beautiful piano. I will so I will I will try to bring that out I will like to make him to play as beautifully as he can. There is nothing here this is not being told this is not being arranged but it is a natural thing I show him how to start he starts to give me a sound. I
listen to this. I mold right away he was surrounded and this comes out in it is it is sometimes very very interesting. Sometimes one talks about it but most of the time one never talks about it. It simply happens if it goes back to what you said some time ago about No.2 performance being alike and the fact that they should not be on a shoot this is this is life you know this one is a life and messier and you know our life every minute is different than another minute. And this is the great sense of the art of music which is an art of time. It is and has should be forgotten that the material of music is time. Truth is the radio what is a symphony is a sculpted half an hour or in the case of Mahler 6 or sculpted 80 minutes. And you see we are if we are modeling a second we are modeling a minute that and that's that what what that means that we are modeling a material which
is very fleeting because we are modeling actually our own life. That's why the music out of music is also so exacting for the audience that is also something which rich should be considered you know and then Michelangelo painted his last judgment in the 16th Chapel. He worked for six years on this and nearly broke his back and there it was the masterpiece still there it is. But you can go there I can go there and it is up to us how long we look at it. We can take it all in in three minutes if we want or against there spend the whole day there at the other hand if we want to hear Beethoven's Ninth Symphony then we have to supply from our own live 62 minutes no less known and no more. And for the Mahler 6 8 minutes which is our own 80 minutes and this we got to be hand on a silver platter to the genius of Beethoven because he wants you otherwise you don't hear his work. If that is really the frightful thing or the striking thing about this is that
following the performance of the Mahler 6 we are 80 minutes older. That's right yes. And it never comes back. But these various Briggs of course the whole the whole thing to the necessity of the interpreter and they're all of the interpreter This is just so much discussed and I find it very often if you start to build this house this discussion house on the second floor and never discussed the first floor are never the foundation. Their entire In every art must be interpreted. They are the essential essence of art is that it is that it is a symbol and it must be interpreted for the home consumer let's say because just because it's an look or a listener or whatever you know it is now the arts which work with space and this in and in as much as we do not live in space. We have got to stay constant relationship to space. They think it's as outside of us.
Therefore we can interpret this space event this organized space always worse because he's always there. We can go back to it. But we cannot interpret for ourselves for half an hour a second time because he's already gone. So somebody else got to come and do it for us again. This is very true and you know the difference here between music and what Michelangelo painting you are talking about is that the music has gone on for ever after a performance and in the hall that particular there is that moment when it resonates. They let you go you see their interpreter of the music is the person who replaces because they're the Creator because the creator just creates is a sign you know this is not really music. Do you want a bit of a lot. It's a sign of the music. It will become music if these people who can
read that make it sound. And that mind you hear and that is interpreting music and there is always a different person then the composer. And if it's the same person what is it made of the place where you is all piano sonata that he is his own interpreter he's another person at that moment he thought he functions differently then. Anyway I'm going to New York. Your own compositions with this big I miss you I ask I was just going to say that this is the I found this out the hard way because when I first you know I first realized that I was a child a composer I talked about this before and for a long while I didn't compose and then I came back to it. Those are serious works and they I don't mind playing them for people I think they are good enough to be heard and if I'm asked to do it I'll do it. And if when I first in my grown up life was called upon to conduct a peace of mind.
Then I went to the rehearsal very naive leap knowing that I know the piece because I just wrote it think was very reluctant. So I know it very well. And after 10 minutes I had to call the rehearsal off and I told her of my orchestra really honestly that I have to go home and learn it because I didn't know it the way a conductor must know it. It's not enough to know what note it is. I must then we will evaluate the whole thing and must learn it the way how I will realize this and then I learned it wasn't any difficult job because actually the material was already known to me and then I came back and I think conducted just with it is just it. Same way I could like anybody who says I'm using XP with this one drawback that I instinctively naturally respect a stranger much more than myself so it's easier for me to just
go to my son's wasn't a stranger. This was after all that writing that is what I'm not doing that is what I have ever heard of the music in his name I want to be on the other end of it is very interesting that from my composing I learned much from Dr.. I thought that much medicine cycle was because I now seem to be I always sort of disparage this work of the conductor I use in my younger years I think this is called the conductor as a complete sort of and that was my idea but I don't have this idea anymore. I have yet to see very clearly where he must what his role is what what he gives to a composition and of course then the debate ensues what. How the how the color how the musical interpretation is right or whether one should inject oneself or to what extent or whether one should try to be faithful to the composer whether the answer is very
very simple. In the game one must go down to the ground floor to answer it honestly. Naturally one must be trying to be as faithful to the composer as possible because he is the one who is absent. I am there I don't have to inject myself I'm there as big as I am you see what I do I must behave as modestly as I possibly can because of the advantage that I am there I'm the man whose music I play isn't. Yes it is not necessary to inject myself I am injected. I was about to say yes. Can you manage now you know and I shouldn't and I shouldn't because I'm sure that the composer would have different moods if the composer himself he would have different movements to enable you to play his piece differently at different octaves. Yes I'm confident that's true. I own I'm told that the Browns once listened to a performance of his one of his symphonies by Google and then afterwards he and the tears
in his eye and he sings it well you can believe that wheat I never was not a funny remark he was very moved by it but it isn't what you remember. Yeah when you are approaching a score with this composer's attitude how do you go about preparing a score that you are going to conduct say for the first time with an orchestra. I know judging by the last evenin in Orchestra Hall you conductor memory even a concerto. Oh yeah. And this just puts even the greater kind of responsibility on that moment when you're preparing. Well that's what I want. How do you go about studying to study the score and I have no special measure really I just read it read it very often and then I analyze it I make a very historic study of every aspect of the piece vertically what heresy they are advent
of i look what harmony is there was and then I look at the lines and I look at what instruments and I look forward and I look it takes a long time you know you don't go to learn a school like this in the day. I daresay the Mauer would take up more everything's in you know a long time requires 80 minutes and performance and involves such huge forces and such and intricate manipulation of laws for the Study of P of music is not really a direct racially. The longer of the piece because you know once you digested the material and the pace and the disposition of the piece then the mass of it you know that the bulk of it you go to your pastor and that is easy to remember that because one thing is what directly to another yes but it's to come on let's just say I've been there Mara sings symphonies not I didn't say I studied four times longer than that as if it would have been only 20 minutes you know.
It was in the first 20 minutes there is so much of the peace that the other 60 we'll we'll be more logical from there are easier to study and the complexity of the thing also adds to the difficulty knowing that's when that's when they have ads that makes it easy for those Oh yes I find them most taxing things to memorize is for instance a small piece by Baha. Which has which is very clean music you know with or without any landmarks as it is close. I have to remember really the quintessence without any help of an accent of color there. If you recorded the music of the French composer monsieur. Yes for example of this is a very different type of music. The motor or mower Yes requires a very different approach to the score into the
performance of it. Ah so yes do you find that this is in the region of difficulty. Easier is sometimes very difficult yes. But again when it was either he or his writing is so typical of himself that once you have read the answer you learn one piece the second will go down in no time because you then you know what it is all about. Ye must by the way my greatest scandal when I conducted the crown a crime in Paris I give the first performance of chronicle in Paris and I always heard about the tremendous scandal of the second Deprancol in Paris which is that this was maybe not as great a scandal but pretty nearly so it was not as good because still you know it only happened while the piece was nearly finished. Not quite. But then it was very noisy. It was wonderful it was wonderful of both Missy and I had a feeling of complete victory.
It was utterly Leisha nearly Really I did not it didn't get into our head that these people booed because they disliked it because the idea was of exhilaration move beyond words and we came out we bowed about strength in times in this noise and moved it. Missing our skies The Shining as far as wonderful experience yes it was I always like to start new things because that's what I was taking you to the world star. Yes yes it's a situation which is it is very for mending it if you're not used to it is very good and just now has the desire to do something and they asked me to do that with them and I'm doing it with people here and we do it for some time but I have no idea that that I will finish my life there. Now the one thing I wanted to ask you virtually everyone pronounces your last name Dorati we have in our
Broadcasting Group Richard freed whom you know him at the Eastman School and he pronounces it differently with an emphasis on the first syllable. Would you leave us with the correct pronunciation. Well all right I will say it for you in good time you're in and my name in good time again is don't ask the UN. Thought out the donor the on values that I used an extended and very long and they don't know is actually ended in a very short Dorati Dorati don't you must you must. Surely you know. Yes that's right. And that of course their given name is already second in gaming with the Iraqi army. All I see on top is a simple name is Anthony which I decided not to translate because if I translate into English that I was translated into German into anything yes go and get my amount of driving that would cause the heart of a confusion I was sure it would. Is I also same I don't be there.
You're active in the Italian me. Well at least now we know. Mr. GERACI we thank you very much for visiting with us here on the program. And we shall look forward to seeing you again when you return with your work history will be great pleasure. Thank you so much Mr. Director. Thank you as you know this has been a conversation with the Rotty distinguished conductor and composer formerly conductor of the ballet roustabout a Carlo Dallas the Minneapolis symphony is and the present musical director of the Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra participating Reverend 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 of Zenith radio corporation's radio station WEAA FM. This program was distributed by the national educational radio network.
A conversation with
Episode Number
#8 (Reel 2)
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Identifier: 69-12-8 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
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Duration: 00:29:53
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Chicago: “A conversation with; #8 (Reel 2),” 1969-02-03, 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; #8 (Reel 2). Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from