Suitner@100: The (Truly) Legendary Recordings

The Austrian conductor Otmar Suitner (1922-2011) turned 100 this week, which gave me the perfect opportunity to look back at his very prolific legacy, much of which has languished into oblivion. A conductor who spent most of his career behind the Iron Curtain, those who knew of him remembered him for his lengthy, but artistically not particularly groundbreaking, tenure with the Staatskapelle Berlin between 1964 and 1990, during which he churned out mostly mediocre recordings of the German classics, and which gave him a reputation of being yet another stodgy Kapellmeister. Continue readingSuitner@100: The (Truly) Legendary Recordings

Under the Spotlight

Giuseppe Sinopoli: Maestro Psychologist

It was the evening of 20th April, 2001. A bespectacled figure with a bushy beard mounted the podium of the Deutsche Oper Berlin to rapturous applause. The conductor was the controversial Venetian, Giuseppe Sinopoli; the opera, Verdi’s Aida. Sinopoli had quit as chief conductor of this very opera house in 1990 due to a rift with its artistic director, Götz Friedrich. They had since made peace, however, and Friedrich’s death in 2000 was the catalyst for Sinopoli’s return to the Opera’s podium. Sinopoli dedicated that night’s performance of Aida to Friedrich’s memory.Continue readingGiuseppe Sinopoli: Maestro Psychologist