Under the Spotlight

Giuseppe Sinopoli: Maestro Psychologist


With twelve of his recordings, I conclude my survey of Sinopoli’s discography. There are, of course, plenty more that I could have mentioned; his red-blooded Tchaikovsky recordings, for example, or his Schumann cycle with the Staatskapelle Dresden, which was very good on its own terms but not on the level of the Vienna Second. Furthermore, I have ignored his entire operatic repertoire — not being well-versed in opera, I don’t feel qualified to comment.

Still, I believe this selection is representative of Sinopoli’s artistry. Considering the trajectory of his relatively brief career, Sinopoli seemed to have mellowed from a musical provocateur par excellence into a thoughtful, musical interpreter of the classics. It is tempting to think what else Sinopoli could have done, or how his interpretations would have matured, had he not died at such a tragically young age. A remake of his Mahler with the Staatskapelle Dresden or an interpretation of La Valse would be intriguing prospects. Nevertheless, we must be grateful for what Sinopoli had actually left us. Love him or hate him, Sinopoli never fails to fascinate.

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