Back

Watch: Carlos Kleiber mimes killing himself

January 4, 2017 by norman lebrecht

13 comments.


Pit footage has emerged of a 1994 Vienna Rosenkavalier where the singing seems to drive the inspirational conductor to thoughts of self-destruction.

Watch.


Comments (13)

  1. Olassus says:

    That’s Kurt Moll you’re referring to! I think CK was just exhausted. This is the run during which he lost his place at times, his last opera performances in Europe.

    1. Sue says:

      That’s rubbish! If you know anything about Kleiber and his perfectionism and tantrums you’d know he’s very displeased with the singing!!

      Brigitte Fassbaender talks on film about Carlos going back-stage after a patchy performance complaining, “how could you do this to me???”.

      1. Olassus says:

        Members of the orchestra are on record about Kleiber losing his way during the three March 1994 performances.

        You don’t need to defend him. He is not under attack. He was in failing health, and the strain of living every single phrase, as he did, was becoming too much in such a long work.

        In October 1994 he led six performances in Tokyo, earning a fortune, and that was the end for him in opera.

        Fassbaender’s comments are accurate too, but have nothing to do with what we are seeing here.

        1. DESR says:

          Would love to know your source(s) for this. You may be right but where is this stated?

  2. Stephen Lawrence says:

    Did anyone catch him looking at the score? No, thought not…! This is why this obsessive genius conducted so rarely. He didn’t want to do anything he didn’t have anything significant to say about.

  3. Gary says:

    And doesn’t miss a beat!

  4. Kevin Lin says:

    This is Baron Ochs’ aria “Da lieg ich” in the end of Act II, and Baron Ochs’ servants (bass choristers) were dragging like crazy when they came in at measure 233, prompting Kleiber to stab himself in the heart whilst still conducting and getting everybody back on the beat.

  5. Kevin Lin says:

    This is Baron Ochs’ aria “Da lieg ich” in the end of Act II, and Ochs’ servants (bass choristers, “Lerchenau’s Diener” in the score), were dragging like crazy when they came in at measure 233, prompting Kleiber to stab himself in the heart whilst still conducting and getting everybody back on the beat.:
    http://goo.gl/VDtHTk

    I don’t think Kleiber stabs himself in the heart in his 1994 recording from the Deutsche Grammophon DVD:
    https://youtu.be/cQp6FYs42cc?t=50m52s
    – See more at: http://slippedisc.com/2017/01/watch-carlos-kleiber-mimes-killing-himself/?replytocom=133824#respond

  6. Gustav says:

    Not in Mahler’s class. They all wanted to be Mahler.

    1. Peter says:

      Very strange comment. Have you ever seen Mahler as a conductor?
      The classical music peanut gallery: that funny place with people full of judgement but without the empirical knowledge to justify it. Opinionated impostors.

  7. Graziano says:

    Funny and amazing video ! Maybe from tv program “Just for laughs gags”….

  8. Fernando says:

    Did anybody notice that after the stabbing and complaining to some violín players of the orchestra his left hand flew amanzingly to make a beautiful ritenuto?

  9. DESR says:

    Love the way CK looks to the violins for consolation about the dragging here! They are usually the culprits….especially in Strauss.

    Any other conductor we know who chats to the orchestra during actual performances?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *