Who would you bring back for a day?

Running through the files of musicians we have lost this year, we fell to wondering which giants from the past would we bring back from the other side, if such encounters were permitted.

Would it be…





furtwangler strauss

Or (our choice)?


Your call?

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  • For me, one of the greatest failings of the recording industry is that they never recorded Rachmaninoff playing concertos by composers other than himself. Apparently he played Liszt 1st, Tchaic 1st and several Beethoven concertos – but we can only guess how these all sounded.

    I’d vote for Rach to come back. At least there are a lot of Nathan Milstein recordings.

  • Anton Seidl – the incomparable conductor of Wagner music (by repute) that no one on the planet has ever seen or heard!

  • The pianists – Vladimir Horowitz, Dinu Lipatti, Benno Moiseiwitsch & Earl Wild.Violinist- Josef Hassid because he was a one off genius who died tragically young.Conductors- Carlos Kleiber because he gave us so little of his talent and the recently departed Claudio Abbado because he had so much more to give

  • Vladimir Horowitz, Jascha Heifetz, Mischa Elman, Ignaz Friedman, Josef Lhevinne, Emmanuel Feuermann (and many, many others …)

    • No, he didn’t. But he was great at making naive people believe that. He was a very good conductor with a very acute sense of hearing and excellent rehearsal skills, his concerts were fascinating to listen to if musically rather one-dimensional, just focused on celebrating his sound, but he wasn’t the kind of second coming that many simple-minded people think he was because of his endless babbling about Buddhism and how great and enlightened he was.

  • Toscanini,Bernstein,Stokowski,Koussevitzky,Beecham,Reiner,Szell,Munch,Ormandy,Monteux,Horowitz,Heifetz,Piatigorsky,Strawinsky,Copland,Barber,and all Symphony Players of great Us and UK Orchestras of the past.In short.All the heroes of my youth!Oh,I forgot Jack Benny and Victor Borge!

  • Yes, Mahler. Put him in front of the Chicago Symphony and records symphonies 2, 5, 6, 9, and Das Lied. Maybe then we’d have a definitive answer on the order of movements in the 6th, a better idea of what he wanted in 9 and Das Lied. And if there’s time left over, finish the 10th!

  • Jean de Reszke, Giovanni Rubini and Sims Reeves in their prime, so that we could hear what their voices were really like ūüôā

  • It is those that left us too early who I would like to see come again to enthrall us even more with their music. A few have been mentioned already, Dinu Lipatti, Kathleen Ferrier, Josef Hassid and Guido Cantelli. There are more that died too young.

  • I would like to meet the man that composed the end of the first movement of the Bruckner Seventh Symphony. The biographies are worthless for understanding the heart and mind of the great man who composed it.

  • Any and all of the above plus Rossini, who had such an interesting life, to tell us about it and show us how to make unborn generations laugh.

  • I echo the vote of Milton Ribeiro above – Ferenc Fricsay. We can only imagine the further heights he could have achieved had he not died so relatively young in 1963. He would have been 100 this year.

  • Franz Schubert. Died much too young. Would have liked to hear what he had to say as he entered his more advanced “jazz period’.

    • Do you think we could persuade him to finish his Symphony No. 8? And not throw it into the fireplace?

      We’ll also have to bring back Celibidache to conduct the premiere of the Sibelius 8th. But then again, I don’t think I have that much time left in my own life.

      In which case, bring back Barbirolli to conduct it… (The performance would take almost as long, but we’d probably save some time on the rehearsals.)

  • I’d like to hear what the high-romantics, especially Brahms and Tchaikovsky, really meant by all those tempo modifiers. How much less is not so much?

    And I’d love to hear what Bach, Scarlatti, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and Chopin would do with a modern concert grand. (At least one would confound expectations, I’m sure.)

    • we already have Florence Foster Jenkins , why would one want Callas ?To link Callas with Carlos Kleiber is
      to lack musical discernment.

  • It has to be Carlos Kleiber, but only after agreeing a Faustian bargain with him that he must conduct (with no rehearsal) the VPO in another New Year’s Day concert; the Eroica; Mahler 3; Meistersinger; and also agree to give an extended TV interview.

  • To pick one from each field:
    Wanda Landowska
    Carlos Salzedo
    Victoria de los Angeles
    Leopold Stokowski
    Pablo Casals
    Zino Francescatti
    William Kincaid
    Ricardo Vines
    Gabriel Faure
    Georges Enescu

    This is my short-list of the greatest musicians of the 20th century.

  • All that in one day? That would be a bit much to ask even of a workaholic like Mahler was reputed to be. And why the Chicago Symphony? That would be a waste of time. They have no knowledge of the style of and no ensemble culture suited for his music, they just play everything like “Star Wars”.

  • Nathan Milstein
    Jascha Heifetz
    Joseph Hassid
    William Kapell
    Dinu Lipatti
    Carlo Bergonzi
    Fritz Wunderlich
    Renata Tebaldi
    Bidu Say√£o

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