Slipped Disc editorial:
There is a strong party in the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra that will vote for Christian Thielemann as music director on May 11, come what may. Many players consider him the quickest way to return the orchestra to its former prosperity and to its iconic German national status. Here are five reasons why they are wrong.
1 Karajan was an entrepreneur.
He saw the opportunity of turning Berlin rehearsals into recording sessions and playing corporate giants off against each other. Thielemann has no commercial nous.
2 Karajan was apolitical.
After 1945 he never consciously uttered a political preference, treating left and right with studious neutrality. Being Austrian helped him to rise above German factionalism. Thielemann, by contrast, is identified with the political right and is prone to making controversial statements that will get the orch into hot water.
3 Karajan had irresistible charm.
4 Karajan was a people person.
Until the late 1970s (when he grew too rich) he was involved in players’ lives and attended their family occasions. He was never aloof, as Thielemann is.
5 Karajan conducted everywhere, all over the world.
Thielemann has burned bridges in the US, the UK and France.
SEE ALSO: Why Barenboim would be wrong for Berlin Phil. Click here.