Watch: Christian Thielemann test-drive his new wheels

Watch: Christian Thielemann test-drive his new wheels


norman lebrecht

June 04, 2017

The conductor launches a shameless plug for the new VW-Golf.

He can probably afford better.

If you can’t see the video below, please click here.

Christian Thielemann im eGolf from Staatskapelle Dresden on Vimeo.



  • Sue says:

    This model Golf would want to be better than the petrol or diesel models which are absolute rubbish. I’ve just bought a new Mercedes GLE350d and am very happy with it. Cannot imagine Maestro Thielemann driving anything less than this!!!

  • Olassus says:

    Karajan drove a VW too.

  • Aaron Weiner says:

    One should not forget the role of Volkswagen in the Third Reich. That Thielemann — the archetypical German musician with a taste for right wing tendencies — supports this particular company is a sign that nothing has changed. VW should have never been allowed to continue trading under their odious name.
    Thielemann should be boycotted by all who have not forgotten what crimes the Germans committed in the past.

    • A SD reader says:

      “..the archetypical German musician…”, “…Thielemann should be boycotted…”
      I suggest you stop smoking whatever it was, take a deep breath and get a life.

    • Bviolinistic says:

      What a ridiculous response..

    • John Borstlap says:

      I agree. For comparable reasons, we never drink french wine or eat camembert here because of the Napoleanic wars and Louis XIVth expansion attempts, we never go on holiday in Spain because of what the spaniards did in the 16th century, including their awful behavior in S-America, and of course we never attend Italian opera since we read about the Roman conquests and the plundering in its wake. We don’t listen any longer to music by Russian composers because of the Soviet Union and we suspect Shostakovich to have been a collaborator. Life has become a bit sober as a consequence but morally we’re all fine.

      • Hank says:

        I think Herr Wiener’s point is that VW like most of German industry during the war used slave labour via Organisation Todt managed by Albert Speer. Clearly this differs somewhat from eating Camembert and Grand Cru Claret. Napoleon unlike Adolf did not have concentration camps!
        Even Bayreuth used slave labour to make up sets and lug stuff about until it closed. Two GI’s I met told me they knicked the 3 steerhorns, one ended up in Texas, the other ones I think went to somewhere near Idaho and LA.

        • John Borstlap says:

          Napolean made sure that millions were killed at the time:

          Total dead and missing:

          2,500,000 military personnel in Europe
          1,000,000 civilians were killed in Europe and in rebellious French overseas colonies.

          Total: 3,500,000 casualties

          David Gates estimated that 5,000,000 died in the Napoleonic Wars. He does not specify if this number includes civilians or is just military.

          Also, one of my forefathers suffered premature napoleonic death: he was deaf, and while searching for champignons in the woods close to Waterloo with his PA, he was hit by a grenade from the French artillerie.

          • Jacob Rees Mogg says:

            I think however when one has seen at first hand the horrors of Belsen in that famous news report in 1945 by Richard Dimbleby, Bonaparte’s wars are irrelevant. As Karl Jaspers said “That which has happened is a warning. To forget it is guilt. It must be continually remembered. It was possible for this to happen, and it remains possible for it to happen again at any minute.” Thank goodness we are an island.

            This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle,
            This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
            This other Eden, demi-paradise,
            This fortress built by Nature for herself
            Against infection and the hand of war,
            This happy breed of men, this little world,
            This precious stone set in the silver sea,
            Which serves it in the office of a wall
            Or as a moat defensive to a house,
            Against the envy of less happier lands,–
            This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.

          • Maitland 10th Foot & Mouth says:

            French Artillery at Waterloo, did not use grenades! The clue is Grenadiers old bean. If your relative was mushroom hunting near the woods at Waterloo, he was more than likely near the Allied line, Wellington had already checked these woods a year before, therefore it must have been a stray grenade lobbed by the Grenadier Guards, sorry about your relative, friendly fire etc happens in war.

          • John Borstlap says:

            To Jacob Rees Mogg:

            Meanwhile Germany has become a normal western country with all the normal western problems – including rightwing parties and immigrant problems. It is absurd to continue to consider the country as a prewar enemy. And if there is one country which invests in memories, it is Germany, where its collective historic guilt has become part of national identity and is fed the children from day one. (This is one of the reasons that modernism is still strong in Germany, as ‘proof’ that it is entirely modernized and westernized.)

    • Sue says:

      Ignorance and rudeness on steroids.

    • Stirling Moss says:

      Oh yes, VW was a KdF wagen, Adolf it was claimed had a hand designing the beetle, doubt Ferdie Porche would have let him near his drawing board.

      I would not swap a Golf for my 1950 XK 120 DHC, despite its “Prince of darkness” electrics, have to keep foot hard on the gas before “lights out”!

    • bye bye says:

      Volkswagen used Darth Vader, natürlich it’d use Thielemann.

      Next VW advertising campaign: Storm Troopers.

    • Brian says:

      I think the more pertinent question is VW’s emissions cheating scandal, which was a huge story in the U.S. (where one of their executives sits in jail) but was largely downplayed in Germany. If I were a conductor, I’d want to keep my distance from the brand (and I say that as someone who always liked their cars).

    • Jacob Liberson says:

      You are right.
      I have boycotted all my life most German products, and I don’t think much of their so called ‘culture’. For me: give me any time Meyerbeer over Wagner, Shostakovich over Strauss, and I don’t care much for Bach ( an ardent antisemite ), Mozart or Beethoven either. Even Schubert came from that cesspit Vienna, so a no go for me as well.
      Their world famous orchestras are no match for most UK and US groups either.
      And most of their population still reeks of the old Nazi stench…
      They will never change.

      • John Borstlap says:

        Giving-up culture because of a bunch of barbarians is a small price to pay for the moral highground. It is such a nice feeling that the anglo-saxon world is so entirely blameless and has always been so.

    • Peter Ruff says:

      Neurotic nonsense. Please see a psychiatrist… Mr. Weiner.

  • Andrea Riemer says:

    CT has been driving Porsche for many years. Yet the Manufactur is situated at Dresden and VW is sponsoring the Sächsische Staatskapelle. Reasons enough that CT tests an eVW 🙂

  • DESR says:

    I am not sure the conductor-car relationship is to be sniffed at. Audi paid Carlos Kleiber with a top of the range Audi 8 for one concert in 1996, at Ingolstadt, home town of Audi HQ.

    Amusement reigned last year in Bayreuth, when Thielemann became Music Director and was given his own personal parking space – where he was seen to park his Porsche. Maybe he will be adding to his collection?

    • John Borstlap says:

      The CDU is preparing a proposal for the Budestag to turn the special parking space of ChT at Bayreuth into a National Heritage Location, to be protected by a special civil servant to keep illegal parking and tourists at bay.

      • Catriona MacGregor says:

        Hitler liked Wagner and was a vegetarian. Oh dear! I must stop listening to Wagner and begin to eat meat. It’s irrelevant what car Theilemann drives (or plugs) or what his politics are.

        • Sue says:

          I’m sure John was making a metaphorical joke about Thielemann’s views on muslim immigration into Dresden; a ‘controversial’ position which the British people can only wish they’d adopted themselves long ago!! “Oh Lord, what fools these mortals be”.

    • Nik says:

      Porsche and VW are part of the same group, so they can probably live with his ‘brand disloyalty’.

  • Wiener says:

    Aaron kann natürlich nur die Nazikeule schwingen ,wird langsam fad.

  • Hard Brexit Please says:

    Copying & pasting from Wikipedia is very poor form. Can you not do your own historical research. The figures quoted are not validated. The main problem is comparing Bonaparte with Hitler, both were baddies, Hitler far worse, but the technology for war had advanced for Hitler and led to industrialised war, far more died in ww2, some 55m so Bonaparte really is small fry. Odd though it was UK/allies who defeated both Bonaparte & Hitler. The claims made by slave labour victims to VW etc are justified.

    • John Borstlap says:

      The slavery happened in the past. Just like the extensive slavery as practiced by the Americans from the day of independence declaration untill deep into the 19th century. Meanwhile the world has moved on, also in Germany.

      • Hilary says:

        It’s less widely known that Napoleon abolished anti-Gay laws in France, and was an avid taker of notes. All of this points towards him being a good person.
        He was also terrible in other respects, as John B has pointed out. We need to come to terms with the fact that people can’t be easily reduced to one thing.

        As far as VW goes, I’m troubled by their economy with the truth as regards emmissions. All their future cars need to be electric to take into account this.

      • Hard Brexit Please says:

        The slavery of the Nazis was far worse than the slavery of the Romans, or the 18th century colonies, they used gas and experimented on prisoners for heavens sake, wise up man. Have you ever any of their so called “holiday camps” ? Have you ever seen the footage from the BBC liberating Belsen. My father, an MO was there! We liberated Europe from the heathen hun, remember that, remember it always.’

        They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
        Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
        At the going down of the sun and in the morning
        We will remember them.

        When you go home, tell them of us and say, for your tomorrow, we gave our today’