The late and much-lamented Nikolaus Harnoncourt, who died two years ago this week, wrote a memoir for his family, which his widow has just edited for publication.
Among many recollections, he writes of alcoholism and anti-semitism in the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, where he was principal cellist in the 1950s and 1960s, and of the limitless vanity of its chief conductor, Herbert von Karajan.
Karajan, he writes, drove ahead of the orchestra’s tour bus in a green sports car. And he took lessons from the dancer Harald Kreutzberg to improve his podium choreography.
Can’t wait to read this:
Nikolaus Harnoncourt: „Wir sind eine Entdecker-gemeinschaft“. Aufzeichnungen zur Entstehung des Concentus Musicus. Hrsg. von Alice Harnoncourt. Residenz Verlag, Salzburg und Wien 2017. 208 S., geb., 24.– €.
photo: Marion Kalter/Lebrecht