Berthold Goldschmidt opens Bregenz

Berthold Goldschmidt opens Bregenz


norman lebrecht

July 19, 2018

Hard to describe my happiness to see that Goldschmidt’s opera Beatrice Cenci opened the Bregenz Festival last night.

A refugee from Nazi Berlin, Berthold lived in obscurity in London for half a century, gaining recognition in the late 1980s as one of the most interesting composers of his time and seeing all of his works appear on commercial record labels.

That recognition has not penetrated the British operatic establishment and Cenci has never been staged here.

But Bregenz has done it and others will follow because it is a work of high quality and contemporary relevance.

I wish I was there to see it.


  • Dieter Stern says:

    Unitel and ORF have recorded it and it will be released on DVD, so you will be able to watch it.

  • mr oakmountain says:

    Listen to it here for 6 more days

  • John Borstlap says:

    A truly excellent composer with brilliant and very personal music. How is it possible that such a man lives for so long in isolation and obscurity, ignored by a ‘lively and pluralistic’ music life? Because many people in that music life deemed his music ‘outdated’ and ‘irrelevant’ for the Great Story of Progress after 1945. Those people should bury their stupid head in a deep hole in the ground, in deep shame. The careless rejection of true music in preference of sound art and its silly derivations is one of the most shocking cultural crimes of the last century, and there are still such culprits around in concert practice. There is a connection between the attempts by the nazis to stamp-out music by Jewish composers, for which Goldschmidt had to flee, and the sinister exclusion by the postwar establishment of his music: killing the thing that represents the better sides of the human spirit.


    many years ago I spotted him in the audience for a Festival Hall concert so in the interval I bought the recently released opera on Decca from the well-stocked shop (those were the days!) and asked him to sign it. He seemed surprised to be recognised and so enthusiastic about forthcoming recordings of his chamber music. A truly humble gentleman; he was also, of course, involved in the performing edition of Mahler 10 and also led Simon Rattle to his unusual but fascinating way of opening Mahler 4.

  • Lilas Pastia says:

    Still many tickets both for Sunday’s matinee and the last performance on Monday July 30.

    A shame that it is not sold out!