Thielemann is on verge of a Bayreuth record

People who keep count of such things have reported that Lohengrin will be Christian Thielemann’s tenth opera at Bayreuth.

The only other conductor who ever managed a full hand of Wagner operas at Bayreuth died in 1911.

His name?



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  • Whilst sorting my vast music collection recently I wondered if I ever happened to be ship wrecked on a desert island with chest of CDs, which ones would be treasured and which ones would not be worth salvaging from the waves. As I have only a few Karajan, they would not be much of a loss. They all seem rather superficial with that tacky Mantovani gloss of his, (everything sounding the same from Albinoni to Zelenka) when compared to say Furtwangler, Kleiber, Gunter Wand , Rudi Kempe and dear old Sir John Barbirolli who once said amusingly “ Modern music is three farts and a raspberry orchestrated”
    I recall what Sir Isaiah Berlin said after attending two concerts Karajan gave with the VPO at the Salzburg Festival in 1948.
    “Karajan seems to conceive music as a series of self-contained episodes and these he articulates one by one with a clarity of detail and a strictly calculated imperious organization of tempi and dynamics which moves with the remorseless accuracy of a Stuka dive-bomber intent upon its prey”
    I must say that there certainly is something of the dive bomber about Karajan, in contrast, Sir John Barbirolli’s Halle Rolls Royce Merlin V 12 sounds miles better even if he has no fuel injection.
    Once I heard about the compulsory wig order Karajan gave to the BPO when filming himself pretending to conduct it confirmed what I suspected all along.

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