The Slipped Disc daily comfort zone (30): A pastoral masterclass

The Slipped Disc daily comfort zone (30): A pastoral masterclass


norman lebrecht

April 15, 2020

We have a Pastoral weekend coming up on Slipped Disc.

Whet your appetites with this astonishing performance by the senior Kleiber.



  • Evan Tucker says:

    Worth listening if nothing else for the fifth comment down on the youtube video…

  • pjl says:

    I loved that BBC interview where Harnoncourt, clearly aware he was being slightly naughty, talked of playing under Erich Kleiber and quietly added ‘the REAL Kleiber’. Personally, I am a fan of both.

  • Player says:

    Was that the Vienna Phil on that recording? Remember, it’s their “astonishing performance” too.

  • M S Kandan says:

    Erich Kleiber, who was a full time conductor & not aesthetically as pleasing as his son, may have been even a greater conductor than his flamboyant son, who was only a part time conductor. I have always wondered if Carlos Kleiber was a full time conductor like others, whether he would have achieved his unparalleled status. I admire Carlos Kleiber recordings, but would never accept the myth that surrounds him, as he never allowed himself to be challenged by pursuing a full time career with varied repertoire.

  • Robert Roy says:

    The most challenging of the Beethoven Symphonies to conduct? A second or third rate performance of, say, the Fifth will still make a mark whereas the Pastoral can sound interminable if handled well.

    Just a thought.

    • Alexander Tarak says:

      According to von Karajan, the most difficult of the Beethoven symphonies is the fourth. (His own performances of the Pastoral, it has to be said, weren’t very good).

      • M McAlpine says:

        The 63 version was a disappointment comparatively, but the two either side were very good

        • Robert Roy says:

          I listened to the ’63 recording that was part of the Karajan 1960’s Big Box that was issued by Deutsche Grammophon a few years ago in remastered form and it was better than I remember it. But, absolutely, not as good as the two DG versions that followed.

    • Robert Roy says:

      Of course my last sentence should read ‘if NOT handled well!’

  • Amos says:

    Interesting to compare this Kleiber/Concertgebouw recording with the 62 Szell/CO. The differences in the halls and recording technology need to be factored in but the timings are virtually identical and the approaches of both conductors similar. The wind playing of the CO, especially Marc Lifschey and Robert Marcellus, are for me much more preferable. What I find interesting is how much more alert and the greater vitality of the RCO with Kleiber and Szell when he guest conducted than they typically did with Van Beinum.

  • Alexander Tarak says:

    Thanks for the video.
    A performance that’s going to take some beating.

  • Margareta says:

    I do not agree with beeing c. Kleiber the younger beeing a part time conductor.The Kleiber son was a very very sensitive man and therefore he did not conduct everywhere and like some others “always” He did need much more time to find sthg perfect and then presented his way of playing music. Remeber his wonderful New Years Concerts in Vienna! Both Kleibers had been extraordinary conductors and musicians.