The Slipped Disc daily comfort zone (276): The Carlos New Year

The Slipped Disc daily comfort zone (276): The Carlos New Year


norman lebrecht

December 31, 2020

Initimable, usurpassable.


  • caranome says:

    Two words: Pure Joy! For him, the VPO and audience/ viewers.
    So expressive without wild flailing to distract and cause attention to himself. The VPO responded to his every gesture, look and movement. The conductor and orchestra as one. This is what a concert should be.

  • Micaela Bonetti says:

    What a sparkling performance: could go out in the night and dance on the snow!

  • Alank says:

    Finally a worthy opinion to end the year. Thank you! Happy New Year to you.

  • William Evans says:

    A very Happy (and safe) New Year to everyone!

  • Concertgoer says:

    Sounds like he’s racing to catch a train. Little elegance. Podium looks like a cage for the accused.

    • Petros Linardos says:

      Maybe conductors defend themselves against accusations of greed, arrogance and charlatanism. The latter could not possibly stand for the Kleibers, papa or son.

  • Sixtus Beckmesser says:

    I think Carlos Kleiber was wonderful, but just what does “Initimable, usurpassable” mean?

  • Tom M. says:

    When giants roamed the earth…

  • Thomas Dawkins says:

    His complete recording of “Die Fledermaus” with Bayerisches Staatsoper was my first and remains my favorite. Julia Varady as Rosalinde, Lucia Popp as Adele, Hermann Prey as Eisenstein, René Kollo as Alfred, Bernd Weikl as Falke, Benno Kusche as Franke, and Ivan Rebroff as Orlovsky. The video is mostly different singers but also excellent; Brigitte Fassbaender is a more traditional choice for Orlovsky.

  • Nijinsky says:

    Who the F is that? Brad Pitt’s Father or something? And did you notice I didn’t call him dad?

  • Nick says:

    Carlos just might be the GOAT. Simply remarkable…

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    Miss him every day. Loved your work, Carlos Kleiber: a ‘great conductor’.

  • fflambeau says:

    He looks very old in the picture with many age spots on his face. According to Ambassador Dodd’s Diary (then US Ambassador to Germany) Eric Kleiber (Carlos Kleiber’s father) was fired (he did not resign). He soon left Germany for South America. He also gave up conducting at La Scala.

    This would explain why Carlos Kleiber is the only person in history to have turned down the Berlin Philharmonic for its conductorship. He did it for his dad, in my opinion.

    • MacroV says:

      He almost surely turned it down because he simply didn’t like to conduct often, nor did he perform a very large repertoire. He was able to conduct what he wanted, when he wanted, and get good money for it. Even the Berlin Phil wasn’t enough to get him to change. He did conduct them (only) twice as a guest; sadly no video available.

    • henry williams says:

      eric kleiber had to leave germany. his wife was jewish

    • Kenny says:

      How do you “know” he was the only one?

  • Ted Shafran says:

    I had the immense privilege of seeing him conduct live, just once. He was mesmerizing. Without a doubt the best orchestral concert I’ve ever seen.

  • violinist says:

    It’s marvelous visual show biz at its best ,you don’t
    even need the orchestra for this Vienna outing.
    The audience hears what it is supposed to hear
    and that takes some doing. he was of course a super
    conductor .who suspected such a superb actor.

  • Greg Bottini says:

    Instead of having Muti (who has very little gemuetlich in him anyway, as has been shown in years past) conduct the New Year concert this time around, the VPO should have bagged the whole deal this year, stayed home and safe, and played the tape of one of Kleiber’s (or Karajan’s only) concerts.
    Win-win all around.

  • Tristan says:

    After CK has offered two magic concerts I gave up watching any
    of those as nothing since came even close to it – Carlos Kleiber, the one and only

    • Violin Accordion says:

      There is always another, and Prêtre , at 86 years old has eclipsed others, in views by 10 times.
      Apart from the music the videography and production is outstanding

  • Nijinsky says:

    And he (up there) is stalking me now happened already on the bus today after I went to the chiropractor, not being Brad Pitt’s father, nor Bruce Van Natta, although his son (NOT Bruce’s) is stalking me, and that goes for Steffi Graf, Rafael Nadal, just about anyone that Joshua Bell has talked to about me, INCLUDING Muti, and I would be pleased if I could have a life here now….

  • Stereo says:

    Best NYD concert ever

  • Happy new year. I would not say that about Kleiber. For me the best for Vienna the first of January is Zubin.

  • Jan Kaznowski says:

    What a wonderful start to the year. It swept me away – thanks so much ! Greeting to all SD readers 🙂

  • Nijinsky says:

    And then there’s Johnny Depp whose brother, a GAY porno star by the name of Danny Brown, who is supposed to have died of Aids, but instead was healed, I’m assuming by someone I know because I heard about it, which I’m not going to trust to report with all of those lies going on, could be a harmonic. And that should be the people themselves being honest enough. I had to tell Johnny so many times to leave me alone that it should be in the news by now. And I mean it. NONE of those people I ever invited in my life, and when they end up hearing about me, wiggling into some arch to try to gain access to what was there the whole time were they honest, and gentle, it’s impossible for me to have any comfort most of the time, would I venture out of my front door, any of them: I’m supposed to be how many people!?

  • Nick says:

    Like no one else!!! Singular!


    Undoubtedly a great performance but spoiled by poor sound. The oboe sounds like a duck being throttled!

  • Violin Accordion says:

    NYD Vienna 2010 Fledermaus conducted by Prêtre, at 86 is the ne plus ultra for me

    Suave, light hearted and fun, appropriately theatrical and yet minimal use of baton .

    Compelling listening and viewing

    • Micaela Bonetti says:

      Oh dear, many thanks to you for pointingout this performance I immediately watched/listened to: how delicious, how joyful, so simply perfect!
      Georges Prêtre makes me ready to go out another night to dance on the snow!

  • Nijinsky says:

    And that sicko Zefirelli, who actually had someone put their finger up, instead of what you’re supposed to have thought, is a scarf maybe even, like Mary Poppins left behind, or…… I can’t even knit without when the needle goes into what’s already been woven for warmth or anything else by them, then I’ve counted one too many, and I have to recount!

  • Violin Accordion says:

    “ As my fingers wandered idly over the well-worn keys……
    I was astonished by young Korean conductor,composer, pianist, Hankyeol Yoon, winner of 2019 Neeme Järvi Menuhin conducting prize and many others) bringing a dynamic, meticulous and thrilling interpretation of Fledermaus, at Gstaad
    Whilst we all know and love performances by Kleiber, Prêtre and other legends, it’s good to listen to current generations who inspire audiences and orchestras alike, and may well lead to the status of past masters

  • DODI KOMANOV says:

    Initimable, usurpassable…

  • Michael says:

    Better yet, listen to the recording from Munich of his splendid “Fledermaus” production there. I was 19 at the time and lucky enough to see him lead this luxuriant production numerous times.