Just in: Mehta’s not fit for Salome

Just in: Mehta’s not fit for Salome


norman lebrecht

February 15, 2021

La Scala have announced that Zubin Mehta was discharged from hospital this afternoon but is not strong enough to conduct Salome.

He needs a few days’ rest before he can resume conducting.

Music director Riccardo Chailly will take over the production, which starts – for streaming – on Saturday.



  • M2N2K says:

    We all know that during more than six decades of his brilliant career Zubin Mehta has never been the greatest of musicians or the most saintly man alive, but his numerous positives both as a conductor and as a human being outweigh the few minor negatives by such a huge margin that we have no decent choice other than to wish Maestro as full and speedy recovery as possible leading to at least one more healthy decade of active conducting life.

    • Greg Bottini says:

      This is quite a back-handed get-well greeting from M2N2K.
      As for myself, I wish nothing but a full and speedy recovery for Maestro Mehta, and best wishes for the future!

      • M2N2K says:

        Reliable sources define “backhanded” compliments as praise that is contaminated by insults that are either explicit or at least implied. My comment above contains nothing that can be described or construed as an insult of any kind. It certainly does however contain honest praise that can be characterized as measured or non-excessive. As for good wishes, my comment actually expresses more of those that are crucial to the Maestro’s happiness than your response does. Knowing him for over four decades as well as I do, I have full confidence that he would be pleased to read what I wrote and thankful for the sentiments I am expressing.

        • Greg Bottini says:

          Yes, M2N2K, I’m sure the Maestro is just happy as a clam in a tidepool to read your opinion that “Mehta has never been the greatest of musicians or the most saintly man alive….”

          • M2N2K says:

            If you think that ZM believes himself to be “the greatest of musicians” and “the most saintly man alive”, you insult his intelligence. Meanwhile, I repeat my wish for him to get well quickly and return to making music as soon as possible.

          • Greg Bottini says:

            “If you think that ZM believes himself to be ‘the greatest of musicians’ and ‘the most saintly man alive’, you insult his intelligence”.
            I never thought that about Mehta; you are putting words into my mouth.
            What I was trying to say is that Mehta probably wouldn’t like to read your comment stating *your* opinion that he is neither of those things.
            With friends like you, who needs enemies?

  • Herbie G says:

    If Herod couldn’t handle Salome, what hope is there for anyone else? Let’s hope that nobody wants Mehta’s head on a plate for this.
    I hope he has a speedy recovery and is back in harness as soon as possible. An outstanding conductor. If anything has a hope of convincing NL or anyone else that Franz Schmidt is worth hearing, it’s Mehta’s incandescent recording of his Fourh Symphony with the the Vienna Philharmonic.

    • Greg Bottini says:

      Enthusiastically in agreement with you, Herbie G.
      And if by luck any of you comment readers can find the discontinued Double Decca CD issue of this recording coupled with the Mahler 2, also with the VPO, go for it. You will not be sorry, as Mehta is the master of both scores.

  • JussiB says:

    When I hear the name Mehta the FIRST thing that comes to mind are the Three Tenors concerts. I don’t think he’s a specialist in anything.

    • M2N2K says:

      Your mind seems too dependent on popularity rather than on quality. If being “a specialist in anything” means doing only one thing really well, than ZM probably is not that, because he does most of what he does very well.

  • Gustavo says:

    I have Zube’s Berlin recording – they really let it rip during the orchestral interludes!

    My favourite: