A ride without Valkyries

A ride without Valkyries


norman lebrecht

November 24, 2021

The night the trombones refused to come in.




  • John Borstlap says:

    They suddenly realized they should have practiced instead of visiting the pub the other night.

  • Gustavo says:

    Wagner was the first minimalist.

  • golaud says:

    It’s a FAKE. Can’t you see it???
    At 00:40 you can see the trombones playing.
    Journalism at his best here.

  • Jan Kaznowski says:

    A very clever and witty edit – but imagine if it had really happened, given how impatient and unforgiving Danny Boy is.

    • Achim Mentzel says:

      Something similar actually happened in the last movement of Bruckner 9 in a 2017 concert with his Staatskapelle at Carnegie Hall, when the horns first didn’t come in and then on a wrong cue from him. 30 seconds of cacophony. He tried to save it, but you saw how helpless he actually is and doesn’t really know the piece. I wonder if Medici TV has that passage still in or if they cleaned that mess up.

  • bet says:

    What is not fake is the same Berliners playing Mahler’s 9 under Bernstein and the horns not coming in in the final movement.

    One story goes that an audience member sitting behind the orchestra fell in, distracted the horns, but Bernstein didn’t see it.

    • Barry Guerrero says:

      To be a bit more precise, it was the trombones, going into the climactic passage of the final movement. After a long note they play the four-note grupetto figure that’s ubiquitous throughout the movement. If you listen to that it on headphones, you can make that SOMETHING did happen. I’m sure that’s why the Berlin Mahler 9 was never sanctioned for release by Bernstein, while he was still with us. It would be really nice if the Bernstein/Boston Symphony M9 from Tanglewood – also in 1979 – was sanctioned for an official release. I feel it’s superior in nearly every respect (I have a ‘pirate’ cd of it).

    • J Barcelo says:

      I thought it was the trombones. I’ll dig out that set and listen again.

    • Fernandel says:

      The whole concert is a disaster ! One of the worst Mahler’s 9 ever. However The 1985 Concertgebouw rendition is miraculous.

  • JohnB says:

    It’s a very good edit but in fact the trombones were playing:


  • Carl says:

    Clever… And we get to see Barenboim in his late ’80s mullet phase.

  • With so few women in the orchestra, the Valkyries couldn’t take flight–at least in the edit. Not certain, but I think this is the Berlin Phil in the in the 80s or early 90s when there were barely any women in the orchestra. The first woman entered in 1983.

    • Rachelle Goldberg says:

      At least the Berlin Phil had a better track record viz female musicians that the Vienna Phil

    • Alphonse says:

      Osborne: take a day off.

    • Amused says:

      Womp womp, William. There are several women seen in the orchestra…No women in the trombone section though. Guess the sky is falling. You and your wife are insufferable. It must be miserable for you two to be…well, so miserable. I’m hereby cueing up an opportunity for your tribe of sycophants to come to your defense.

  • David K. Nelson says:

    Ha ha! It’s as if some rascal wrote “vamp until ready” into the string parts.

  • grabenassel says:

    nice fake….minimalists will love it….

  • Or the Staatskapelle. Don’t know these orchestras by sight.

  • TrueBrasshole says:

    A real musician would know it’s the BASS TRUMPET that plays the theme the first time, not the Trombones. So naturally, they wouldn’t come in at that point anyways.

    Nice try, tho. I can loop video clips, too.

  • Barry Guerrero says:

    Senior Ravelli (Chico) has the same problem!


  • ThrownOutOfTheKremlinForSinging says:

    It reminds me of this:


  • Ed says:

    I prefer this Wagner, refined and not so vulgar.

  • Wurm says:

    I have seen better conducting from a traffic warden – no wonder, it’s Barenboil, so dull…. zzzzz