Chailly, as young as it gets

Chailly, as young as it gets

Daily Comfort Zone

norman lebrecht

February 05, 2022

This is Riccardo Chailly in 1976, around the time of his record debut.

He’s with the radio orchestra in Naples.


  • Impartial Observer says:

    Wow he really sucked! Incredible how much conductors improve with time and experience.
    Also notice that in the above video, Chailly totally lacks any kind of ‘X-factor’; this might explain why he never went beyond a B-circuit level of fame and acclaim, even though some might argue he reached the top tier of his profession in terms of competence and career: he’s just not that charismatic or interesting (even though his charisma has improved over the years)!
    Franz Welser-Möst is another such profile that immediately comes to mind: great but not interesting (compared to the A and S tier)

    • Chicagorat says:

      I don’t know about the ‘X-factor’. He certainly does not have the ‘XXX-factor’ which is the signature of another world renowned, “legendary” Italian conductor.

    • Archie says:

      You suck.

    • Tristan says:

      both you mentioned are mostly boring but solid and Chailly is a huge disappointment at La Scala

    • Silvietto says:

      B-circuit? amsterdam, dresden, milan, lucerne? What the …. are you talking about?

      It’s the other one who is a b-circuit conductor at the end of his career, conducting in palermo, lugo, cremona, torino which is the only theater where he can conduct a staged opera, directed by his daughter

  • Concertgebouw79 says:

    Once I heard an interview of him, he was not very satisfied abour his early years. Maybe later he felt that his style was too close of Abbado, the one he was the assistant at La Scala. The same year or the year before he did also a Nino Rota concert. A composer Chailly met few months before Rota left us. Several time Chailly said that the real start of his career was in Berlin when he worked for the radio orchestra.

  • fflambeau says:

    Note only older white men in the orchestra. He could have been most’s grandson.

  • Corno di Caccia says:

    An amazing treat to see this. I’m a big fan of Maestro Chailly and am currently enjoying his Leipzig recordings of the Brahms symphonies as well as the Schumann symphonies in the Mahler edition. All excellently performed and recorded. Thanks for this rarity.

  • Old Man in the Midwest says:

    Better than the other Italian guy.

    Hope he gets the CSO job and rescues listeners from the stream of boredom that occurs twice a year for three weeks at a time.

    • steve says:

      LMAO…nothing could have been more boring for listeners than the dreadfully slow “Macbeth” Chailly led for “Prima della Scala”

  • Chicagorat says:

    Beautiful and classy.

    Question: is this the same Italian conductor that is described by another world-renowned, legendary Italian conductor as “incompetent”? As “someone who does not understand music”? Someone who “should have been fired” by LaScala many years ago?

    One of the following must true: a) Chailly is incompetent and does not understand music or b) The second “legendary” Italian conductor is a scanty, envious, malicious, trifling old man. And inadequate, I might add 😉

    Your view?

  • Bonetti Micaela says:

    Un altro Grande.

    • Giuseppe says:

      Lui e’ un grande. L’altro e’ un grande pallone gonfiato vicino allo scoppio.

      • Micaela Bonetti says:

        Giuseppe, mi riferivo senza nominarlo, a Michail Pletnëv, sul quale il Sig. Lebrecht aveva pubblicato un post molto vicino a questo!
        Cordialmente, Micaela.

  • B says:

    The slow introduction feels awkward because he’s holding on too much and his technique is a bit wooden, but when things pick up the incredible detail and precise transitions really stand out and show the power of his musical mind. Listen to the scherzo to hear wat I mean. All of this was well established in rehearsal ofcourse.

    Perhaps the only reserve I have is that Chailly’s approach leaves to little room for the musical spontaneity of the performers, which give his performances a slight straight jacket feel. Everything sounds amazing and yet something’s just not there. But it’s still great and better than most, so what can you say?

    Ah, the mystery of conducting!

  • Henk Guittart says:

    Chailly is -and has in my view always been- a marvelous conductor, with lucid technique, astonishing rhythm, amazing versatility in repertoire and an open mind. I wish that I would have been able to hear all of his concerts in Leipzig. I heard many in Amsterdam, and am now enjoying his video and Cd performances.

  • Jobim75 says:

    About the rivalry with Muti, I would say one is more good looking and uses probably a better shampoo when the other one is a better conductor, at least for the symphonic repertoire.

  • henry williams says:

    he looks better without the beard.

  • Alex says:

    I am grateful to Chailly & the RCO for giving the Greek premiere of Mahler’s 7th, in 1994 below Acropolis.