Happy Accident

During the later part of the summer I read a biography of Ralph Vaughan-Williams by the writer Keith Alldritt. The book runs to some 384 pages but as a lot of his letters, remenber them? have been preserved there is an excellent sense of reader involvement.
A recent, to me, profile of Andre Previn on U-tube he made the comment " they don’t play any louder no matter how much you wave the stick". That might have been a subtle swipe at Leonard Bernstein although there was no hint from Previn of this.
I see another major conductor Bernard Haitink died today at age 92. Probably won’t get mentioned on the 10 o’clock news. I may br proved wrong.

I seem to recall that the ‘cow looking over a gate’ quip was in reference to RVW’s Patorale Symphony (no 3).


I hope that wasn’t Previn’s intent! Folks like to poke fun at Lenny, but he was a true musical genius, and such an ambassador for music education. A world-class conductor, composer, educator and pianist.

Incidentally, in November 2010 BBC Music Magazine asked 100 leading conductors to name the maestros they admire above all others. When the votes were added up:

  1. Carlos Kleiber (1930-2004) Austrian
    2. Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) American
  2. Claudio Abbado (b1933) Italian
  3. Herbert von Karajan (1908-1989) Austrian
  4. Nikolaus Harnoncourt (b1929) Austrian
  5. Sir Simon Rattle (b 1955) British
  6. Wilhelm Furtwängler (1896-1954)
  7. Arturo Toscanini (1867-1957) Italian
  8. Pierre Boulez (b1925) French
  9. Carlo Maria Giulini (1914-2005) Italian
  10. Sir John Eliot Gardiner (b1943) British
  11. Sir John Barbirolli (1899-1970) British
  12. Terenc Fricsay (1914-1963) Hungarian
  13. George Szell (1897-1970) Hungarian
  14. Bernard Haitink (b1929) Dutch
  15. Pierre Monteux (1875-1964) French
  16. Yevgeny Mravinsky (1903-1988) Russian
  17. Sir Colin Davis (b1927) British
  18. Sir Thomas Beecham (1879-1961) British
  19. Sir Charles Mackerras (1925-2010) Australian
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If my memory is correct I recall reading that the respected music critic Rob Cowan suggested Bernstein was the natural successor to Gustav Mahler. High praise indeed.

Which showed a remarkable lack of perception as it is, to all intents and purposes, a war requiem.

Just to be pedantic, it was Ursula VW who gave permission for the recording. :slight_smile:

Early this year we visited the childhood home of VW; Leith Hill Place. Exhibitions of VW, the Wedgwood family (his mother) and his great uncle Charles Darwin. The house is bare inside but the view from the rear garden across miles of open country is wonderful.

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