Tuesday 3 July 2012

Carlos Kleiber's birthday

By quirk of fate, I find that it is Carlos Kleiber’s birthday today, shortly after finishing Charles Barber’s book Corresponding with Carlos (Scarecrow Press, 2011). The elusive conductor left precious few examples of his art; Barber’s book is the first on him to appear in English. I’ll be posting some thoughts about the book soon, but in the meantime, celebrate what would have been his 82nd birthday by watching a heavenly display of conducting, posted above.


Charles Barber said...

You have chosen, I believe, one of the finest examples of CK's lyric voice. His discoveries are poetic; his solutions, often technical. That he combines the two enterprises so seamlessly is part of his gift.

This was one of the films I asked him about. In particular, I wanted to know more about the grand tradition of "conducting ahead of the audible pulse", as I put it to him. How do you do this?

His reply was vintage: "You don't understand. You must train the orchestra to play after the visible beat." As ever he saw, and heard, quite differently from mortals.

Thank you for showing the Brahms to a wider audience. Isn't it something?


Andrew Morris said...

Mr Barber, thank you for your comment! This Brahms film was the first film of Kleiber that I saw and I found it immediately transfixing. Domingo’s story about the opera house audience watching only Kleiber during Otello seems very plausible after seeing a film like this.