Late Years – an Icon with Orchestras

19 Late Years – an Icon with Orchestras, and with young Conductors

Julian Lloyd Webber playing Sullivan’s Cello Concerto with the London Symphony Orchestra and Sir Charles Mackerras conducting. And – as always with Sir Charles, the orchestral playing had the panache, the colour and the highly disciplined agility that bore the stamp of his conducting right through his long career. Even in his final years when he was in poor health and often in pain, he had an outstanding control of the most intricate subtleties of orchestral detail, and we can hear a particularly striking example of that in a concert performance of Mahler’s 4th Symphony that he conducted in 2006. In the last movement, as the orchestra accompanies a soprano evoking a child’s vision of heaven, Mahler often indicated sudden changes of tempo in his score, and in a piano roll recording he made in 1905, those changes sound really extreme. Sir Charles’ performance is one of the very few recorded examples since then to observe Mahler’s markings with such extreme contrast – and such remarkable unanimity as this.

MUSIC 12: MAHLER 4

2-12 Mahler SIGCD219Coverweb

Soprano Sarah Fox and the Philharmonia Orchestra under Sir Charles Mackerras in Mahler’s 4th Symphony – and playing in this concert was the conductor and Philharmonia’s former Principal Percussionist David Corkhill.

INTERVIEW 2-16: DAVID CORKHILL

 

MUSIC 12: MAHLER 4 CONTD

INTERVIEW 2-17: DAVID CORKHILL

 

MUSIC 13:  MISSA – ABC CLASSICS 4763517

2-13 abcmusic Missa 311420

The Sanctus from Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis at a concert in Sydney in 1995, with soloists Rosamund Illing, Elizabeth Campbell, Rodney Macann, and Christopher Dolg. Sir Charles Mackerras was conducting the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, which the previous decade had appointed him as their first ever Australian Music Director as he retraced his steps to his old homeland, where he was now a national treasure. And in the country where he had actually been born and spent the first two years of his life, the United States of America, his influence as one of the world’s greatest and most deeply erudite conductors lives on in a very direct way today in the city of Chicago, where the Camerata Chicago gives concerts with its Music Director Drostan Hall. As a nephew of Sir Charles, he had a special access to him as a unique teacher and mentor, as he told our producer Jon Tolansky.

INTERVIEW 2-18: DROSTAN HALL

 

MUSIC 14: BEETHOVEN 5

The opening of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony from both Sir Charles’ recording with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and then Drostan Hall’s recording with Camerata Chicago in 2014.

2-14 Beethoven_Symphonies_CFP Beethoven 5 DMD Records

INTERVIEW 2-19: DROSTAN HALL

 

SUPPLEMENTARY RESOURCES:

Camerata Chicago has kindly given permission to present the entire Beethoven Symphony No. 5 conducted by Drostan Hall. Recorded in October 2014.

Beethoven 5 DMD Records

BEETHOVEN SYMPHONY 5

MOVEMENT 1 [07:01]

MOVEMENT 2 [08:37]

MOVEMENTS 3 & 4 [15:18]

Posted in Documentary.

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