7 Launch of Conducting Career in 1948 and First Recording (Pineapple Poll) in 1951
From Janacek’s opera Káťa Kabanová – with Elisabeth Soderstrom, Libuse Marova and Sir Charles Mackerras conducting. His first experience hearing the work in Prague in 1947 was to lead to a watershed for the opera – and for him, just four years later. Meanwhile, on his return to Sadler’s Wells Opera in 1948, where the company had kept his position on for him, he soon had an opportunity to conduct: first of all Johann Strauss’s Die Fledermaus – with no rehearsal at all! – and then, after several more operas, a ballet: his own. Pineapple Poll, in which he ingeniously put together an enormous number of tunes from Gilbert and Sullivan operettas and spruced the orchestration up with sparkling brilliance, proved to be a smash hit – and it brought Charles Mackerras his first recording as a conductor.
MUSIC 7: POLL