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Thread: Carlos Kleiber voted greatest conductor of all time

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    Default Carlos Kleiber voted greatest conductor of all time

    Carlos Kleiber has today been crowned the greatest conductor of all time by a selection of 100 of today's finest maestros.

    The poll, carried out by BBC Music Magazine, asked leading conductors including Sir Colin Davis, Gustavo Dudamel, Valery Gergiev and Mariss Jansons to reveal who they are most inspired by. Kleiber, the Austrian maestro who conducted just 96 concerts and around 400 operatic performances in his 74 years, was voted ahead of Leonard Bernstein and Claudio Abbado, who took second and third places respectively.

    Susanna Mälkki, Music director, Ensemble Intercontemporain, and one of the conductors polled, commented: "Carlos Kleiber brought an incredible energy to music… Yes, he did have about five times as much time to rehearse than conductors do today, but he deserved it because his vision was remarkable, he knew what he wanted, and his attention to detail was truly inspiring."

    Jeremy Pound, Deputy Editor of BBC Music Magazine, added: "Asking 100 of today's conducting greats to name their idols and inspirations was a fascinating experience. Not least when so many named Carlos Kleiber, who in the course of his whole lifetime conducted fewer concerts than most of them manage in just a couple of years. Kleiber's incredible attention to detail, sheer enthusiasm for music, and astonishingly accomplished level of performance could never be doubted – perhaps 'less is more' is the real path to true greatness?"

    Of the top 20 conductors voted for, no fewer than seven are still regularly seen on the rostrum today, including Brits Sir John Eliot Gardiner and Sir Simon Rattle. Conducting may have enjoyed its famous Golden Age in the mid-20th century but, in the opinion of those who know the art better than anyone, today's leading maestros also undoubtedly rank with the best of all time.

    The 20 greatest conductors of all time will be published in the April issue of BBC Music Magazine, on sale 17 March, priced £4.60.


    NOTES TO EDITORS
    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, the following top 20 emerged:

    BBC Music Magazine's 20 greatest conductors of all time are:

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

    BBC Music Magazine is the world's best-selling classical music monthly. Covering all aspects of live events, broadcast and recordings, each issue carries a complete BBC work and provides a comprehensive and expert guide to classical music. BBC Music Magazine has a monthly circulation of 42,834 (ABC Jan-Dec 2010) and is published by BBC Magazines Bristol, a trading name of Bristol Magazines Ltd., which is a subsidiary of BBC Worldwide Ltd. http://www.bbcmusicmagazine

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    I wondered whether to post this, having read the magazine a few days ago, but I thought everyone might be a bit sick of lists

    Still, even from what I've seen, I agree that Carlos Kleiber is simply astounding, and is mesmerising to watch.

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    Senior Member emiellucifuge's Avatar
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    I think I could agree with the top 4.

    What struck me as most surprising is the omission of Mariss Jansons in the top 20.
    I think he may be the greatest living conductor, but instead we Simon Rattle in 6th? Is Mr. Rattle really that fantastic?

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    1) Thread moved to 'Conductors & Conducting.'
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    Quote Originally Posted by syctheavatar View Post
    Carlos Kleiber has today been crowned the greatest conductor of all time by a selection of 100 of today's finest maestros.

    The poll, carried out by BBC Music Magazine, asked leading conductors... to reveal who they are most inspired by. (emphasis mine)
    Seems to me like 'greatest conductor' and 'most inspirational' are not exactly the same thing.

    For example, (not saying he isn't great, too- but) I find Otto Klemperer (to cite one case) more 'inspirational' than 'great.' [If you know what I mean.]
    The hardest knife ill us'd doth lose his edge. Shakespeare- Sonnet 95

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    Senior Member Sebastien Melmoth's Avatar
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    Boulez should definitely be in the Top Five.

    Did anyone see last December when he stepped in for the ailing Muti with the CSO in Mahler's Seventh? It was sublime.

    And where are Böhm, Jochum, Klemperer, and Kubelik?

    I guess fine craftsmanship isn't good enough to be 'inspirational'--for some...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sebastien Melmoth View Post
    Boulez should definitely be in the Top Five.

    Did anyone see last December when he stepped in for the ailing Muti with the CSO in Mahler's Seventh? It was sublime.
    No I didnt see that, but I saw him performing the same work with RCO earlier this year. I agree it was incredible. (I also got to see the rehearsals )

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    Senior Member Sebastien Melmoth's Avatar
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    Nice.

    The Mahler 7th was filmed and shown on PBS. It was even better than his famous Cleveland performance...
    http://www.amazon.com/Mahler-Symphon...0473169&sr=1-1

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    Damn it, there are just too many great conductors to fit in a list!

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    Usual different tastes caveat, but it was nice to see Barbirolli and Mackerras on the list. I'm a little surprised to see Ferenc Fricsay rated that highly. I'll have to pull out some recordings this weekend.

    But to leave Reiner and Walter out?

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    The BBC did a list like this of greatest pianists. The results were equally silly: Arrau came 20th, four places below Murray Perahia. The BBC claimed they had asked the 100 greatest living pianists for their opinions, but when I actually looked at who was asked, I'd only heard of about five of them. And now, on this list: Furtwängler below Simon Rattle? No Stokowski, no Klemperer?

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    It's nice to see so many Brtish conductors in the top 20, not that I would ever consider the BBC of deliberate bias. With 5 in the Top 20 this is the higest number for any nation. It's a runaway success for the Europeans accounting for 17 of the entries. Poor Uncle Sam got just one entry, but I reckon that if the poll had been organised in the USA a different set of results would have emerged.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rangstrom View Post
    I'm a little surprised to see Ferenc Fricsay rated that highly.
    Fricsay died prematurely and made few recordings but his conducting was highly esteemed.

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    I think I can hear Sir Thomas Beecham harrumphing from the grave...

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    Quote Originally Posted by scytheavatar View Post
    Carlos Kleiber has today been crowned the greatest conductor of all time by a selection of 100 of today's finest maestros.

    BBC Music Magazine's 20 greatest conductors of all time are:

    1. Carlos Kleiber (1930-2004) Austrian
    2. Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) American
    3. Claudio Abbado (b1933) Italian
    4. Herbert von Karajan (1908-1989) Austrian
    5. Nikolaus Harnoncourt (b1929) Austrian
    6. Sir Simon Rattle (b 1955) British
    7. Wilhelm Furtwängler (1896-1954)
    8. Arturo Toscanini (1867-1957) Italian
    9. Pierre Boulez (b1925) French
    10. Carlo Maria Giulini (1914-2005) Italian
    11. Sir John Eliot Gardiner (b1943) British
    12. Sir John Barbirolli (1899-1970) British
    13. Terenc Fricsay (1914-1963) Hungarian
    14. George Szell (1897-1970) Hungarian
    15. Bernard Haitink (b1929) Dutch
    16. Pierre Monteux (1875-1964) French
    17. Yevgeny Mravinsky (1903-1988) Russian
    18. Sir Colin Davis (b1927) British
    19. Sir Thomas Beecham (1879-1961) British
    20. Sir Charles Mackerras (1925-2010) Australian
    Forgetting about conductors like Muti, Jansons, Jochum, Skrowaczewski is absurd, but to be expected.

    Rattle, Gardiner, Davis, Mackerras, Harnoncourt don't deserve consideration for such a limited list.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaneyes View Post
    Rattle, Gardiner, Davis, Mackerras, Harnoncourt don't deserve consideration for such a limited list.
    Rather indifferent on Rattle; and Davis and Mackerras are decent second-stringers; but Gardiner and Harnoncourt (I think) have moved into the first string.

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