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Thread: Bruno Walter interview, great conductor, great man............

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    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
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    Default Bruno Walter interview, great conductor, great man............


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    Junior Member flylooper's Avatar
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    What a great link! Thanks for the find.

    Walter was a close personal (as well as professional) friend of Mahler. It is wonderful to hear from Walter his own impressions on Herr Doktor Mahler, whom he met at the age of just 17. Their relationship was so close, in fact, that Mahler once asked Walter his advice on how to conduct the final few bars (The "Evig" section) of "Das Lied von der Erde" because as he said, he had no idea on how to conduct them. Amazing!

    (I just got back from Vienna last week and had an opportunity to lay flowers at Gustav Mahler's grave.)

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    Senior Member GoneBaroque's Avatar
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    In his book "The Maestro Myth" Norman Lebrecht quoted Anna Mahler describing Bruno Walter (Schlesinger) in this manner; "Walter was mean, nasty, a pig."
    Rob

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    Senior Member Amfibius's Avatar
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    This entire interview is available as a bonus track from Sony's release of Gustav Mahler's 9th Symphony, conducted by Walter in 1963.

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    Junior Member flylooper's Avatar
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    "In his book "The Maestro Myth" Norman Lebrecht quoted Anna Mahler describing Bruno Walter (Schlesinger) in this manner; "Walter was mean, nasty, a pig."


    Henry Louis De la Grange, who wrote an absolutely exhaustive biography of Mahler (some 7000 pages including detailed analyses of everything Mahler composed) never mentioned anything of the kind (as far as I can remember). The relationship between Walter and Mahler was nearly father and son. Mahler brought him along and Walter was totally devoted to him and his art. In view of the years which passed after Mahler's death in 1911, in which Alma was the keeper of reams of his correspondence, autograph scores, etc., etc., it is possible but not (IMHO) likely that she had such feelings about Walter. Lebrect was a late comer to Mahler. There is so much written about the man which is opinion and not backed by the facts of his life that one needs to take such opinions with a grain of salt.

    Alma Schindler-Mahler-Werfel was a complicated woman with incredible inconsistencies. She bathed in her first husband's reflected glory for years - right to her own death. She was a virulent anti-Semite yet married two Jews (Mahler and Franz Werfel) and spent the war years in Los Angeles with refugee Jewish artistic community who had gone there after being driven out of Germany and Austria. Alma had no regard for anyone who got close to her husband. Perhaps Anna was mimicking her mother. She (Anna) had her own problems with men. She wasn't what I would call a healthy woman.

    Finally, she was not yet 7 years of age when her father died.

    When I was at Grinzing cemetary to visit the maestro's grave I found Alma's grave not far from Gustav's and I noticed that her headstone read "Alma Mahler Werfel" which I thought curious in view of that fact that she was married to Werfel from far more years than to Mahler. But as I said: "Reflected glory."
    Last edited by flylooper; Dec-07-2011 at 17:42.

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    I believe it was Schoenberg who was the one who called Walter names according to Lebrecht.Walter and Alma were even one time next door neighbors in Hollywood later in life.They lived at 609 and 610 North Bedford Drive.Walter might have died at that address.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GoneBaroque View Post
    In his book "The Maestro Myth" Norman Lebrecht quoted Anna Mahler describing Bruno Walter (Schlesinger) in this manner; "Walter was mean, nasty, a pig."
    Hmmm...interesting.....I doubt many musicians concur in that opinion of Walter. Walter and Monteux, were two of the most considerate of conductors, noted for their decent treatment of orchestra musicians.
    Walter said he always tried to learn the names of the principals in every orchestra he conducted, and would address his comments accordingly, as in <<Mr Smith, a little more legato, please>>, <<Mr Jones, a bit more sound, thank you>> or whatever...
    He knew exactly what he wanted, and would keep at it ti until he got it, but he was not known to be tyrannical, abusive, or disrespectful.
    "mean, nasty, a pig" might be readily applied to some other podium greats - Reiner, Szell, Rodzinski, Toscanini, etc....but I doubt that Walter qualifies.....

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    Senior Member KenOC's Avatar
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    Reminded me of this: Richard Strauss was kept on a short financial leash by his wife. So he forced his musicians to play cards with him and regularly fleeced them. Said Hans Knappertsbusch: "I knew him very well. We played cards every week for forty years and he was a pig."


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    Senior Member Eramire156's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Itullian View Post
    I recently found the LP for two dollars at a used record store.

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