Questioning the conductors: Kurt Masur


12 thoughts on “Questioning the conductors: Kurt Masur

  1. Thank you for the comment Doug. I stumbled here and there in the interview over some pretty basic facts. That was a little disappointing for me. Perhaps I was star struck. RM is going to be writing a review of last night’s concert, but for me, Masur changed how I think about Bruckner. Until last night, listening to a Bruckner symphony was a chore. A similar thing happened a few years ago when Maestro Schwarz conducted Mahler’s 3rd Symphony — that performance changed how I heard Mahler. I was going to skip Masur’s concert! So glad I didn’t. At $9 a ticket, it was the best deal of the new year (so far).

  2. I’d be curious to know how the anti-Schwarz brigade reacts to Masur’s praise of both him and Cerminaro in the first minute! It’s long been a tenet of faith of theirs that Schwarz has no respect in the larger classical world–

  3. Gerry is up in Montreal this weekend taking Nagano’s orchestra for a spin. I think there is still respect. Just like I think there is respect for Ozawa and others who had their own problems during the course of a long tenure as music director. Ceriminaro was amazing again tonight. This is high quality music making. If I could, I would go again a third time. The past two nights of music making will stay with me for a long time. I hope you enjoy the concert tomorrow Gavin!

  4. Masur got a good, rich, blended German sound for the Bruckner. It was a huge change from Schwarz’s more lean sound, with sections of the orchestra more differentiated. Violas did themselves proud, and as Masur points out, Cerminaro was really outstanding. The Mozart was more leisurely than is usual these days, but also had a very different sound than Schwarz usually favors.

    An outstanding concert – I see why you went twice, Zach.

  5. Your comment, Zach, reminds me of Dutoit’s difficulties with the OSM. Not so different in some respects from the problems Schwarz has faced. Dutoit was just huffier. I’m a bit surprised Montreal was able to get someone of Nagano’s stature. But, from living in both cities for only a few years, it seems to me that Montreal is much more committed to the arts in general (and music in particular) than Seattle. To say nothing about more open to new and unfamiliar music… so a MD like Nagano would fit in much better there.

  6. Matt, of course not. Problems are always bound to pop up in the music director/orchestra relationship. Since the last flare up a few years ago, I am told the musicians and Schwarz patched things up and are moving forward. It is, after all, the professional thing to do. I am anxious to see what Gerry and the orchestra have in store for Seattle next year.

  7. Very interesting–as I heard it, the SSO sounded leaner under Masur. Seating the violins together, I thought, and across from the cellos/basses, made a big difference in keeping all the colors more distinct, esp. in the Mozart. The sound Schwarz has gotten from the orch. has always struck me as very Russian–big fat strings, beefy brass.

  8. Hallo, Zach & other readers!
    The Leipzig orchestra Masur conducted is the “Gewandhaus Orchester” not the way you spelled the “G”-word. It was called that because the original backers were in the tapestry business (Gewand=tapistry).
    Sorry you had fears of interviewing Maestro Masur; like all truly great people, he is modest; his greatness speaks for itself, so he does not have to intimidate others to make himself feel great in comparison.
    Win H.

  9. Thanks Winfield, that is a type on my part. I forget the “e.” Mistakes happen. I am more than a “reader.” I am the owner, operator, editor, and writer of this blog. I started the blog three years ago for myself and added others as they showed interest. I appreciate your comment and I hope you keep reading. RM is certainly a valuable contributor, but there are many voices here, all with similar expertise and opinions.

  10. Mazur is a highly experienced conductor, but I have had difficulty to connect with his interpretations and with his conducting style.

    He knows the music; however, somehow I don’t get a sense of his passion. Or… his interpretation does not awake the passon in me that the composer intended.

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