David Royko Psy.D

david@davidroyko.com

Carlos Kleiber and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra

In a Facebook thread on his page, about Carlos Kleiber, Andrew Patner wrote:

David Royko has observed in the past [slightly revised here - DR]: "Note about CSO performances: The booklet of a bootlegged CD set dates these three performances as from 10/12/78. The Butterworth is in fact from Kleiber's June 2-4 1983 appearances with the CSO (discographer Toru Hirasawa lists this as coming from the 6/2 performance). Also, the Beethoven and Schubert almost certainly originated from a WFMT broadcast. The broadcast tape was compiled from Kleiber's December 12-14, 1978 performances. The booklet lists the performance as being from 10/12/78, but the CSO brass made two major flubs in the Beethoven at that first night's performance (I remember them well; one of the first violinists even turned and craned his neck to look back toward the brass after the second clam). Those do not appear in these recordings, which means that at least a bit of editing was done and that this recording is a composite of at least two nights." Any updates to anything in this thread, David?

My reply: This thread is a gas for a Kleiber nut like me (and maybe a few others;-)  Regarding the Chicago performances, I haven't ever heard anything directly about what exactly was broadcast of that first (of the two) programs, whether it was basically the opening night (the actual "premier" performance) with some patches spliced in from the other nights/rehearsals (the rehearsals were typically recorded by the station for that purpose), or what. Yes Milos, at least in the days when WFMT produced the broadcasts, they routinely spliced together a clean performance (the two years I worked there, 1979-81, I sat in on a few editing sessions -- they were pretty minimalist and never heavy handed and, heck, who'd need to be with the CSO?). In fact, it was part of the contract with the orchestra that they would do so. I taped the Kleiber broadcast myself, unfortunately before getting a Nakamichi deck but using a crappy Ampex cassette deck. The bootlegs I bought later are better than my tape. Over the years, I acquired everything available by him (I think his entire repertoire, including an early Telemann program, back when non-HIP specialists were allowed;-), including whatever bootlegs were required (plenty). This Kleiber [Mahler] Das Lied [referred to in the original post] was never in good, even decent, sound in the several incarnations I've heard, so if this is a legit release (or or even another bootleg) taken from inside tapes -- hallelujah! And we're basically the same age, Andrew -- what an experience for us impressionable lads. I felt like I'd missed the Beatles but I didn't miss Carlos. I was crushed when he cancelled his third time through, but in retrospect, it's pretty amazing we had him not just once, but twice. I remember being stunned, particularly, by the transformation of the CSO string sound under him. When he began the Butterworth, the silkiness of the violins made me gasp.

October 15, 2014

Music Rambles