ORFEO International


July 2010

Carlos Kleiber 80th Anniversary

It was exactly eighty years ago, on 3 July 1930, that Carlos Kleiber first saw the light of the world in Berlin. C 100 841 B
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Six years after his sudden death in 2004 his special standing among his fellow conductors continues to resonate. Five years after his birth his family fled from Hitler’s Germany and settled in Argentina. He first conducted at Munich’s Theater am Gärtnerplatz in 1953. After that his career developed quickly, taking him to Potsdam, Düsseldorf, Zurich, Stuttgart, Munich and Vienna and raising him to the ranks of the immortals. He was courted by Bayreuth and New York, Salzburg and Berlin, but he continued to lead the life of a recluse.
Even the opera houses C 600 031 B
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where he had enjoyed his greatest triumphs – above all, Munich and Vienna – and orchestras such as the Vienna Philharmonic were in the end unable to coax him back. He made his début with the Bavarian State Opera in 1968, conducting Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier, and during the next twenty years he gave more than 260 opera performances and concerts with the Bavarian State Orchestra. C 700 051 B
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His interpretation of Der Rosenkavalier is enshrined in a live recording made during the 1973 Munich Opera Festival and attests to the close relationship that existed between Kleiber and the Munich company a year after Otto Schenk’s new production had opened in 1972.
By his own admission, C 581 083 D
C 581 083 D
Carlos Kleiber always felt a sense of horror whenever his recordings were released, but when he decided to sanction the issue of Orfeo’s recording of Beethoven’s Fourth Symphony with the Bavarian State Orchestra, he wrote: “Thanks to the playing of the Bavarian State Orchestra, it is a source of great personal pleasure to release this live recording. […] C 580 031 B
C 580 031 B
For listeners who respond to vitality, we have things here that no other orchestra plays as joyously and cheekily or as animatedly and pleasingly as this orchestra on this particular day.”
He conducted Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony only once. Released by Orfeo at his express request, his live recording is part of his legacy, as is his recording of the same composer’s Seventh Symphony with the same orchestra – the work that was on the programme at his very last concert on 26 February 1999.