I had the pleasure once again of talking to Phil Whelan, host of RTHK’s Morning Brew radio show, about the contentious subject of great conductors. It’s a difficult topic to discuss and every musician has their own experiences and stories, so giving a reasoned overview of the merits of the ‘great’ conductors needs thinking about.
However, I chose four conductors who, without doubt, have made a huge impact on music-making in the 20th and 21st century. Each of these conductors had their own style and focussed their attention on diverse repertoire but there is no denying they have left a remarkable legacy of recorded music for us to enjoy.
In the case of Sir Simon Rattle, I’m glad to report he is still active in making recordings so there is still plenty to come from this remarkable conductor. The four conductors I chose were:
Here is a list of the repertoire performed during the programme:
Borodin Symphony No 2 last movement
Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra
Sir Georg Solti
Vissi d’arte, vissi d’amore
National Philharmonic Orchestra
Tchaikovsky Symphony No 4 last movement
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Sir Simon Rattle
Rite of Spring ‘Sacrificial Dance’
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra