In he founded the Budapest Concert Orchestra which, through his leadership and that of guest conductors, 'rapidly achieved a high standard'.
Three things came to mind. The first is what everybody remembers. He was a much appreciated, even revered teacher of conducting whose pupils included Claudio Abbado, Zubin Mehta and Giuseppe Sinopoli. Somewhat lower down the scale of fame, a fellow-student of mine at Edinburgh University did a summer course with him in the s and was enraptured by the experience.
The second was that Swarowsky had been, for a short period, the immediate predecessor of Sir Alexander Gibson as principal conductor of the Scottish National Orchestra not yet Royal. By the time I came to Edinburgh in Gibson was well into his long reign Stories were rife about how dire the SNO was before Gibson took over.
One day it would be interesting to examine the earlier years of the SNO — originally just the Scottish Orchestra.
And if they suddenly became mediocre in Scotland when they were assuredly not so elsewhere, it would be interesting to know why.
Any such study would depend heavily on the local press, however. To the best of my knowledge no records were made by the SNO prior to the Gibson era.
It would nevertheless be interesting to hear from any reader with Scottish memories of Swarowsky, Rankl, Susskind or Warwick Braithwaite. Swarowsky rapped the music-stand angrily with his baton. The reader thought this awfully obtuse and wished he could have intervened.
This memory, as we will see below, does not quite tally with what happens on the record. But the point is that the name of Swarowsky became associated, for me, with dry pedantry.
I did rather wonder, before I started gathering together the records and listening, whether I was going to enjoy myself very much. Born in Budapest on 16th Septemberhe was of Jewish descent. He soon moved to Vienna, where he studied musical theory with Schoenberg and Webern, and conducting with Weingartner and Richard Strauss.
It is probably significant that his early influences combined the avant-garde with interpreters of a more traditional, less abrasive persuasion. We will find, in fact, during the following discussion, a Swarowsky allied with such fellow Schoenberg disciples as Scherchen and Leibowitz, vigorously committed to cleaning up the scores of traditional accretions.
But we will also find that he does not carry this mission to the same extreme as the two conductors I have named, tempering his rigour with a more equable sense of balance which he may have owed to Weingartner.This volume contains English translations of three important literary works by Austrian conductor Felix Weingartner (–).
The title essay is a detailed account of specific performing difficulties and questions of interpretation in each of the nine symphonies, a comprehensive treatment that will be indispensable to music students. Felix Weingartner is the earliest major conductor whose recordings give a representation of the classical repertoire in acceptable sound.
Felix Weingartner, in his essay for conductors on conducting the first symphony, suggests an interpretation of the tempi which honors the principle of tactus as .
Summary. This volume contains English translations of three important literary works by Austrian conductor Felix Weingartner (–). The title essay is a detailed account of specific performing difficulties and questions of interpretation in each of the nine symphonies, a comprehensive treatment that will be indispensable to music students.
On Conducting by Felix Weingartner. Italian, Latin and Greek Words and Phrases Used in the Art and Science of Music, Carefully Defined, and With the Accent of the Foreign Words Marked; Preceded by Rules for the Pronunciation of M. T. Cicero De Oratore, or His Three Dialogues Upon the Character and Qualifications of an Orator Translated.
Notes on conductors and conducting. (London, W. Reeves, ) Three hundred and two portraits of the most celebrated European musicians with short biographical notices. The reminiscences of a musical amateur and an essay on musical taste / (London: Macmillan, ).