yesterday in mh4’s class on music in Nazi Germany, we had the pleasure of watching two fantastic clips of Berlin Philharmonic conductor Wilhelm Furtwängler. besides learning about his orchestral conducting style, he has only come up in my life twice, and it is for those two times that i will always think of him:
1) this history 4 class
2) when the Peabody bassoon studio went to our teacher’s house for a holiday party, played musical charades and my team spent seven minutes trying to guess our “thing”. i finally guessed “Wilhelm Furtwängler” which was the answer. i never forgave my teacher for that.
however, his interpretations of Beethoven and Wagner are worth noting. while Wagner and i have a love/hate relationship, i can be persuaded to listen, especially if what i’m listening to is Die Meistersinger.
today in music and lit, the very venerable and very french Pierre Monteux reared his head out from the lofty pages of Mann’s Doctor Faustus and i was compelled to make a connection between him and Furtwängler. while i could (there is an, albeit, later video of Monteux also conducting the prelude to Die Meistersinger) we talked about Stravinsky (Monteux’s tenure with Le Sacre and Mann’s allusion to L’histoire) so Stravinsky it is. but before Petrouchka, my non-musical association with Monteux.
1) this music and lit class
2) the pierre monteux school in maine that one of my best friends attended. it was there that she met the person that she would introduce to me later that year, who, would become my boyfriend. he, too, is a conductor. (thus continueith the cycle.)
sorry to keep you waiting, here’s Monteux conducting Stravinsky’s Petrouchka with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.