RIP: Carl Maria Giulini

Discussion in 'Orchestra / Solo / Chamber Music' started by robertwhite, Jun 15, 2005.

  1. robertwhite

    robertwhite Mezzo Piano User

    Nov 11, 2003,1,3257486.story?ctrack=1&cset=true

    (1st page of the article):

    Retired Italian Maestro Carlo Maria Giulini Dies at 91
    Conductor served as music director for the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

    By Mary Rourke, Times Staff Writer

    Carlo Maria Giulini, the Italian-born conductor who as music director for the Los Angeles Philharmonic from the late 1970s into the early 1980s brought renewed attention to the orchestra with his serene manner and a poetic Old World style of music making, has died. He was 91.

    Giulini died Tuesday in Brescia in northern Italy, his son Alberto Maria Giulini said today, according to the Associated Press. The cause of the death was not reported.

    In recent years Giulini resided in Milan, Italy.

    "We have lost one of the greatest musicians of our time," Esa-Pekka Salonen, music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, said today. "Carlo Maria Giulini was a conductor of great integrity and impeccable taste. He had an almost uncanny ability to transform the sound of an orchestra, any orchestra, into a dark and intense glow, which became his trademark over the years.

    "Giulini was universally seen as the last great Romantic conductor. His tempos were majestic, phrasing incredibly expressive, balances perfect. This gentle and utterly humble man was able to inspire awe in his fellow musicians as well as in audiences around the world."

    "Giulini brought a special aspect, his pure reverence for the music," said Deborah Borda, president of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Assn. "His approach produced performances that many felt were revelatory."

    During a career that spanned close to 50 years, Giulini was principal conductor of opera and symphony orchestras from La Scala in Milan to the concert halls of Rome, Vienna, Chicago and finally, Los Angeles.

    His passion for opera, especially Italian opera, pointed toward a future spent primarily in the orchestra pit, but his perfectionist's standards couldn't accommodate the limitations of the opera world. He wanted more rehearsal time, fewer prima donnas to contend with, and a pace that allowed him to rest and think between performances. None of it seemed possible.

    "I cannot be in a constant rush. I am not a machine," he told the Los Angeles Times in 1977.

    He made the symphony hall his first home and distinguished himself as a gifted interpreter of music, particularly the works of Verdi and Mozart, which he approached with his subtle, mellow style. Gradually, he expanded his repertoire to include the German Romantics — Beethoven, Mahler and Brahms.

    He never cared to be all things to all musicians, but purposefully kept his range narrow and deep. "I can only make music that I understand, music that I believe, music that I love," he told The Times.

    Throughout his career Giulini was surrounded by far more flamboyant maestros. The stormy brilliance of Herbert von Karajan, who conducted the Berlin Philharmonic, and the dazzle of Sir Georg Solti, the principal conductor of the Chicago Symphony, were the opposite of his understated style. Yet he was considered by many critics and music aficionados as every bit their equal.

    "Giulini was one of the major conductors of his period," said Martin Bernheimer, music critic of the Los Angeles Times while Giulini was at the podium from 1978 to 1984. "His name was at the top of a very selective list."

    If Giulini was not as famous as some colleagues, Bernheimer told The Times in 2004, "it's because he was only interested in the music. He didn't have a publicity firm pushing his name. He was reluctant to give interviews. There was no snazzy life away from the podium, no scandals. He was the last of a breed. He cared about subtle, Old World music making."

    By some standards, the elegant Italian with delicate features and an impeccable manner of dress would not travel well outside the music capitals of Europe, but he proved to be more adventuresome. After early appointments as the principal conductor for Italian Radio in the mid-1940s and La Scala in the early 1950s, he made his U.S. debut conducting the Chicago Symphony in 1954.

    He was also a frequent guest conductor in England, leading memorable performances of Verdi's "Don Carlos" for the Royal Opera House in 1958, with filmmaker Luchino Visconti as director, and Verdi's "Requiem" with the London Philharmonia Orchestra several years later.

    He became principal guest conductor of the Chicago Symphony in 1969 and kept up a relationship with the orchestra for more than 20 years. "If you forced me to name my favorite orchestra, I suppose I still would have to say Chicago," Giulini said in a 1975 interview with The Times.

    During three of the Chicago years, he was also the music director of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, starting in 1973. His last full-time appointment was as music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

    Highlights of those years — an original production of Giuseppe Verdi's "Falstaff" that drew international acclaim, as well as Brahms' first and second symphonies — demonstrated his dramatic effect on the orchestra. He won a Grammy award in 1989 for a recording of Mozart, conducting pianist Vladimir Horowitz and the La Scala Opera orchestra.

    "Giulini was from the old school. He was calm, subtle, a thinker," Bernheimer recalled. "He wasn't interested in easy effects or splash. He brought a mellowness to the orchestra."
  2. davidjohnson

    davidjohnson Piano User

    Nov 2, 2003
    :-( that's sad.
    everyone should hear that verdi requiem on emi with giulini/philharmonia & his bruckner 9 w/chicago. if you listen to those, you'll probably want to explore his discography a bit more.

  3. PhatmonB6

    PhatmonB6 Mezzo Piano User

    Jan 16, 2005
    Interviewd on his 80th birthday, Giulini said: "I have to believe in every note, to feel myself immersed. If that doesn't happen, mere technique would take the field. The appropriation[of the music] must be rational and emotional, without ever forgetting that the conductor is a musician in the service of the geniuses of music.....We are only enterpreters."

    Now thats deep.

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