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#2302089 - 07/14/14 05:00 AM Lorin Maazel (1930-2014)
bennevis Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5107
Great conductor, composer and violinist, who passed away yesterday at the age of 84.

Despite his main conducting career being in USA, I always thought that his best work was in Europe. His marvelous 1960s cycle of the Sibelius symphonies with the Wiener Philharmoniker was the one that introduced me to the great Finn's granitic and imposing music, firmly rooted in Finnish landscapes and mythology.

For many years, Maazel was at the helm of the annual New Year's Day Concert from Vienna, after Willi Boskovsky retired. And he was the only conductor who was able to wish the international audience in the Musikvereinsaal (and on TV) "Happy New Year" in multiple languages - including Japanese and Mandarin - to the manner born thumb. He also occasionally led the orchestra from the violin, like Boskovsky used to do.

But I'll always remember him for his Mahler 4th, again with the Wiener Philharmoniker (and with Kathleen Battle as the incomparable soloist in the finale's childhood vision of heaven) - he captured the gemütlich in the music like no other conductor before, or since......

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#2302250 - 07/14/14 02:20 PM Re: Lorin Maazel (1930-2014) [Re: bennevis]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19773
Loc: New York
I knew very little about him until seeing the news of his passing and reading his obituary in the NY Times. I see that he was regarded as being very different at different times and with different music: sometimes wild and passionate, other times seemingly restrained and even cold. I would have loved to hear him in person. I had known only two things about him: that he was the conductor of a performance of "Caucasian Sketches" by Ippolitov-Ivanov (yeah, I had to look that up to double check the spelling) which years ago was part of the canned music on a long flight that I took and for which I was extremely grateful; and that he had been married to a pianist, Israela Maragalit (and was, as we say, 'the father of her children'), whom I heard in a wonderful recital at Merkin Concert Hall in NY and who is also a writer. I didn't know of her connection to Maazel until I found out incidentally, long after.

#2302322 - 07/14/14 05:32 PM Re: Lorin Maazel (1930-2014) [Re: Mark_C]
bennevis Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5107
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
I knew very little about him until seeing the news of his passing and reading his obituary in the NY Times. I see that he was regarded as being very different at different times and with different music: sometimes wild and passionate, other times seemingly restrained and even cold. I would have loved to hear him in person.

Despite his chief conductorship of the NYPO, Pittsburgh SO and the Cleveland Orchestra, his reputation in USA is probably lower than that in Europe.

I never saw him conduct live, though I have many of his CDs - Sibelius, Rachmaninov, Mahler, R.Strauss and one of his live New Year's Day concerts. Apart from Mahler 4, the Maazel CD I cherish most is his own arrangement of 'bleeding chunks' from Wagner's Ring ("The Ring without Words" on Telarc) - when I don't feel like I can stay awake (or live wink ) long enough to listen to the complete overblown ego-trip, I'll just put that CD on to hear the juicy bits, superbly played by the Berliner Philharmoniker......

But having watched him conduct so often on TV in the New Year concerts, I almost feel like I know him grin. Apparently, despite his autocratic manner (shades of Toscanini and Karajan), and occasionally mannered interpretations, orchestral players who played under him loved him, and one could see that rapport in the televised concerts. He was one of the most naturally gifted of musical prodigies, with a photographic memory, and the ability to control an orchestra seemingly with little effort.

He probably aroused great jealousy among some of his colleagues.....partly also because he demanded, and got, huge fees.

#2302378 - 07/14/14 08:59 PM Re: Lorin Maazel (1930-2014) [Re: bennevis]
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8882
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Didn't I read somewhere that when Maazel conducted Thais (Met? Chicago Lyric? San Francisco?) he played the violin solo in the famous 'Meditation'?

Never cared much for 'The Ring Without Words', but when it comes to Wagner, I'm one of those people. wink

#2303009 - 07/16/14 12:08 PM Re: Lorin Maazel (1930-2014) [Re: bennevis]
Hank Drake Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/31/01
Posts: 1659
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio

I've heard through the grapevine that Decca/London is preparing a boxed set of Maazel's complete recordings with the Cleveland Orchestra. I hope Sony does the same - the box they issued a few years ago was not properly remastered and far from complete.
Hank Drake

The composers want performers be imaginative, in the direction of their thinking--not just robots, who execute orders.
George Szell

#2303970 - 07/19/14 09:19 AM Re: Lorin Maazel (1930-2014) [Re: bennevis]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11900
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
I have always loved his recording of Shostakovich's 5th symphony with Cleveland Orchestra. It was the first time I heard the work. I later heard Bernstein's and Rostropovich's versions which I never liked as much. His contributions will be missed.
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

#2303977 - 07/19/14 09:48 AM Re: Lorin Maazel (1930-2014) [Re: Morodiene]
bennevis Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5107
I've just put on his CDs of Prokofiev's Romeo & Juliet, and Stravinsky's Le sacre du printemps, with the Cleveland Orchestra. I haven't listened to them for a while, and am quite amazed at his control of every nuance even at high speed, and the orchestral virtuosity.

If you want a truly brilliant version of The Rite, Maazel's is the one. After hearing it, you'll wonder why almost every other conductor take the 'Sacrificial Dance' so slowly......

#2304146 - 07/19/14 06:31 PM Re: Lorin Maazel (1930-2014) [Re: bennevis]
Dave B Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/01/11
Posts: 1968
Loc: Philadelphia area
Maazel was one of the best! an Old school conductor who was able to get powerful pianissimos and gracious fortes from the strings. I will miss his clear command of phrasing; he knew how to conduct a ritardando, and always knew exactly where A Tempo was.

#2304178 - 07/19/14 07:51 PM Re: Lorin Maazel (1930-2014) [Re: bennevis]
gooddog Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 4794
Loc: Seattle area, WA
I have some of his old recordings and have enjoyed watching and hearing him conduct on ClassicArtsShowcase on TV. What a loss. 84 isn't that old these days. Did you know his last name means "luck"?
Best regards,


#2305572 - 07/22/14 07:22 PM Re: Lorin Maazel (1930-2014) [Re: bennevis]
BB Player Offline

Registered: 11/17/06
Posts: 2600
Loc: Not in Texas
I've got his Beethoven set with Cleveland on vinyl. Not the brightest jewel in my collection but a solid offering. RIP.

#2306196 - 07/23/14 09:47 PM Re: Lorin Maazel (1930-2014) [Re: bennevis]
ChopinAddict Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6101
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
RIP, Maestro.

Music is my best friend.


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