The conductor who hated compromise
"Futile to await your letter my decision is final. I have only one way of thinking and acting. I hate compromise. I walk and I shall always walk on the straight path that I have traced for myself in life. Cordial greetings." - Cable from Arturo Toscanini to Bruno Walter about Toscanini's refusal to conduct in Salzburg in 1938 because of the links between the German and Austrian Governments.
Photograph from Berlin 1932 is an interesting case study in compromise. Follow the links to find out how they stood the test. From left to right Bruno Walter, Arturo Toscanini, Erich Kleiber, Otto Klemperer and Wilhelm Furtwängler.
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It is amazing what can be achieved by a 'gesture'. It is even more amazing what can be achieved by 'gestures' by young people.
Just eighteen years ago a 'gesture' by young people in Leipzig triggered the collapse of communism across Europe, and it was even supported by a prominent East German conductor - http://theovergrownpath.blogspot.com/2006/03/i-am-camera-leipzig.html
'Gestures' by a black musician helped to bring racial equality to the US - http://theovergrownpath.blogspot.com/2007/01/classical-music-can-help-change-world.html
'Gestures were the watershed that began the removal of discrimination against gay and transgender people - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stonewall_riots
etc, etc, etc ...
Bring on the gestures.
Let's not give him too much credit, all right? While there is no question that Chavez is an antidemocratic thug, Chavez is not Venezuela any more than Bush is America. (Although, you know, if we are comparing death tolls... )
I have not seen anyone insist that American orchestras and conductors touring abroad have the responsibility to, at minimum, pull a US Bridge Team.
Perhaps they should. But perhaps, if we are going to compare modern-day politicians to Nazis and Communists, we should remember who it is that has suspended habeas corpus, set up a system of international gulags, authorized torture, and waged a disastrous preemptive war that has cost hundreds of thousands of innocent lives.
There is always more than one viewpoint in a debate. I am sure all participants will now continue to develop those viewpoints on their own blogs.
There is always more than one viewpoint in a debate. I am sure all participants will now continue to develop those viewpoints on their own blogs - if they have any posts on them.
Cheers from the UK.