Zubin Mehta With Teresa Zylis-Gara and The Los Angeles Philharmonic In Music Of Richard Strauss – 1977 – Past Daily Mid-Week Concert
Diving into the vaults again this week for another historic concert. This time, from the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s 1977-1978 season featuring Music Director Zubin Mehta on the podium, with Ronald Leonard, cello and the Polish Soprano Teresa Zylis-Gara in an all Richard Strauss program. It was recorded on November 13, 1977 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.
Zubin Mehta holds a special place for a lot of people in the Los Angeles arts community. In a way, we discovered him. Back in 1961 when he did a guest slot during the Hollywood Bowl season he created a sensation – as much for audiences in 1961 as Gustavo Dudamel did for Los Angeles audiences in 2005 (also at the Hollywood Bowl). What they both brought was boundless energy and a desire to take the audience on a journey of discovery – and L.A. needed that.
As much as Zubin Mehta was pioneering new music in the 1960s and 70s, he was also just as skillful in putting together a program of the tried-and-true. And this concert covers familiar territory for both the audience and the orchestra.
Starting off with Don Quixote, featuring Principle cellist Ronald Leonard in the solo parts. And then there is intermission and two more Strauss pieces – Four Last Songs with the noted Polish Soprano Teresa Zylis-Gara, and ending with Til Eulenspiegel.
Familiar music, elegantly played by an orchestra Zubin Mehta helped make world class in the 1960s and 70s. Unfortunately, an orchestra that was only sporadically broadcast during that time. Pacifica station KPFK was broadcasting the Philharmonic concerts throughout the 1960s and early 70s, but most of those tapes have been destroyed or otherwise lost over the years and very few have survived. But those which have survived offer a rewarding glimpse of an orchestra which helped put Los Angeles back on the map as a cultural oasis.