Carlo Maria Giulini Leads The L.A. Phil. In Music of Weber, Laderman And Haydn – 1981 – Past Daily Mid-Week Concert
The legendary Carlo Maria Giulini, leading the Los Angeles Philharmonic in the opening concert of the 1981-1982 season. Three works are featured – the world premier of Ezra Laderman‘s Symphony Number 4 – followed by the Bassoon Concerto of Weber and ending with a complete performance of the Lord Nelson Mass by Franz Joseph Haydn.
To get more background on the career of Carlo Maria Giulini (if you aren’t familiar) – here is an excerpt of a piece written for the Los Angeles Times as a tribute and obituary, shortly after his death in 2005.
In a career that spanned almost 50 years, the Italian Giulini was principal conductor of both opera and symphony orchestras, from Milan’s La Scala to the concert halls of Rome, Vienna, Chicago and, finally, Los Angeles.
His early 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.
“I cannot be in a constant rush; I am not a machine,” he told The Times in 1977.
He made the symphony hall his first home and distinguished himself as a gifted interpreter, particularly of works by Verdi and Mozart. Gradually he expanded his repertoire to include the music of such composers as Beethoven, Brahms and Mahler.
He 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 maestros with far more flamboyance: the stormy brilliance of Herbert von Karajan, who conducted the Berlin Philharmonic, and the dazzle of Sir Georg Solti, who led the Chicago Symphony. Yet Giulini was considered by many critics and music aficionados as every bit their equal.
“Giulini was universally seen as the last great Romantic conductor,” Salonen said. “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.”
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.”
After early appointments as the principal conductor of the Italian Radio Symphony in the mid-1940s and La Scala in the early ’50s, Giulini 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 in its 1958 production by filmmaker Luchino Visconti and Verdi’s Requiem with the Philharmonia Orchestra of London several years later.
He became principal guest conductor of the Chicago Symphony in 1969 and kept up a relationship with that institution 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 those years, he was also the music director of the Vienna Symphony, starting in 1973.
His last full-time appointment was as music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, which he led from 1978 to 1984.
A wonderful and memorable concert from start to finish. Relax, turn it up and enjoy.