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Stephen Smoliar, July 2012

As might be guessed from the dates of the recordings, the views of Celibidache in action vary with the conductor’s age. The 1965 recording shows a performance, preceded by a rehearsal, of Richard Strauss’ “Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche;” and it is an excellent portrait of just how demanding Celibidache could be. His ear for detail is thoroughly intimidating, but he tends to take a positive attitude toward the musicians to get them to satisfy his highly detailed requirements. The result is one of the most impressive realizations of storytelling rhetoric in musical form. Indeed, the impact of that interpretation is so great that one easily recognizes that same rhetoric in the performance of Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade suite…

Celibidache’s control of gradual crescendo is positively awe-inspiring. The result is a coda in which all hell breaks loose, and you may find yourself echoing the cheers of adulation coming from the audience on the recording.

This is one of those rare packages that has the capacity to inform not only how to listen to familiar compositions but how to observe what it is that a conductor really can do. © 2012 Read complete review

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2:39:36 PM, 7 October 2015
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