Kubelik conducts Bartok’s Bluebeard’s castle – 1962 – Luzern

Kubelik conducting Bartok Bluebeard's Castle
Kubelik conducting Bartok Bluebeard’s Castle


We are amazed of the restitution: We were not thrilled by the sound quality reprints of concerts by Kubelík from Audite, including  a Mahler’s 9th in Tokyo completely betrayed, while a reissue pirate made the whole truth cf. Here, however, it could not be more alive, breathtaking dynamics, with obviously some – slight – hardness timbers inherent to that time. It is almost technically at the level of the reissues by Pragadigitals from our friend Pierre Barbier, probably with – without knowing the room – a little too much added reverbation. The booklet mentions that the voices are back; if Seefried seems actually back (but this may be due to his vocal range), I do not remember hearing DFD live so well.

The interpretation

We are told in the book that everything has a little difficulty getting up early citing a famous phrase by Kubelík « we still have a bit of humus for something to flourish, without becoming manure « . We do not really feel it! Kubelík had directed it seems once this work a few months before in Munich, then with Herta Töpper. He replaced Ferenc Fricsay, already seriously ill – he had died six months later. He did that again in a series of concerts in 1981 in New York. Local critics, while Dorati had given there two days earlier declared that he was the only one to support the public interest up to the end … Kubelík quote: « For me, it is important to express some thing new every night at desk […] tear me in fact – to give something each time and not take. Take is not worthy of a musician.  » He was a crazy music lover! Listen to this concert without even paying attention to the argument, which is of course taken into account so much. We known many recordings and also this series of concerts in 1981 – more poetic, but quiter – we do not know no equivalent to this musical maelstrom …

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