Bruno Walter: A World Elsewhere

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9780300087130: Bruno Walter: A World Elsewhere

Bruno Walter, one of the greatest conductors in the twentieth century, lived a fascinating life in difficult times. This engrossing book is the first full-length biography of Walter to appear in English. Erik Ryding and Rebecca Pechefsky describe Walter's early years in Germany, where his successes in provincial theatres led to positions at the Berlin State Opera and the Vienna State Opera. They then tell of his decade-long term as Bavarian music director and his romantic involvement with the soprano Delia Reinhardt; his other positions in the musical community until he was ousted from Germany when the Nazi Party came to power in 1933; and his return to Vienna, where he was artistic director of the Opera House until he was again forced out by the Nazis. Finally they trace his career in the United States, where he led the New York Philharmonic and other orchestras and in his last years made numerous recordings with the Columbia Symphony Orchestra, an ensemble created especially for him. Ryding and Pechefsky are the first biographers to make extensive use of the thousands of unpublished letters in the Bruno Walter Papers, now in the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. In addition to interviewing more than sixty people who knew Walter, they examined countless reviews to assess the popular and critical impact he had on his time. Authoritative and even-handed, this biography sheds new light on Walter, one of the great formative influences in musical interpretation.

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About the Author:

Erik Ryding is manager of catalogue development at Sony Classical. Rebecca Pechefsky is a freelance harpsichordist.

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Conductor, composer, pianist, and writer Bruno Walter (1876-1962) studied with Mahler and championed his music and that of Wagner in both opera house and concert hall. Starting in Germany and making his name in Vienna, he left for America in 1939 to escape the Nazis. He was musical adviser to the New York Philharmonic and conducted the Metropolitan Opera's orchestra and many others. He dismissed atonal music as unappealing to the emotions and embraced anthroposophy, which shunned materialism and concentrated on ethics and the soul. With only the slightest guidance concerning his own view of a composition and its composer's intentions, he let the musicians he directed make music. His three books, many essays, and especially his many recordings keep his reputation fresh. Drawing on his collected papers and letters, numerous interviews, and reviews of his concerts, Ryding and Pechefsky trace Walter through Europe and America. They illuminate the honorable and ethical man that he was as well as his interpretive approaches as one of the best-loved conductors of the twentieth century. Alan Hirsch
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Ryding, Erik & Pechefsky, Rebecca
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Book Description Yale University Press, 2001. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: Fine. 487pp, frontis portrait, 32 plates. The first full-length biography to appear in English of one of the greatest conductors in the twentieth century. Heavy book, extra postage will be requested for delivery outside UK. Bookseller Inventory # 10644

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