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21.02.2012 15:41 - ERICH KLEIBER’s biography by Duilio DOBRIN (1981)
Автор: kleiber Категория: Музика   
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Последна промяна: 25.02.2012 05:11

Erich Kleiber was born in Vienna on August 5, 1890. His musical career started in Prague, where he was appointed chorus master at the German Opera.

The spark that lit his heart and brought him into the world of music took place at his own home. His father, Dr. Franz Otto Kleiber, an Austrian school teacher, was compelled by low at that time to have a thorough grounding in music. He was also an inhabitant in Vienna, where music had always been a way of life. Dr. Kleiber was also unusually schooled in the subject matter.

Young Erich studied violin in Vienna. Musically speaking, Kleiber was not especially precocious. After both of his parents passed away, time and money were lacking for lessons. Despite these factors, Kleiber improved his ability on the violin and became a good performer. Later on, in 1906, he was able to take part in a chamber orchestra at school. “There is a mention of his being invited to conduct this; but in general there was no question at this stage of wanting to become a conductor” (John Russell).

It was nearly the end of Mahler’s directorship that Kleiber frequently attended performances at the Court Opera and became deeply influenced by his conducting. In 1909 he went to Prague to study philosophy and history of the arts at the University and music at the Conservatory.

After Prague, Kleiber took a series of position as follows: Conductor at the Court Theater of Darmstadt (1912 – 1918), conductor of the Opera of Barmen-Eberfeld (1919-1921) and conductor of Dusseldorf and Mannheim Operas (1922-23). In 1923, he accepted the position at the Berlin State Opera (as successor to Leo Blech), which he held until 1931 and from 1933 to 1935. Kleiber then emigrated to South America. He was named of the principal conductor of the German Opera season at the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires until 1949. Here Kleiber gave premieres of “Die Frau ohne Schatten”(Strauss), “Jeanne D’Arc au Bucher” (Honegger), “Die Entfurung aus dem Serail” (Mozart), among many others.

Kleiber’s  goals and dreams echoed very positively in Buenos Aires. This writer considers, that through years of hard and dedicated labor, the conductor managed to modify, and more so to broaden, the spectrum of the tastes of the Argentines, as well as to influence musicians’ interpretative views and overall performance standards. He utilized discipline which, in result, contributed greatly to the development of an infrastructure for the Teatro Colon. With the impetus of a man like Erich Kleiber, it soon became one of the most organized Opera houses in the world!

In 1949, Kleiber relinquished his post and accept several engagements in Europe.

This writer considers it of great importance, that Kleiber also made a second career as a true pioneering conductor in countries such as Chile, Uruguay, Mexico and Cuba.

A similar event took place in London, concerning Kleiber’s ability to rebuild, modify and enlighten. The level of performance at “Covent Garden” rose suddenly, when he took over “Die Zauberflote”(Mozart), “Carmen”(Bizet) and “Der Rosenkavalier”(Strauss) in 1950. There, among other operas, he conducted the first stage production of “Wozzeck”(Berg) in 1952, a work, he had premiered in 1925 in Berlin. This was an outstanding event, which showed another facet of Kleiber’s many talents and which highlighted him as a true champion of contemporary music. His presence at “Covent Garden” was of crucial importance to the development of the postwar “Covent Garden” company.

Plans to his appointment to the Vienna Staatsoper did not materialize. His reappointment was announced to the Berlin State Opera – is the Eastern zone of the separated city.

Kleiber had been a great name in the earlier, golden age of the Staatsoper of Berlin. Since 1923, he had been Music Director there and had left Germany only when the political situation began to make free artistic activity impossible in 1934. The contrast which he signed with the communist officials gave him absolute power in terms to hiring artists at prices that could scarcely be equaled by any other theater group in the world.

The same artistic freedom, that made him emigrate to South America, made him resign in March 1955. In Hans Heinz Stuckenschmidt’s own word “As an artist one can enjoy great freedom in totalitarian states, but one cannot set up an aesthetic dictatorship in a political dictatorship.” Stuckenschmidt even speculated with the idea, that Kleiber “…resented the fact, that the West reorganized all this before he did and thereafter avoided both halves of Berlin”. In this writer’s opinion, these kind of speculation and political games were foreign to a man, to whom music meant sacredness and adoration.

On January 27, 1956, the 200th anniversary of Mozart’s birth, Kleiber was not to lift a baton. He was found dead in his bath – struck down by a heart attack at the age of 65.

It is this writer’s belief the “miracle” of the “Teatro Colon”(or, for that matter, the ones in London, Havana, Santiago de Chile, Montevideo and Mexico City, among many other), with which this article is concerned was no “miracle” at all. Kleiber’s footsteps resembled those of Attila the Hun, but completely opposite results. Wherever Kleiber happened to go, the lives of the people and their national culture would be beatified. The conductor left unforgettable memories or his work, which were the results of his aiming as high as he possibly could. Kleiber resorted to the use of extreme measures and strove for the zenith in his conquest of artistry and truth!

Тагове:   erich kleiber,   dobrin,


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