sun 25/10/2020

Sir Charles Mackerras, 1925-2010 | reviews, news & interviews

Sir Charles Mackerras, 1925-2010

Sir Charles Mackerras, 1925-2010

One of the final interviews given by the much loved conductor

Mackerras: 'It’s the emanations that flow out of the conductor that are the essence of conducting'

Sir Charles Mackerras has died at the age of 84. In tribute to one of the most highly respected and best-loved of conductors, theartsdesk republishes here an interview he gave on the eve of conducting Benjamin Britten's The Turn of the Screw for the English National Opera last October. Despite bouts of ill health, he found time to talk about his friendship - and falling out - with Britten, his time conducting the opera under Britten's watchful eye, his experiences in Prague in 1948 as a witness to the Communist takeover of Czechoslovakia, his pioneering performances of Mozart from the 1960s and his run-ins with Richard Jones and Christopher Alden over their "monstrous" modern productions.

Sir Charles Mackerras has died at the age of 84. In tribute to one of the most highly respected and best-loved of conductors, theartsdesk republishes here an interview he gave on the eve of conducting Benjamin Britten's The Turn of the Screw for the English National Opera last October. Despite bouts of ill health, he found time to talk about his friendship - and falling out - with Britten, his time conducting the opera under Britten's watchful eye, his experiences in Prague in 1948 as a witness to the Communist takeover of Czechoslovakia, his pioneering performances of Mozart from the 1960s and his run-ins with Richard Jones and Christopher Alden over their "monstrous" modern productions.

I was able to go and conduct these marvellous orchestras like the Czech Philharmonic, the Prague Symphony Orchestra and the Radio Orchestra because I was prepared to accept their currency, which I then spent there on orchestral parts

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