Skip to comments.Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos - obituary (conductor)
Posted on 06/12/2014 9:20:03 PM PDT by EveningStar
Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, who has died aged 80, was a conductor who delivered memorable interpretations of the works of his Spanish compatriots while championing the Germanic canon on the Iberian P eninsula.
His work took him to orchestras around the world, but he was best known for his associations with the Philharmonia in London and the Philadelphia Orchestra in the United States.
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
I had run into his recordings but didn't know this interesting detail.
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Sad - capable interpreter of some of the “lighter” classical music - heard him at Philly’s Mann Center conduct the Philadelphia a few years back in “Capriccio Espagnol” and ‘La Valse” among others - in fact he’s on the schedule to lead that same orchestra next March in some works by Beethoven and Falla - and one of my favorite old LP’s includes his rendition of Guridi’s “El caserio” - RIP.....
He did the ultimate Carmina Burana. RIP.
We saw him conduct that too a few years ago. Someone said that Carmina Burana was the kind of music a gland would write, if a gland could write music. If you’re thinking about O Fortuna and the closing that’s a fair comment, but there’s lots of room for delicate subtlety in between. Often conductors sort of mush through the softer parts, but he slowed down and drew out lots of different colors and emotions. That’s where he excelled. The way he conducted it, for instance, the Roasted Swan was hilarious.
That would be Jim Svejda
He did The Pines of Rome too that night. We were in the second parterre box at stage level, so we were maybe 25 yards away from him. At some point, I think it was during “Pines”, he began to wobble backward and one of the cellists in the second row quickly jumped up and ran off stage. About ten seconds after that, he took a header off the podium, but some nimble second violinists caught him before he hit the floor. They gently placed him in a sitting position with his feet dangling off the edge of the podium. He took a few seconds, then raised his baton and took off from there finishing the concert. At the end he was helped off the stage and did not return. At no point during any of this did the orchestra stop or even miss a note.
Sure seems as though members of the orchestra knew he was in a fragile state and were looking for possible trouble - the finales of both Pines and Amore have got to be strenuous for a conductor even in good condition - I can’t imagine him carrying it off just after having passed out with his head probably still in a woozy state, and the orchestra making good sense of it all - years ago I heard the National Symphony make hash out of the last few bars of Amore under the direction of someone supposedly in his right mind (but whose name I mercifully forget); apparently it isn’t hard to do - the obituary quotes de Burgos as having said “I will keep going until I drop” - he really meant it....