Curved Air presents:

Sir Georg Solti (1912–1997), originally named György Stern, was a Hungarian-born conductor of Jewish heritage and one of the leading and most prolific conductors of the 20th century. Born in Budapest, Hungary, Solti displayed early musical talent and pursued studies at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music. However, the rise of the Nazis compelled him to emigrate to Switzerland, where he continued his musical education. In the aftermath of World War II, he adopted the professional name Georg Solti.

Solti’s illustrious career reached new heights when he assumed the role of music director at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in 1961. During his tenure, he gained international acclaim for his interpretations of Wagner, Richard Strauss, and Verdi operas. Solti’s collaboration with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, where he served as music director from 1969 to 1991, was particularly notable. Under his leadership, the orchestra earned numerous Grammy Awards, and Solti himself received 31 Grammy Awards, surpassing all other conductors in history.

Renowned for his dynamic and precise conducting style, Solti was highly regarded for his interpretations of the German Romantic repertoire, including works by Wagner, Mahler, and Strauss. His dedication to detail and commitment to the score made his performances celebrated for their clarity and intensity. Solti’s extensive discography includes landmark recordings of major orchestral and operatic works, leaving an enduring legacy in the world of classical music.

[Photo of Solti by Allan Warren, 1975.]

    Curved Air    December 12th, 2023

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Curved Air presents:

Not everything is a song. A symphony is not a song. A sonata is not a song. Only a song is a song,

In German, a song is called a “lied”, and songs are “lieder”. Today we listen to some “orchesterlieder”.

Click here to read a translation of Mahler’s “The Heavenly Life”, heard today sung by Elisabeth Schwarzkopf.

    Curved Air    November 21st, 2023

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Curved Air presents:

I’ve burnt myself out on Italian opera, so we are moving on to the Germans. Last week was Wagner, and this week is Strauss.

Text of Strauss’s final song:

Im Abendrot
German source: Joseph von Eichendorff

Wir sind durch Not und Freude
Gegangen Hand in Hand,
Vom Wandern ruhen wir
Nun überm stillen Land.Rings sich die Täler neigen,
Es dunkelt schon die Luft,
Zwei Lerchen nur noch steigen
Nachträumend in den Duft.Tritt her, und lass sie schwirren,
Bald ist es Schlafenszeit,
Dass wir uns nicht verirren
In dieser Einsamkeit.O weiter, stiller Friede!
So tief im Abendrot
Wie sind wir wandermüde—
Ist dies etwa der Tod?


At sunset
English translation © Richard Stokes

We have gone hand in hand
Through joys and distress,
Now we rest from our wanderings
High above the quiet land.Around us the valleys slope down,
The skies have begun to darken,
Only two larks, recalling a dream,
Soar up into the haze.Come, and leave them to fly,
Soon it will be time to sleep,
We must not lose our way
In this solitude.O vast and silent peace!
So deep in sunset glow,
How weary we are with wandering –
Could this perhaps be death?

    Curved Air    November 7th, 2023

Posted In: Music, Music Shows

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