C0128. OSVALD KABASTA Cond. München Phil.: Jupiter Symphony #41 in C, K.551 (Mozart); Symphony #3 in D; OSVALD KABASTA Cond. Vienna S.O.: Symphony #5 in B (both Schubert). (Austria) Preiser 90303, recorded 1940-43. Very long out-of-print, Final Copy! - 717281903035
“Many a talented classical musician's reputation has blossomed from being ‘on the right side’, politically speaking. Conductor Osvald Kabasta's story is a sad example of what can happen when a musician ends up on the wrong side, either through choice or circumstances. In the 1930s, Kabasta joined the Nazi party, and the Munich Philharmonic became known as ‘The Orchestra of the Capital of the Political Movement’. Kabasta started signing his official letters with the words ‘Heil Hitler’. As went the Third Reich, so went his fortunes. He remained a respected and successful figure in German musical life throughout the 1930s and into the early 40s, and an advocate for the works of composers not necessarily sanctioned by the government. Then, difficulties with the Philharmonic's management, and an Allied bombing of its performance space, took a toll on Kabasta's physical and emotional health, and he was forced to step down for a period of recuperation. By the time he had recovered, the war was over, the Allies were in control, and Kabasta tried to return to his orchestra. It was not to be. The occupation government was unsympathetic to Kabasta and his Nazi affiliation, and he was barred from pursuing a musical career in the fall of 1945; Hans Rosbaud was installed instead. In despair, Kabasta self-administered a lethal dose of the anesthetic Veronal on February 6, 1946. Although Munich continued to honor its former Generalmusikdirektor, Kabasta was quickly forgotten by most of the world. There is little doubt that his Nazi ties scuttled his career while he was alive and sullied his reputation after his death.
Whatever he conducted, Kabasta seemed concerned with driving the music forward – but not inexorably – and with obtaining the greatest clarity of textures. The weight came from accents and the interpretation's fire, not from thick orchestral playing or slow tempos.
A handful of Kabasta's Electrola studio recordings are available on the Preiser CD label [above], and these can also be recommended as complements to the present collection.”
- Raymond Tuttle, Classical.Net