C1409. ERICH LEINSDORF Cond. Boston Symphony Orch., w.Itzhak Perlman: Concerto #2 in g (Prokofiev), Live Performance, 17 Dec., 1966 [Prokofiev wrote "The number of places in which I wrote this Concerto shows the kind of nomadic concert-tour life I led then. The main theme of the 1st movement was written in Paris, the first theme of the 2nd movement at Voronezh, the orchestration was finished in Baku and the premiere was given in Madrid"]; w.George Zazofsky: Violin Concerto 'To the memory of an Angel' (Berg), Live Performance, 15 Nov., 1963, Symphony Hall, Boston. (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-323. Transfers by Yves St Laurent.
"Erich Leinsdorf, a conductor whose abrasive intelligence and deep musical learning served as a conscience for two generations of conductors, had a utilitarian stage manner and his disdain of dramatic effects for their own sake stood out as a not-so-silent rebuke to his colleagues in this most glamorous of all musical jobs. In addition, Mr. Leinsdorf - in rehearsal, in the press and in his valuable book on conducting, THE COMPOSER'S ADVOCATE - never tired of pointing out gaps in culture among musicians, faulty editing among music publishers and errors in judgment or acts of ignorance among his fellow conductors. He rarely named his victims, but his messages and their targets were often clear. Moreover, he usually had the solid grasp of facts to support his contentions.
Mr. Leinsdorf moved to this country from Vienna in 1937. Helped by the recommendation of Arturo Toscanini, whom he had been assisting at the Salzburg Festival, Mr. Leinsdorf made his conducting début at the Metropolitan Opera a year later with DIE WALKÜRE. He was 25 years old at the time . A year later he was made overseer of the Met's German repertory, and his contentious style - in particular an insistence on textual accuracy and more rehearsal - won him no friends among singers like Lauritz Melchior and Kirsten Flagstad. Backed by management, he remained at the Met until 1943. At the New York City Opera, where he became music director in 1956, Mr. Leinsdorf's demanding policies in matters of repertory and preparation made him further enemies, and he left a year later. His searches for permanent employment turned mostly to orchestras. After the briefest of tenures at the Cleveland Orchestra during World War II, Mr. Leinsdorf took over the Rochester Philharmonic and stayed for nine years.
Mr. Leinsdorf's last and most prestigious music directorship was at the Boston Symphony, where he replaced Charles Münch in 1962. No contrast in style could have been sharper: Münch had viewed conducting mystically, as a kind of priesthood; Mr. Leinsdorf's policy was to make performances work in the clearest and most rational way. Observers both in and out of the orchestra could not deny the benefits of Mr. Leinsdorf's discipline, but there were some who were hostile to what they perceived as an objectivity that could hardly be called heartwarming.
One American orchestra manager a few years ago responded to musicians' grumblings over Mr. Leinsdorf's rehearsal manner by saying that he was ‘good for my orchestra’. And so he probably was.”
- Bernard Holland, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 12 Sept., 1993
“In the latter twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, Itzhak Perlman has been acclaimed as being among the leading violinists before the public, and, without doubt, has been the most visible of them in media venues, from recordings and radio broadcasts to television and film appearances. No other concert violinist and few other serious musicians have achieved the widespread exposure and popularity attained by Perlman.
He enrolled at the Juilliard School of Music, studying with Ivan Galamian and Dorothy DeLay. He made his official début in 1963 at Carnegie Hall with a performance of the f-sharp minor Wieniawski Concerto and went on to win the Leventritt Competition, one of whose prizes was an appearance with the New York Philharmonic, then led by Leonard Bernstein. After these triumphs Perlman was taken on by impresario Sol Hurok and given a heavy schedule of concerts in the United States, Europe, Asia, and Israel over the coming years. He also began making recordings with RCA and would eventually sign contracts with EMI, Sony, Teldec, and others. Perlman had begun teaching as well, and in 1975 took a faculty post at Brooklyn College. By 1990 Perlman had performed with virtually every major orchestra in the world and with almost every important conductor.”
- Robert Cummings, allmusic.com
“George Zazofsky, a native of Boston, graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. He started his performing career with the All-American Youth Symphony, conducted by Leopold Stokowski, before joining the Boston Symphony in 1941 [and became] assistant concertmaster and first violinist. He was a member and later director of the Zimbler Sinfonietta, an ensemble of the Boston Symphony's string players.
After his retirement from the orchestra, Mr. Zazofsky taught the violin at the University of Miami in Coral Gables for 10 years until 1978. He also taught at Brandeis University, the New England Conservatory of Music and, at the time of his death, at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute.”
- THE NEW YORK TIMES, 21 Aug., 1983