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Leipzig Gewandhaud Orchestra, conductor Herbert Blomstedt- Music box, 19th of September 2022

Friday, 14 October 2022 , ora 13.49

A tribute disk for the anniversary of a great conductor of our time: on 8th of July, the label Deutsche Grammophon has released an album which incorporates the last two symphonies of Franz Schubert, recorded by the Leipzig Gewandhaud Orchestra, conducted by Herbert Blomstedt. The Swedish conductor turned, on 11th of July, the venerable age of 95 yeard old and remains a constant presence full of vitality on the great stages- he is, furthermore, the oldest conductor nowadays, still in activity.

The records from the disc were made in November 2021, the proposal of realizing an anniversary album came from Deutsche Grammophone and Blomstedt decided quickly: he chose Gewandhaus Orchestra, of which he was the Kapellmeister between 1998 and 2005, subsequent, Honorary Conductor, and as a repertoire- Schubert, whose symphonies Blomstedt loves and the orchestra is so well acquainted with.

What resulted? An album already applauded by the international press, rated at the maximum of 5 stars in the October edition of BBC music Magazine. Here is what the chronicler argues: "These two disks would hardly need any reviews: they contain ideal performances of two of the greatest symphonies that have ever been written. I would dare to put these performances in a special category, theirs only.

Yes, I couldn't agree more with these word which may seem too much, but they are not: we have all here- a great music done by a musician, who has a valuable life experience, who has the capacity to bring the best out the orchestras he works with. There are slower tempi than in other versions, but which allow a deeper insights of the musical statement- such as the difference between fast and slow food.

In 2012, I had the opportunity to personally meet and interview Herbet Blomstedt at a music festival. Since then he was considered an extraordinary bandleader: because of his vitality which hide his age, but also because of his wisdom. I am now retaking some of his statements back then: "Personally, I believe that I am here to serve those around me. The goal is not to obtain as much many as possible, or as much possible fame, to be the most beautiful, but to be helpful and an inspiring model for others.I tried to be a very disciplined person with myself. I organize my time very wisely in order to use is fruitful manner. I hate loud talking or wasting time. I like to relax, but at the same time I want to do something productive, being out in the woods, eating a good meal, being with my family or friends, teaching my children. I do believe that discipline is extremely important when you work with an orchestra, not a military discipline- not like the type "don't do that", but "open your ears to hear what others are doing, what the rest are thinking". The is the type of discipline I like."

Herbert Blomstedt and the principles that led his long life as a conductor: he debuted at 26 years, then he had continuous undertakings as a musical director or as a chief conductor of some famous orchestras in Denmark, Sweden Germany, Norway and The United Stated of America. He is the one who preceded Sergiu Celibidache as the head of the Swedish Radio Orchestra in 1977. His records enjoyed important prizes, among which two Grammy awards.

Genuinely, Herbert Blomstedt, a sacred monster of contemporary conducting, a man prone to detail, but also a creator of great, seamless forms- Symphony No. 9 by Franz Schubert with Leipzig Gewandhaud Orchestra- an eloquent example for this respect.

Cristina Comandașu
Translated by Andreea-Cristiana Petrescu,
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year I
Corrected by Silvia Petrescu