Today's Classical Music Video

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Jochum Conducts Bruckner

Eugen Jochum (1902-1987) was one of the foremost Bruckner conductors of his generation. He recorded all the Bruckner symphonies for DG and then again for EMI. He was sometimes criticized for taking liberties with the tempi but no one ever doubted his commitment to the music nor his ability to give powerful performances. For some years he was music director of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in Munich and in this video he leads this orchestra in an excerpt from the first movement of the Bruckner Seventh.

In my opinion the BRSO is one of the great orchestras of the world, and under Jochum and his successor Rafael Kubelik it played with a rich, golden sound and unique expressiveness.

I once had the opportunity to interview Jochum while he was touring the United States with the Bamberg Symphony. After a good deal of negotiation with management Jochum finally agreed to an interview during the grueling tour. But it would have to be done on a bus while conductor and orchestra travelled from New York to Lancaster, PA. That would have been fine except that what I wanted was an audio interview I could broadcast on radio in Toronto. It was an honour to spend a few hours alone with Maestro Jochum but what I got on my tape recorder was totally unuseable, unless one is particularly fond of the sound of an old diesel bus rattling through the Holland Tunnel.

Paul E. Robinson

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