Thanks to Muh-Chung Lin and Zygmunt Jakubek.

Chapter 16: The Hot Seat

It took me a long time to come to terms with the Vienna Philharmonic, and I don't think I shall ever come to like the city itself. To me there is something unbearably parochial about it; the splendour of many of its buildings does not compensate me for the endless round of small-time gossip, which can range from the mindlessly trivial to the unspeakably vicious. Despite the support immediately extended to me by the recording crew--Gordon Parry and James Brown--the programme that remained after Victor's departure was not exactly inspiring.
The conductor Carl Schuricht, with whom I had worked some years earlier in Paris, was by now in his dotage and had eleven attempts at the first movement of Schubert's Unfinished Symphony, all of them in a different tempo. The orchestra was understanbly bored, and its committee complained to me; it then proceeded to complain about me in cables to both Zurich and London, on the grounds that it was somehow my fault for not having sufficient control over the conductor. But somehow the Unfinished was eventually finished, and we proceeded to record some exceptionally dull arias with Lisa della Casa. Finally Inge Borkh recorded the final scene from Salome with Josef Krips -- a most unsuitable choice--conducting.

Excerpt from John Culshaw's autobiography "Putting the Record Straight" Viking Press (1982).

GO BACK TO the Miscellaneous.