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).
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