Le Figaro
June 17, 1965

by Clarendon
Translated by Dr. Gaël Rouillé.

(Thanks to Mrs. Martha Schuricht)

Whether it is magic or not, the stick is a pledge of longevity : conductors are numerous who are more than eighty years old and who show a dumbfounding youth at the music-stand. That one suffers from arthrosis, moves with difficulty, leaning on two canes - but he becomes stronger on the podium and conducts the whole of a symphony by Beethoven, standing, neglecting he is eighty five years old. From the very first beats we meet again the Schuricht we knew in the past : he has not changed.

That means that the style inherent to works by Beethoven is scrupulously respected - especially the tension-release principle. No languidness in the calm episodes (on the contrary, he increases the beat in the andante of the 1st Symphony and it is perfect that way), no hurry in the fast movements. One has observed many times that conductors make the music played with excess of either speed or slowness as they get old. Thanks to heaven, Schuricht's tempi are intact - like his passion for music. If you had seen him polishing up the introduction at the 1st Symphony final, bent over the first violins, scrupulously dosing silences in the countdown, calculating with the minuteness of a space physicist the accelerando that communicates to the piece the speed that makes it turn, as a rondo, like it is in an orbit, and that makes its warbling refrain heard at every passage ! The charming old man sparkles like one of those bundles of dry wood full of accumulated sap when it is put into the fire. After that he tells you in his dressing-room during an interval : " I begin to understand what orchestra direction is... "

Such is the admission by any great man continuously enriched by an experience that disappoints so many others.

Splendid Nineth, in which the Orchestre National and René Alix's chorus give their best, what means a lot ! Two soloists - Agnès Giebel, Eduard Wollits - make themselves particularly appreciated. And in order to follow Schiller's advice : " embrace each other, millions of humans ! ", Carl Schuricht goes to give a fraternal hug to the soloists of his phalanx. It is little to say that he is acclaimed.

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