Tuesday, January 28, 1964

by Percy Cater
(Thanks to Mrs. Martha Schuricht)

CARL SCHURICHT, 83 with a big stick to help his walking and a little stick to command, with almost incredible ease, a mighty platform force, directed last night one of the most exciting performances of Beethoven's Choral Symphony that I have heard.
He needed no score, he showed the impressive results obtainable with the most econimised effort - such as a twitch of the fingers, a shrug or a jerk of the elbows - and an always decisive beat.
I do not remember a more tremendous finale of the great work. The rows and rows of the Bach Choir sang Schiller's Ode as though they were prepared to make a life mission of universal brotherhood.
The principals, Heather Harper, Helen Watts, William McAlpine and David Ward, sang with a fervour matching that of their associates.
The LONDON Symphony Orchestra, which I believe to be hardly rivalled today, having given us the weighty drama, the lyricism, the solemn majesty and the athleticism of the marvellous score, whole-heartedly joined the singers' enthusiasm in the finale.
And at the close the applause from orchestra, singers and audience battered around the trim and bird-like Schuricht.
Before the Beethoven - also without a score - he had given us Mozart's Haffner Symphony, all lissomeness, grace, luminous textures, pretty purposefulness, sweetness and serious charm.

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