by Percy Cater
Tuesday, January 28, 1964
(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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