excerpt from 'In Pursuit of Music' pp. 122 (161 words)

excerpt from 'In Pursuit of Music' pp. 122 (161 words)

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In Pursuit of Music

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[Maurice] Miles’s successor in Leeds was Nicolai Malko, who conducted Tchaikowsky’s Fourth Symphony as a noble, dignified masterpiece instead of the hysterical travesty it can so easily become.  But Malko’s hold on the orchestra was so strong that it once led to an extraordinary incident.  We were playing the first Beethoven concerto and during a purely orchestral passage in the slow movement he made a sudden gesture of panic as though he had lost his place in the score.  The entire orchestra stopped dead to a man, with the violinists’ bows frozen on to the strings, until the first clarinet broke the agonised silence by continuing with his solo, leading the others gradually back.  This incident, which happened at the actual concert, is unparalleled in my experience.  Malko was a marvellous musician: in fact it is rather to his credit as a conductor that a human lapse should actually succeed in silencing an orchestra!    

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excerpt from 'In Pursuit of Music' pp. 122 (161 words)


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