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Great Conductors

Hans Richter Parsifal did not conduct,
and to the National Gallery he never paid
a visit, but he showed Franz Strauss who never sucked
just how the horn in Meistersinger should be played.

Franz Strauss refused to play a second time
for Hans von Bülow Meistersinger’s second act;
Hans begged his pardon when Franz told him: “I’m
retiring, since you for the hornist show no tact.”

There is an incident reported about the premiere of Die Meistersinger von Nuremberg. The first version: during a rehearsal Strauss complained about the terrible demanding horn part, but Hans Richter, Wagner's secretary & former first horn at the Viennese Kaerntnerthor Theatre (Beethoven's Sonata op.17 had been premiered there; forerunner theatre of the Imperial Opera House) , was present & asked Strauss to lend him his horn & played the passage from the endings of the second act flawless, but giving the horn back with the comment With your B-flat-horn you will have difficulties always; the F-horn sounds much better.
I do not believe this anecdote to be true. Even an already warmed up horn player of excellent qualities might have difficulties with the Pruegelszene How can a conducter to be (Richter became the first world famous conductor; he led the first Ring in Bayreuth 1876) , who had not played his horn for a while, play this passage flawless without any warm-up. A myth only! Richter used this complain about B-flat horn also, when he conducted in Bayreuth. He recommended the use of the single F horn always. No wonder. He came from Vienna.
The second incident happened after the end of the dress rehearsal of Mastersingers. Hans von Bülow wanted to repeat the ending of the 2nd Act again, but Strauss refused to do so, telling von Bülow that he could not do it again, as being exhausted already. If you cant do it again, so you must better ask for retirement! , replied von Buelow to Strauss. But Strauss left the pit and asked the opera's administration for immediate retirement. So Hans von Bülow had to come to Strauss house at the Pschorr Estate, ask for pardon, which was granted, - so the premiere of Mastersingers was saved.
There is an incident reported about the premiere of Die Meistersinger von Nuremberg. The first version: during a rehearsal Strauss complained about the terrible demanding horn part, but Hans Richter, Wagner's secretary & former first horn at the Viennese Kaerntnerthor Theatre (Beethoven's Sonata op.17 had been premiered there; forerunner theatre of the Imperial Opera House) , was present & asked Strauss to lend him his horn & played the passage from the endings of the second act flawless, but giving the horn back with the comment With your B-flat-horn you will have difficulties always; the F-horn sounds much better.
I do not believe this anecdote to be true. Even an already warmed up horn player of excellent qualities might have difficulties with the Pruegelszene. How can a conductor to be (Richter became the first world famous conductor; he led the first Ring in Bayreuth 1876) , who had not played his horn for a while, play this passage flawless without any warm-up. A myth only! Richter used this complain about B-flat horn also, when he conducted in Bayreuth. He recommended the use of the single F horn always. No wonder. He came from Vienna.
The second incident happened after the end of the dress rehearsal of Mastersinger. Hans von Bülow wanted to repeat the ending of the 2nd Act again, but Strauss refused to do so, telling von Bülow that he could not do it again, as being exhausted already. If you can’t do it again you had better ask for retiremen! replied von Bülow to Strauss. But Strauss left the pit and asked the opera's administration for immediate retirement. So Hans von Bülow had to come to Strauss house at the Pschorr Estate, ask for pardon, which was granted, - so the premiere of Mastersingers was saved.


8/25/08

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