Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Eschenbach to replace FWM

Vienna would have gone with a safe pair of hands like Adam Fischer. This weekend was also a busy one for the agents of younger conductors. Instead Alexander Pereira has opted for the somewhat bolder choice of Christoph Eschenbach, a figure one usually thinks more of as an orchestral conductor but who is a great deal more interesting than Welser-Möst and, just as crucially, who knows how say open sesame to the Vienna Philharmonic. Pereira adds in his press release that Eschenbach and Bechtolf have been good friends for many years, also commenting that 'having heard outstandingly sensitive Mozart interpretations from Christoph Eschenbach throughout recent years, I am convinced that the cycle is in excellent hands.'

The news, released a few hours ago, has buried an APA interview FWM gave yesterday, in which he revealed he had no written contract for the Mozart cycle.

When there is a story about Thielemann and Salzburg, the Austrian press usually run the famous photo of him as a ruddy-faced youth playing the piano to Karajan. Esch can do one better than that:


  1. No wonder he goes for the Glatze these days. That is some truly tragic hair.

  2. A little-known Esch fact is that before turning to the piano he did a stint as the fifth Beatle.

  3. That's wonderful news. I had feared we'd be in for some dreadful Harnoncourtisms, or worse...

  4. I find Eschenbach even worse than Welser-Möst! I remember him from his years at the Orchestre de Paris, it was so boring... He seems to be more popular in America than in Europe, where I don't think he gets many invitations from major orchestras.
    (and Harnoncourt did a wonderful Magic Flute last year - Mozart for the 21st century by an 83yo conductor...)

  5. Quite how playing on copies of obsolete instruments can be considered Mozart for the 21st century is beyond me. Even if Harnoncourt had the slightest inkling of harmonic rhythm or indeed vaguely musical tempi... Eschenbach is a regular guest conductor for the London Philharmonic and many consider his concerts to be highlights of the orchestra's season; he certainly gave a remarkable Schumann Second Symphony last month. He is a wonderful pianist too.