The First Steps To Glory / Daniel Barenboim
Great artists are usually individuals solely dedicated to their artistic fulfillment throughout the course of their life; some of them even seem to live in another world. Daniel Barenboim, born in Buenos Aires in 1942, is the supreme example in our time of an exception to this rule. As pianist, conductor and opera director he is a cosmopolitan in music, but at the same time he is a humanist who sees himself as a politically aware contemporary citizen active above all in the search for solutions to religious and national problems. His parents were music teachers, moving first to Israel, then to Europe. Daniel Barenboim gave his first concert when he was seven, and was giving piano recitals in Vienna and Salzburg at the age of ten; he sought advice as a pianist from Edwin Fischer, and as a conductor from Igor Markevitch; his London concert debut of 1955 was conducted by Josef Krips. Six years later he was standing on the conductor’s rostrum himself. As successor to Georg Solti in 1975, he assumed the position- which he held till 1989- of Director of the Orchestre de Paris and in 1981, he celebrated the first of his many Bayreuth triumphs with his Tristan premiere. He took the Berlin Philharmonic on their first tour of Israel in 1990 and since 1992 he has been General Music Director of Berlin’s Staatsoper unter den Linden and its orchestra, the Staatskapelle. The recordings on the present album were made in 1959, at the beginning of a great career.