Hans Swarowsky - The Conductor
Vienna Academie Chamber Choir; Mrazek, Eduard; Orchester der Wiener Staatsoper; Gitlis, Ivry; WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln; Tschechische Philharmonie; Klopsch, Erwin; Jaray, Hans; Cervená, Sona; Frugoni, Orazio; Wiener Symphoniker; Senden, Heinrich von; Berlin State and Cathedral Choir; Jelden, Georg; RIAS Chamber Chorus, female section; Swarowsky, Hans; Orchester Wiener Akademie; Gulda, Friedrich; Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin
“The composer interprets himself, and don´t you do anything to help him!” Swarowsky began his conducting career at the Stuttgart Opera in 1927, this after a short period as a répétiteur at the Vienna Volksoper. He then moved on to Hamburg and succeeded Erich Kleiber in Berlin. He was placed under a conducting ban in Germany in 1936 (his father's side of the family was of Jewish background) but was able to continue his career in Zurich for a few years. During World War II he had to limit his work to opera assignments for the Bavarian State Opera and the Salzburg Festival. He was the director of the Polish Philharmonic in Cracow for a short time in 1944 and became the principal conductor of the Vienna Symphony after the war. He also served as the director of the Graz Opera until 1950 and as the conductor of the Scottish National Orchestra from 1957 to 1959. Herbert von Karajan then appointed him to a permanent conducting post at the Vienna State Opera. Swarowsky had taught a conducting class at the Vienna Music Academy since 1946 and left a mark on a good many younger musicians, among them conducting stars such as Claudio Abbado and Zubin Mehta. During his lifetime Swarowsky was even more famous as a teacher than as a conductor, and there is something to the claim that he was the most coveted and most influential conducting teacher of the century. His unconventional conducting style was ahead of its time and represented a radical questioning of the then dominant late-romantic performance practice. Swarowsky´s holistic understanding of art viewed music as part of a larger cultural whole and is reflected in his sayings and teachings.