15 July 2010

Sir Charles Mackerras

Obituaries and appreciations of Sir Charles Mackerras, who died yesterday in London at the age of 84.

The story from The Sydney Morning Herald

A lovely tribute by Rupert Christiansen in the The Telegraph. A quote:
For many years, his heads-down, no-nonsense work ethic left him underrated, or certainly little known to the wider public. Perhaps he didn't care much: he had no taste for worldly glamour or gossipy press coverage, and he was always totally focused on working to the best of his abilities. But it was a source of some quiet satisfaction to him that in his last decade, he was awarded membership of the Companion of Honour and the Royal Philharmonic Society's Gold Medal. For unstinting, unselfish services to music, he richly deserved them.
An obituary by Matthew Weaver at the Guardian. A quote (from a Guardian interview in 2005):
[Mackerras] likened conducting an orchestra to hypnotism which he used to give up smoking. "A great deal of the conductor's art is, as it were, hypnotising them by your very presence, emanating what you feel about the music... I've never understood quite how it's done."
A story at Classic FM, with various helpful links, including this video interview with Mackerras this past October.


And two posts by Norman Lebrecht at his ArtsJournal blog, Slipped Disc:
"He achieved beyond the dreams of great conductors"

"More tributes to Charles Mackerras"

Fittingly, his last appearance as a conductor was a performance of Così fan tutte at Glyndebourne a few weeks ago.

Oddly enough, Mackerras (an Australian) was born in Schenectady.
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