Arthur Bloomfield’s Blazing Batons: Looking In On Robert Heger 1886-1978

A famous recording I grew up with in the 40s was the 1933 abridged Der Rosenkavalier with that manic maestro Otto Klemperer’s onetime girlfriend Elisabeth Schumann, his maybe-almost-girlfriend Lotte Lehmann and the apparently unpursued Maria Olczewska, all under the baton of Robert Heger, not exactly a household name in the annals of conducting and one … Read more

Arthur Bloomfield’s Blazing Batons: Visiting the Great Berlin Maestro Leo Blech (1871-1958)

A proper headline for this essay, and a banner one too, should proclaim: LEO BLECH GREAT VERDI CONDUCTOR. One rather expects a German with excellent Berlin credentials — and a crisp little name, by the way, that means “tin,” but Blech had no tin ear — to be the genius he was with Wagner. But the grace, drama … Read more

New from Arthur Bloomfield’s Time Machine: Visiting the Oldtime Conductor Lorenzo Molajoli

Perhaps you readers have heard the term “house conductor.” This translates as a musician who works or worked more or less exclusively in radio or recordings, and likely had administrative duties as well, such as the now-forgotten Piero Coppola who ran the artistic side of French HMV in the Thirties besides presiding over many recordings and good … Read more

From Arthur Bloomfield’s Time Machine: Conductors Vittorio Gui and Franco Ghione

Here is the sixth in Arthur Bloomfield’s occasional series of Time Machine trips into the world of opera three or four generations ago, focusing on the conductors’ art. [Conductor Vittorio Gui; resized image of a historical photograph.] VITTORIO GUI (1885-1975) It’s not my habit to lunch with countesses, but some years ago thanks to the … Read more