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

Dropping In On The Adler Years At The San Francisco Opera With Historian Arthur Bloomfield – The 1980 Season . . .  

A few articles back I was trumpeting the good marksmanship of SFO boss Kurt Herbert Adler in hiring strong, interesting conductors. Surely none of his finds was better than Niksa Bareza, a Croatian with excellent credentials (Scala, Bolshoi, Vienna etc.) who studied with the great Hermann Scherchen, pillar of Westminster Records’ wonderful catalog in the … Read more