.” The record producer John McClure had complained about Bernstein’s slow tempos, particularly in the opera’s prelude. Bernstein reported indignantly: “John said, ‘We’re dying in here!’” referring to the sound engineers in their studio booth, waiting for the prelude to finally end. At the end of the session, Bernstein said that he saw a figure that hurtled down the aisle and embraced him. It was the old Austrian conductor Karl Böhm, who, despite having been a fervent Nazi during World War II — conducting official concerts to celebrate Hitler’s birthday and Nazi military organizations — became a friend of Bernstein’s later in life. Bernstein recalled that he could smell Böhm’s “fetid breath” as he exclaimed, “At last someone has dared to conduct ‘Tristan’ the way it should be heard.”
If Böhm and Bernstein seemed unlikely chums, they are only one example of sometimes unexpected alliances — including the friend whom Bernstein called “Herbert,” another notorious Austrian Nazi conductor, Herbert von Karajan. These could baffle some onlookers. The American Jewish composer Marc Blitzstein wrote to Bernstein angrily, asking how Bernstein could work and socialize with the choreographer Jerome Robbins after the latter had betrayed friends by denouncing them to the House Un-American Activities Committee to save his own career. Bernstein apparently felt that his friend’s talent excused vile behavior, or that by forgiving others, he himself might be more easily forgiven for his own trespasses.
Read more: http://forward.com/culture/187578/my-di ... bernstein/
http://forward.com/culture/187578/my-di ... bernstein/
These little bits of information I sometimes find more interesting than info already known.