The Art-Music Forum

About music in general => Performance and technique => Topic started by: Dundonnell on February 28, 2019, 07:12:58 pm

Title: Andre Previn (1929-2019)
Post by: Dundonnell on February 28, 2019, 07:12:58 pm
At his best-in the 1970s- Andre Previn was quite simply absolutely inspired as a conductor. His performances of the Vaughan Williams symphonies and of the music of Sir William Walton were not only totally idiomatic, they set benchmarks which very few conductors have reached in the years since. This performance of Walton's Symphony No.1 is quite superb and is testimony to a conductor who will be very sadly missed. (

Title: Re: Andre Previn (1929-2019)
Post by: jimfin on March 01, 2019, 08:00:07 am
I agree with you both. He made the VW Pastoral come alive for me in a  way no one else seemed to before: I never felt Boult quite managed that work, despite his wonderful recordings of the other symphonies.

Title: Re: Andre Previn (1929-2019)
Post by: the Administration on March 01, 2019, 01:26:04 pm
Yes, Toby it was against our "rules" to post the link to Andre Previn's recording of the RVW Pastoral Symphony. It is still available on cd and we would encourage those interested to purchase the cd. It is-as you correctly say-a marvellous performance of an under-rated work. (

Title: Re: Andre Previn (1929-2019)
Post by: Dundonnell on March 01, 2019, 02:20:50 pm
I suppose that we also have to acknowledge the reality that Previn was probably "too talented" or at least too multi-faceted as film composer, jazz performer, composer as well as conductor and that, unlike, almost all of the great conductors, he did not "get better" as he got older.His work after the LSO decade, with the Pittsburgh SO, Los Angeles PO, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Oslo PO, did not reach the same heights as his earlier work. It is as if he peaked too young (if 40s and 50s are counted as "young"...which for the great conductors they probably are!). Outside the romantic repertoire he was not exceptional. BUT in his "great years" and in the repertoire he loved he WAS a superb conductor and a great communicator.

Title: Re: Andre Previn (1929-2019)
Post by: Gauk on March 03, 2019, 09:04:15 pm
I remember hearing him say that his ambition was to hear every piece of music that was ever composed, and thinking that it was a shame he didn't make it more possible by conducting more non-standard repertoire. Then again, I do recall him conducting the LSO in the first movement of Raff 5.

Title: Re: Andre Previn (1929-2019)
Post by: the Administration on April 13, 2019, 01:03:03 am
From dhibbard: (

The conductor, composer and pianist André Previn, who has died aged 89, was not only among the most charismatic performers of his day, but also enjoyed one of the greatest classical-music lives since Berlioz and Liszt – and one that did not grow less eventful with old age. His pedigree was unique: no other Oscar-winning conductor-composer from the Hollywood film studios became equally successful in the strictly classical world of the London Symphony Orchestra – which Previn headed from 1968 to 1979 – while also maintaining a side career as a jazz pianist.

As a composer, his successes were singular in their range: from film scores such as that for the Oscar-nominated Elmer Gantry (1960) to stage musicals for the West End (The Good Companions, 1974) and Broadway (Coco, 1970) that were also hits. Later, he returned to composing after a dormant decade with a succession of song cycles, concertos and two major operas, A Streetcar Named Desire (1998) and Brief Encounter (2009), often in a style reaching back to his pre-second world war training in his native Berlin.

His adult years were divided between the east and west coasts of the US, as well as the UK, where he enjoyed particular celebrity status and received an honorary knighthood in 1996. “Those of you who think that being a conductor is a succession of limousines and mistresses – it isn’t. It’s being some place not long enough to have your laundry done and having to work it out,” Previn said in the Tony Palmer documentary film The Kindness of Strangers (1998). He often headed two orchestras simultaneously in separate continents, but whatever country he was in, he was a highly visible, celebrated presence, often hailed as the new guard of classical music – his humour, accessibility and articulate observational sense demystified his profession – even though his manner of music-making was mainstream, even conservative. Though critics considered Previn a middleweight talent during his London Symphony Orchestra years, his broadcast-friendly qualities expanded the orchestra’s audience through the TV show André Previn’s Music Night (1971-72), and, more indirectly, through the comic alter ego Andrew Preview he created with Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise. In the US, he brought the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra to unprecedented national attention during his 1976-84 tenure thanks to the TV series Previn and the Pittsburgh (1977-80).

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