Post by Praetorius
Some of his more illustrious pupils: Claudio Abbado, Jesús López-Cobos,
Adam and Iván Fischer, Mariss Jansons, Zubin Mehta, Giuseppe Sinopoli
and Bruno Weil. Hans Swarowsky (Budapest 1899 -1975 Salzburg) was
an excellent teacher. There is the Hans Swarowsky International
Conductors Competition, held in Vienna, and there is/was an Orchestra
Sinfonica "Hans Swarowsky" founded in 1989 (see
http://www.orchestraswarowsky.com/). Swarowsky studied theory with
both Schoenberg and Webern in Vienna (and conducting with Strauss
But, his recorded legacy (with a few exceptions) does not appear to reflect
a great conductor. Or was he just the victim of bad orchestras, lack of
rehearsal time [e.g. the Saint-Saëns 3rd with the "Vienna Philharmusica"/
Vienna State Opera Orchestra] and/or just bad luck?
As I 've indicated before, among the exceptions IMO are his recordings of
Schoenberg's Pelleas und Melisande coupled with Webern's Passacaglia
for Orchestra, with the Czech Philharmonic (rec. June 5-7, 1973) --
on Supraphon "Crystal Collection" CD 11 0663-2 (which includes the
Richard Baker/Neumann/CzPh Chorus/CzPO Schoenberg "A Survivor
Again, thanks to you. I didn't know all those names although of course
I knew he had a great reputation as a teacher.
In fairness to him, no one (in my opinion) could have rescued the
chaotic situation and overall I think he did a pretty good job. I
think some of that Ring cycle does have a musical personality but the
odds were just stacked against it. Nadezda Kniplova was a very
experienced singer whom I had worked with before.
I think you are possibly right about his recording "ventures". I think
he rarely got proper rehearsal time so on those recordings where he
does achieve something are probably greatly to his credit.
In the early days of budget LPs he turned up on all sorts of things
(although often not him, apparently) with orchestras with spurious
names - this was the "cash on the door" era: sometimes a recording with
no rehearsal at all. Just straight into it. The people behind these
pirates took the mickey: I remember one LP which I acquired in a job
lot of 50 recordings for £5 (I was about 15 and am now 64) where the
conductor was stated to be Wilhelm Haveaguess.
I also agree about the Pelleas recording. I have the Supraphon
recording (another victim of the cull, I think) and that is a good
performance. He would have had adequate rehearsal time for that.
Some of the orchestra had encountered Mr Swarowsky before but not that
many. Eventually we "got" him but a "strange" conductor and very
little rehearsal is not usually a good combination especially when
mixed with Wagner.
Alan M. Watkins