Next month marks the centennial of the birth of one of the world's all-time great conductors: Georg Solti. To mark the occasion the Brit daily The Guardian ran a fine (if a bit overstated in places) 5000-word tribute by writer Ed Vulliamy titled "Georg Solti: The Making Of A Musical Colossus" (can you imagine our National Newspaper Of Record — or any major American daily, for that matter — devoting that many column-inches to such a subject in their regular pages?).
Next month marks the centenary of the birth of the conductor, musician, visionary, jester, husband and father who bore witness to, and embodies, his time, the core of the 20th century, and whose genius — a word too liberally used nowadays — not only towered over the music-making of his lifetime but radically changed it in ways that are only now becoming clear. [...] [H]e made music of magic and quality, entwining power and clarity, that no other interpreter of his time — not even Karajan, Jansons, Ancerl, Böhm or Bernstein, in what is rightly considered music's golden age — could match. In the studio, Solti revolutionised the science and art of recorded music so as to democratise it at the highest — still unsurpassed — level of atmosphere and sound quality. And in concert, Solti is the only name one can speak in the same breath as those that dominated the generation that preceded him — astride both the second world war and the iron curtain — Evgeny Mravinsky in Leningrad and Wilhelm Furtwängler in Berlin. Solti was the true heir to their legacy on record, and their way of electrifying live performance through blending restless and rigorous perfectionism with explosive spontaneity.Read the full text here.