Mezzo-Soprano: Oralia Dominguez
Tenor: Anton Dermota
Bass-Baritone: Mario Petri
Choir: Coro di Torino della RAI
Orchestra: Orchestra Sinfonica di Torino della RAI
Conductor: Lorin Maazel
Date: January, 1956
Venue: Cologne, Germany
Cat No.: ARPCD 0505
Released: September 1, 2010
For most of us in music, technique, whether with the baton, the voice, an instrument, or the composer’s pencil, is something we strive and strain to acquire, hoping that we’ll gain enough of it to give wings to whatever artistic insights we can muster. For Maazel, a child-prodigy conductor, it was just the opposite: musical matters were so easy for him—so were business negotiations; he had no agent—that he could readily become bored, fussing with the music when he should have been shaping it lovingly and giving it life….a performance of Mahler’s First Symphony that I heard during his tenure was…garish and shallow: he made the work sound like the most accomplished youth-orchestra piece ever penned.
For the greatest conductors – masters like Bernstein, Tennstedt, Monteux, Levine – technique is a bridge to greatness, to the special place where perfection of spirit and execution combine, not just an end in itself. Maazel’s visits to that realm were rare but memorable, and with his passing only a handful of the big maestros of the postwar era—principally Riccardo Muti, Zubin Mehta, Bernard Haitink, and Christoph von Dohnányi, in addition to the great Russian survivor Gennadi Rozhdestvensky…remain. Such men have not always lived up to their larger-than-life reputations, of course. But, more than any of them except Herbert von Karajan, Maazel made his way in the music business by his own rules, which made colleagues and critics uniquely unsympathetic to those instances when his performances failed to live up to the legend.
— Russell Platt, The New Yorker [July 14, 2014]