Otmar Suitner With Alfred Brendel And The Boston Symphony Play…

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Otmar Suitner — the last surviving example of Germany‘s “Kappelmeister’ tradition.


Boston Symphony — Otmar Suitner, Guest Cond. — Alfred Brendel, Piano — Aug. 17, 1982 — Part 1 — Gordon Skene Sound Collection


Boston Symphony — Otmar Suitner, Guest Cond. — Alfred Brendel, Piano — Aug. 17, 1982 — Part 2 — Gordon Skene Sound Collection

Another historic concert this week. This time it’s the Boston Symphony at Tanglewood in 1982 with guest conductor, the East German Otmar Suitner leading the orchestra in music of Brahms, Mozart and Wagner. Joining him is the celebrated Austrian pianist Alfred Brendel in a performance of the Piano Concerto Number 20 k. 466 by Mozart.

In the first half, Suitner leads the orchestra in a performance of the Brahms Serenade Number 1 in D, and concludes the concert with music of Wagner. His Overture to Tannhaüser.

Otmar Suitner was a celebrated conductor whose career was almost entirely based in East Germany. He was the last of what was known as a conductor in the “Kappelmeister’ tradition, which meant he made a slow and methodical climb to the Professional podium, rather than by lightning bolt transformation, a tradition which is more favored now apparently — and the slow-but-sure method has been all but abandoned. After a career which began in 1942, conducting regional orchestras and opera companies, Suitner made his debut with the Stattskapelle Dresden in 1960, where he stayed with the orchestra until 1964 when he became Generalmusikdirektor of the Staaatsoper in East Berlin. A position he held until 1990 when the end of a divided Germany meant Suitner could take up positions just about anywhere in the world.

Alfed Brendel is a pianist, but also a Poet and Author. He is known for his stellar performances of the music of Shoenberg, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert. Brendel has retired from the concert stage since 2008, but still records and has a massive catalog of highly praised recordings currently available.

A historic concert that is without challenges. Recoded at Tanglewood and broadcast on August 17, 1982 — very easy to take and does the trick nicely for Anti-Road Rage Wednesday.


Alferd Brendel — plays Mozart this week. And the world is a better place for it.

Originally published at pastdaily.com on June 22, 2017.