German literary critics term the works of Bertolt Brecht and some others as “Denkspiele” (thought-provoking pieces). I relate the term to Stanislaw Scrowaczewski who recently conducted the Utah Symphony in SLC. It was he who years ago “opened” Abravanel Hall when that maestro was ill. Deep “denken” is engendered as we experience the genius conductor (now 87)
guiding the symphony through his unique interpretions of a piece.
I am always very carefull about the words “brilliant” and “genius.” However, both doubtlessly apply to Maestro SCROWACZEWSKI.
The SLC Tribune review captured the essence: “Walking onstage he may look like a frail ,elderly gentleman, but looks are deceiving. Once Skrowaczewski steps onto the podium he ignites the orchestra with his passion. With age his conducting has become less vigorous and bold, but with his minimal gestures he nevertheless imparts to the orchestra that fiery passion he has for the music. He shows the musicians and audience that one doesn’t need to have choreographed moves on the podium when one has the kind of deep understanding for the music that Skrowaczewski certainly has. And with an orchestra of talented players at his fingertips, the result of this collaboration is magical.”
Yes, I completely agree, magical, spiritual, one of those superior individuals who are in touch with something higher than most of us who do not experience this breakthrough to perhaps “nirvana” which the maestro himself often refers to. He, I thought, emphasized this higher state in his speech prior to the concert.
He experiences a spiritiual state while he “gets into” the music which he must see in his mind, for indeed there is no score. In fact he wants, he says, to be free of a score. So, I believe he achieves relief or freedom from “earthly worry” and his accursed eye problems, deep concern about his wife and all the rest. In his state of “musical nirvana”he is able to sublimate to the extent that he becomes obliviousness to pain, worry and the external world…only the music preoccupies…It must be perfect.
Then, back on earth, he lunches with friends and tells all his problems. The music is his savior. It returns to him all the years he has devoted to it. Is this corny?
I have to believe the above in order to try to understand how he deals with and indeed continues to live such a demanding life rife with personal and health worries. He said to me: “Ich bin jetzt so
alt.” He is indeed old! But…he never quits composing, conducting…never! He is most cognizant of the importantance of giving all, of sharing in the few years left to him.