Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sir Colin Davis

From the LSO home page

Sir Colin Davis has died at 85. He had been in poor health for some time and I believe was hit particularly hard by the loss of his wife a few years ago.

He was a major figure in the Berlioz revival of the last 40 or 50 years. I assume he recorded all of Berlioz's orchestral and operatic works at least once; he is certainly among the go-to conductors for Berlioz. I also have him in Sibelius and a most graceful and charming recording of most or all of Mendelssohn's incidental music to A Midsummer Night's Dream.

My favorite story about Davis is that, as a wind player in the early 1950s, he was denied entrance to a conducting degree program because he wasn't a pianist. Given where he went as a conductor, the joke is on the degree program and that requirement.

He was a towering figure in British musical life, and will be greatly missed.


CruzSF said...

I'm listening to his recording of Mozart's Requiem right now (with singers Anna St├ęphany, Marie Arnet, Andrew Kennedy, Darren Jeffrey). I'm also a fan of his Harold en Italie, and his set of Haydn London symphonies.

I knew he'd been ill but had no idea it was so serious. May he rest in peace.

Russell said...

Agree on his greatness in Sibelius, and don't forget his championing of Michael Tippet as well.