64 Friday, July 10, 1981
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
Dorati's 'Notes of Seven Decades' Reveals Strong Israel Ties
"After this 'shameful wards, still in 1960. There- in fact, over the entire coun- over the globe in the act of in which he was very active,
Detroit Symphony Or-
and then in his own be-
chestra conductor Antal failure' of the 'otherwise so after I came back every sea- try, and the arriving guest self-preservation, and their loved project, the Palestine
Dorati has many musical
Orchestra, to which he de-
professional skills. He is been aired in next morn- and conducted it on several Israel is green; where the guished.
"They continued living in voted all his colossal
yellow of the sand starts,
composer, pianist and ing's papers, we quickly tours.
"After 1970 my visits be- the neighboring Arab coun- the 'deep freeze' of their dis- energy.
philosopher, as well as con- asked for thelocal version of
"He succeeded bril-
ductor. To these he now the anthem — and suc- came somewhat less fre- tries begin. The degree to persion, but could not live
and the first con-
adds the appellation of
writer. it is ,.,.:inphasized in audiences with it from the
"To make music with the little known and ap- grow old, until they re- under the direction of Ar-
his autobiography, "Notes second night onwards."
This is a minor inci- IPO is not a smooth process. preciated as it is extraordi- sumed their former life and turo Toscanini, no less,
of Seven Decades" (Wayne
began to breathe again. was an event noted all
dent, in his numerous The orchestra is moody and nary.
State University Press).
"And vice versa; the soil This new life that they over the world.
Born in Budapest before comments in which he its manners are poor (as are
"The orchestra has been
World War I, he worked commends Jewish musi- those of the Israeli public has conquered its con- achieved 30 years ago will
with and met the eminent cians and the Israel Sym- which, apart from bril- querors too, much more carry them back, as a race most active ever since. It
musicians of all continents. phony Orchestra. He is liantly fulfilling the public's than in any of the new coun- and nation, to the natural, has toured practically
Before his four-year term also critical of man- first and foremost duty of tries. But then, Israel — as I normal, ineluctable, de- everywhere (except possibly
as conductor of the Detroit nerisms as well as the being present, contributes said — is not exactly a new stiny of all nations, all cul- in Africa), and has made
mark throughout the worlu.
Symphony Orchestra, boycott of the music of precious little to the lustre country, it's a renewed one. tures, all people.
"I was fascinated to ob-
Dorati had major roles in Wagner and Strauss, and atmosphere of a musi-
"Or so we hope — be-
"It is of almost top qual-
serve the change in the new
whose anti-Semitism is a cal event).
cause another untimely ity, and will, as far as can be
His autobiography is matter of major concern
Diaspora could have no foreseen, stay so perma-
replete with interesting in musical circles. IPO than of most orches- ras (those who were born
better result than a new nently, by reason of its
episodes, recollections of Dorati's defense of tras, because I know
span of frozen eternity, inherent human make-up.
associations with the Strauss will surely meet their well-nigh unlimited
and probably worse.
"If we are ready to accept
leading musicians in with resentment in Israel,
"What I have tried to de- the idea that the Jews are
many lands. His life story
scribe here is known in the salt-and-pepper of hu-
the music of the two who biblical display of human
is replete with humor.
which echoes it in manity, we also have to con-
Autobiographically re- are treated as anti- shortcomings. -
many tales; in that of the cede that any food that con-
corded, Dorati has much to
`Flying Dutchman,' and sists of salt and pepper only
say about his many appear- cheers for Dorati. Here is minded, much the same sort
is hot stuff indeed.
ances at concerts with lead- the view he expresses on of thing occurs, and the
"The Jews are a people of
"When I joined the BBC
ing orchestras in many the subject:
great musical affinity and
"The two Richards, ous though alarming reg-
countries, including Israel.
talent, though because of
1964, I was called into a
He relates, for example, Wagner and Strauss, are ularity, by Jehovah's wrath
about his first concert in Is- not performed in Israel. No being aroused, the lazy cho-
the soil their creative abil- directorial meeting
asked to say what I
rae . directing the London law decrees this; they are sen people being punished;
Symphony when there was simply not played, and any catastrophe; repentence;
fully (and less fully) than thought would be needed •
a problem about playing the attempt to do so would cer- foregiveness; and so on, da
their performing genius. to make that fine or-
tainly provoke open hositil- capo, ad infinitum. And this
Jewish musicians- of high chestra even finer.
is the remarkable part of
"International tours of ity in some circles.
"My answer was: 'A dozen
"There was and is much the story: through all of that
symphony orchestras are
often official good-will ges- controversy about the issue. the chosen people remain, of the cactus flower) and large and small, which has
"If I were to be asked the
tures, and in such cases it is It is pointed out that
"The severity I have in there young enough to come any Jewish community at same question by the Israel
an accepted custom that the Wagner's anti-Semitism
all, has a core of a music- Philharmonic, my reply
visiting body performs the was theoretical rather than my heart towards the Israel under the spell of the earth loving and understanding would be: 'About two dozen
two anthems, first the one of practical and had no con-
"Their sudden iden- public.
the host country, then that nection with the Hitler re- and pride. I wish I could pro-
"The Israel Philharmonic
of the visitor.
"The effect of this proce- an anti-Semite at all and momentary failings as I beautiful to see. They are one special reason for the Orchestra is a remarkable
dure is not always the same. that his co-operation with would if they were my next a different race, erect and love of music. Almost organization, for its strong
"The London Sym- the Nazi government, of kin; and I dream of the primitive in spite of their everyone there has come and weak points, equally. It
phony's visit to Israel though certainly contemp- splendor of this small exaggeratedly high IQs from somewhere else, of his is well known that no sym-
under my direction was tible, did not in itself hurt group of people to shine and cultural heritage. As own will or driven. The old phony orchestra can exist
the first time that an or- anybody (as neither did forth like a beacon of com- their ancestors were dri- countries are not easily for- without large subsidies,
chestra from Great Brit- Strauss himself), and that, plete achievement in the ven away from the soil , gotten, the memory of them from whatever sources they
and so to speak banished lingers for generations. But come. The only one which
ain had appeared there, furthermore, if such taboos newly-born Israel . . .
"My Israel experience into the intellectual everything that kindles can maintain itself almost
and the event was not are to be set up, they should
be extended to include more was and is — for our contact spheres of life elsewhere, that memory is, for many without outside help is the
"Naturally, we had the than those two composers. and friendship continue so a great many of the Jews, either painful or of- Israel Philharmonic. It vir-
two anthems in our lug- But the unwritten ban re- regularly — one of the most new Judeans came hur- fensive or both. With one tually lives by its sale of tic-
kets, which is unheard of
rying back to 'Mother exception — music.
gage, the Israeli anthem, mains.
"In 1960, when I first Earth' and walked it with
"Those who suffer most
the `Hatikva; having been
"Music can be recog- elsewhere.
rehearsed with special care. from it are the members of went there, the country `bare feet.'
nized and remembered
"Also unheard of is the
We had done more: we had the (Israel) Philharmonic had already passed its
without opening up old number of season-ticket
asked- one of the foremost
tory of the Jews? How could wounds — it carries no subscribers: some 36,000,
British music arrangers to would be very good to be being launched. This is a they have suffered as they memories of humiliation, and this in a country of a
make a new orchestration of able to include the difficult better word than did? How could their land affront or grief.
mere 2,500,000 (sic) in-
it for us. He did a most ac- works of those two masters 'founded,' for Israel was have been destroyed and
habitants. As a conse-
founded in biblical times,
complished job; in fact, his in their repertoire.
they themselves have been music as a natural fountain quence of this, every pro-
ambition made him over-
driven out, then to return of solace, the only pure re- gram has to be performed
shoot his target. Not only stop by itself. But until it Christ's time as Judea. Its and remake it after 2,000 lief they have. One would 12 times until each sub-
did he fashion sounds of does, as I have often told resuscitation, as initiated years?
have thought that as the scriber has heard it. But
most orgiastic splendor; he zealous Israeli music lov- by Herzl and his group
older generation died off, this routine is bad for the
also employed imitative ers, it is better not to and as carried out step by
step until 1946 (sic) when their lifespans, like this would change. But over performers, who have
new state of Israel dynasties, families or in- - the 17 years which is the difficulty in concentrat-
Thus, in our perform-
timespan of my own obser- ing on the same music
ance, the theme of the an- paeans of glory for Jewish came into being, was one dividuals. When a race or vation, it seems that the played so many times in a
them was repeated — in
new generation has inher- row.
itation — one bar- later. We ing at some length in his historic feats. Its final ily dies of 'old age.' It is ited to the full the love and
"So now a compromise
outcome is, alas, still in
liked this very much, and autobiography:
attachment to music of the has been reached. The main
proudly performed it — to
works in each progra
"What the new Israel has be absorbed by — or old.
the horror of our first-night rael with the London Sym-
"No wonder, then, that at
audience in Tel Aviv which phony Orchestra, I had al- done for its land can be seen rather first conquered, an early stage, the Israelis given 12 times, the
filled the large concert hall ready been invited to con- at a glance when approach- then absorbed by and set up their own symphony rounding numbers are
to the rafters. They thought duct the Israel Philhar- ing it by air. As the plane mixed into — a new, orchestra. It existed, in fact, changed after six perform-
that we were unable to play monic, which I did, for the begins to circle in descent fresh, potent race.
The many musical per-
"Thus the Persians were before the state of Israel it-
first time, shortly after- over Lod airport, it circles,
their anthem 'together.'
ripe to fall to the Greeks, the self. It was then called the sonalities Dorati collabo-
Greeks were ripe to become Palestine Philharmonic, rated with present interest-
part of the Roman Empire, and was founded by Bronis- ing aspects in the life of the
Rome was ripe to be con- lay Hubermann, the famous noted musician. His story is
informative and anecdotal.
quered by the Visigoths, Polish violinist.
and so on.
"He wag a fine, im- His critical views may not
"The Jews, I submit, were passioned artist, of an un- be fully accepted, yet they
not ripe either as a race or as ruly mind, who involved offer much to delight and
a nation, to be obliterated or himself deeply in such enlighten all with musical
absorbed when conquest idealistic schemes as the interests.
overtook them. They spread Pan-European Movement,