Life Remembered

Karl Bohm, Author, John Kehoe, Translator, Hans Weigel, Foreword by Marion Boyars Publishers $29.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-7145-2919-6
Bohm (1894-1981) was a celebrated conductor of classic German mold who had a solid but only occasionally spectacular career that spanned almost five decades. He was close to, and a splendid interpreter of, Richard Strauss, and the most intriguing pages in this pedestrian account of his life (published in Germany some 20 years ago) are his reminiscences of that master. Mozart, Bruckner and Berg were the author's other specialties, though he has nothing particularly revealing to say about them. Bohm came under shadow at the end of WW II for having continued to conduct in Nazi Germany, and although he seems never to have joined the party, it was disingenuous of him to assume he could instantly resume his life as if nothing had happened. As in the cases of Karajan, Furtwangler and others, the Nazis made much of the great music that continued to be created by men who failed to dissociate themselves from official life under the regime. Bohm has very little of interest to say about musical life in wartime--and indeed his memoir suggests, even more than most such, that musicians are not of great interest outside their specialty. Photos not seen by PW . (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
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