This man was for 35 years the Principal Conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra (1954-89), during which time he became arguably the most famous - and certainly most highly-paid - conductor in the world. He was criticised by many for his membership of the Nazi Party in Germany during the 1930s, although whether this was primarily a result of his ruthless determination to advance his career, or whether he was a genuine sympathiser with Nazism, is still a matter for debate.
1）Wilhelm Furtwangler 2）Herbert von Karajan 3）Clemens Krauss 4 Felix Weingartner
1）威廉·富特文格勒 2）赫伯特·冯·卡拉扬 3）克莱门斯克劳斯 4费利克斯·魏因加特纳
Please choose the correct answer, and write in the box below.
The following question from "The Guardian" already with an unhappy answer, please just read and think about it. Thanks.
Why so many orchestra players are quitting the business？
The money's terrible, the stress is awful and the music is plain boring. No wonder so many of Britain's orchestra players are choosing to hang up their bows.
- Anna Price Answered.
Pit of despair 絕望的深淵
Morris Stemp used to play second violin with the Halle, Britain's longest established symphony orchestra. "When you hear an orchestra, imagine being inside that sound," he says. "How hot is the surface of the sun? Very hot. But the middle of the sun is hotter." He likens the buzz of live performance to a drug. "It feeds the soul," he says.
Stemp left the orchestra last year. He may have loved the heat of performing live, but he didn't like the lack of prospects for promotion and the anti-social hours. Or the pay, of course. After 15 years at the top of his profession, four years at music college and a lifetime of playing the violin, his salary was £25,000. And there was little chance of it improving much (although he is at pains to stress that orchestras such as the Halle do strive hard on their members' behalf; it's just that their hands are tied by the level of income they receive).
Stories such as Stemp's are far from rare. A recent survey of orchestral members carried out by the Musicians' Union made for unhappy reading. Work undertaken by orchestra players to supplement their pay packets includes aromatherapy, odd-jobbing, taxi-driving, childcare and cleaning. These are highly trained professionals at the very top of their field. When was the last time your solicitor popped over to scrub the kitchen floor?
Meanwhile, the problems of stress, bullying and burnout have reached such a pitch that the Association of British Orchestras has just announced a Healthy Orchestra Charter.
One could argue that in this country we do not get the orchestras we deserve: we get far, far better than that. And it is the players who are subsidising us. This is an assessment Bill Kerr of the Musicians' Union would agree with. String players are the rank and file of the orchestra, the infantry. Of the 600 or so orchestral string players in full-time work across the country, few earn more than £25,000 a year. Many are on much less. Kerr thinks we are a philistine nation; he points to orchestral rates of pay in western Europe, where a premier-league player can earn up to £50,000. In America, where there is no state funding for the arts and orchestras rely mainly on private sponsorship, the average starting salary is $58,000 (£32,805), more than one and a half times that of British recruits.
But it's not just the money and lack of career advancement that prompts some players to hang up their bows. Kerr was also an orchestral violinist. "I just got bored," he says. I must look shocked, because he adds that although the music itself wasn't dull, the popular repertoire comes round regularly and the job becomes routine.
A successful rank-and-file violinist must be an invisible cog in the machine, an imperceptible member of a crack team. If your voice can be heard above the others, you're no good, a "wrecker", someone who disturbs the delicate ecology of the section. Kerr says drily that the ideal orchestral player would have no personality at all. The self-effacement necessary to be a successful section musician plays against a 21st-century consciousness, he adds: in fact, the life is quite feudal. No soloists here, thank you; no divas, no individuals. "It requires a particular type of discipline but no imagination," he says. "Technique, but not intellect." Stemp agrees: "To be told every day to play a passage in a way you might not agree with - it's like being told to sing out of tune. The notes get played but without your own feeling. And the money is so poor that if you lose your artistic integrity, what have you got?"
A music administrator, who asks not to be named, says to me: "Those string players, they don't know they're born." Regular work, pension, permanent contract in a freelance universe, as much teaching work as they can handle ... and all for doing what they love. She's an amateur musician, too. So I ask her if she ever wanted to be a professional player. "No," she says. "My teacher told me it was a horrible life. 'Keep it for fun,' he said."
David Williams was with the London Symphony Orchestra for 20 years and says that "music is a fantastic hobby but difficult to do every day for a living". When he was nine, his headmaster asked if anyone wanted to play the violin and he put his hand up. "I wanted a fiddle underneath my chin, I had no interest in anything else," he says. "I made a beeline for the music."
For the son of a north Wales farming family, playing the violin offered a welcome alternative to tending sheep. The violin was a beautiful shape, too; it looked lovely. And it came naturally to him, he says. As naturally as talking. He loved playing in front of an audience at school, loved making the girls cry. At 11, he went to the local eisteddfod and in a field of mud, an orchestra was playing. "I was gobsmacked by these people in penguin suits. It was the LSO. I'll never forget."
Williams went on to join the orchestra from the Royal Academy, but in the end the pressure got to him and he left. He now designs bespoke computer software for dental surgeries. All those years of training, hours a day for years on end, talent I can only gawp at, and now he picks up his instrument once, maybe twice a year. Can the experience really have been so awful that it put him off playing? "It's difficult to relax. Even in an amateur orchestra you must be note perfect otherwise people might think: how on earth was he in the LSO? I can leave the fiddle in its case for months on end. I just don't think of it."
A musician's confidence is easily eroded; happy and confident players are good players, and the reverse is also true. Williams describes the orchestra as a big family of 80 members all thrown together in a strange and unreal situation. "When it's playing, there is a high electrical charge, especially in live performance when the adrenaline flows. You become an instrument, you become one, the body of the orchestra. There is an alchemy at play when you are surrounded by a pool of talent and it all comes together, a miraculous, unconscious thing."
But these people are musicians, not trained to deal with personnel problems and in a self-governing orchestra such as the LSO, there can be conflict of interest, which in this confined and under-ventilated world can make working life intolerable.
- Chinese translation by Terrie Dai
Tchaikovsky Hamlet Overture, London Symphony Orchestra, Valery Gergiev Proms 2007 1/2
Last issue's question:
What is the composer Monteverdi's first name?
The correct answer is: D) Claudio