As we write, it is already June 26 here in Europe, hence we want to be first in wishing maestro Claudio Abbado, who turns 75 today, the greatest of Happy Birthdays. We were discussing recently with a bunch of friends how, if you think of the three greatest conductors working today, it's really a matter of whom you choose to join Abbado in the top 3 -- it's always him and two other dudes, depending on your taste.
Whether he's conducting Mozart or Berg or his beloved Beethoven or Mahler or Verdi -- the definitive Boccanegra is Abbado's, period, we might as well retire the work at this point -- he's just in the stratosphere, someone whom you cannot really compare to most of his colleagues of today but who you mostly have to compare to the greatest ever, the legends, Nikisch and Von Bulow and Furtwaengler and De Sabata -- that's how high up he flies, circling the earth like Superman.
And the fact that the accidents of life have made him more scarce on the podium, these last few years, only made his presence even more precious.
We bow our head in gratitude for his accomplishment, and wish him the biggest Buon Compleanno -- party party!!!