Two nights ago, a pretty extraordinary musical event went down at Vienna's Musikverein: a sold-out tribute concert in memory of the late Carlos Kleiber. One of Kleiber's old friends, Riccardo Muti (who described Kleiber as "il mio carissimo amico" -- Kleiber was very likely the only colleague the not-particularly-humble Muti felt actually in awe of), led the Wiener Philharmoniker in a concert in memory of the great maestro who passed away in 2004 and would have turned 80-years-old on July 3.
The program was made of pieces that were often conducted by Kleiber: Mozart's Linzer symphony (that's Symphony 36 for the uninitiated), Schubert's 8th, and Tchaikovsky's Pathétique. Muti explained that this is just the first concert in a whole series devoted to Kleiber for his 80th birthday: the following day he was off to Ljubljana (CK's wife is from Slovenia and it's where he's buried), then to Athens earlier this evening, and tomorrow to Istanbul.
What breaks Opera Chic's heart is that a man of Kleiber's talent never managed to completely escape his father's shadow (Eric, even though a splendid conductor, is no match for his son's genius) and lived plagued by insecurities and neurosis. When in fact, from his stunning Beethoven's Fifth to his Tristan, Opera Chic can safely say she has never heard a conductor, not even Furtwaengler, make music the way Carlito did, with that fire, and that grace.
Below, is a 1970 clip of Carlos -- who, by the way, is a honorary New Yorker since he went to public high school in the Bronx -- in rehearsal for Weber's Der Freischutz: