ACKNOWLEDGING GREAT WORK
Artur Rodzinski, then conductor of the New York Philharmonic, was listening to a broadcast of a Lewisohn Stadium concert while he was on vacation. The program scheduled to be conducted by Fabien Sevitzky, included one of Rodzinski’s trademarked pieces, Shostakovich’s Fifth. Rodzinski’s wife, Halina, writes: “As the piece progressed, Artur kept interjecting remarks like ‘How well he sustains the line,’ or ‘hear that balance’ or ‘I think he must have studied my recording; his tempi are almost like mine.’ Then, quite embarrassed, he said, ‘I never believed he had any talent, and I must make it up to him. He is a great conductor.’ When the excellent performance ended, we expected a thunderous ovation. But there was no applause, just a moment of dead air. Then an announcement that the stadium event had been rained out, and in place of Sevitzky’s performance, the network had played Shostakovich’s Fifth as recorded by Artur Rodzinski.”
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