A brilliant little list/essay was recently published, and I heartily recommend reading it. The subject? ‘Which composer should you fight?‘ I surely prefer violins to violence, but the topic is nevertheless intriguing. In the spirit of taking things a step further, I propose the following list: Which conductor should you fight? This is limited to historical (read: dead) conductors for…very obvious reasons.
Mendelssohn: A gentleman masquerading as an artist, despite the high quality of his genius, Mendelssohn would steer you away from a fight, then invite you to tea. No fighting.
von Bulow: Sure, you could take him, and it’d be a good, spirited fight. Unfortunately once it is over he would insist that you fight again.
Richard Strauss: He’d fight you, and would probably overwhelm you with futuristic moves. Your only chance at a victory is to make sure the fight drags on long enough for him to start thinking about the post-battle card game.
Arturo Toscanini:….you’re kidding, right?
Wilhelm Furtwangler: Oh God, the fists just don’t stop…
Leopold Stokowski: If those magical hands don’t get you, that magnificent hair will.
Fritz Reiner: His movements will be so small, you’ll never see them coming. Best to stay clear.
Bruno Walter: He’d put you down with just a few well placed punches…then gaze upon you with a heartbreaking expression of disappointment.
Karl Bohm: A tricky fight. He’ll lull you into a false sense of security, then somehow get you to match his very deliberate style of fighting.
Otto Klemperer: Run. Run fast, run far.
Sergiu Celibidache: Fight? Why would you want to fight? Just close your eyes and breathe…very slowly…that’s it…just breathe…
Sir George Solti: Pound for pound you will fight well, but his battle cry will finish you off.
von Karajan: Fight? Who gave you permission to fight?
Leonard Bernstein: You’ll lose, but he’ll make you feel like the best loser in the world.
Carlos Kleiber: Why would you fight him when you could not fight him instead?