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May he rest in peace. I remember his telling one of my favorite classical music stories in a documentary--I no longer even remember what the documentary was about but only what he said in response to one question. And it's less a story than a piece of advice that he heard from another conductor--advice that I often think of when I attend ballet performances and especially when people excuse dancers for being "tired," having "a bad night" etc. (As I myself have done as well. I know everyone has bad--or less good--nights.) 

He was responding to a question about how to stay fresh and engaged when performing the same scores over and over--works like Beethoven's fifth etc. that one is conducting for the umpteenth time-- and he said he always remembered a conductor telling him (or perhaps it was instructing his orchestra members) to keep three things in mind: 1)there is always at least one person in the audience who is hearing the work for the first time 2)there is always at least one person in the audience who is hearing it for the last time 3)there is always at least one person in the audience who has made a substantial sacrifice in order to be there.

I thought this was a wonderful way for an artist to think about her/his responsibilities to the audience--I even take it as a reminder of my own responsibility not to be a disconnected or inconsiderate audience member--- and whenever I remember Previn, I also remember him relaying this story.

Edited by Drew

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I was lucky to hear Previn lead the LSO in a performance of Rachmaninoff's Second Symphony at the Salzburg Festival.  

He was a wonderful conductor.

Rest in Peace, Mr. Previn.

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Thank you for posting, Mashinka. Sorry to hear this, even if he was of a ripe age. Yes, the obits are rolling in.

(Of course, if you are a famous person of a certain age, they generally have your obit on file. I think there was one instance where the NYT ran an obit whose author had already passed on to a better world by the time the subject of the obit had done so.)

That’s a lovely story, Drew, and thank you for sharing it.

Quite a life.

The Guardian

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For many Britons, however, he will always be best known as “Andrew Preview” for his appearance on 1971’s Morecambe and Wise Christmas Special, which featured him conducting Eric Morecambe as an inept soloist in Grieg’s Piano Concerto.

The New York Times

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Years after its premiere in 1949, he gave the movie a thumbs-down: “Like all Lassie pictures, there was hardly any dialogue, but a lot of barking. I thought it was easy, but I have since put myself through the wringer of watching it on a television rerun, and it’s the most inept score you ever heard.”

CBS News Pittsburgh

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Previn was conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in the 1970s and 1980s, while also directing the London Symphony Orchestra.

 

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I'm sure the entire Ballet Alert community agrees with me that this was Andre Previn's greatest achievement:

Margaret Whiting is doing the actual singing but Susan Hayward is lip synching -- badly!

And Judy Garland's original vocals replacing Whiting's vocals:

From the same movie, Dionne Warwick's immortal version of Previn's main theme (Anne's theme):

 

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In Britain he'll always be remembered for this

 

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BBC News obituary.

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At the end of the 1970s, Previn quit both his marriage with Mia Farrow and his job at the London Symphony Orchestra. He began performing jazz again, recording an album with Ella Fitzgerald.

None other than Dizzy Gillespie praised Previn's jazz technique in glowing terms. "He has the flow, you know," said the great singer and trumpeter.

 

 

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Hilary Hahn posted this tribute to Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BucWxPLDyH-/

Previn happened to be the conductor for her debut at Carnegie Hall years ago. Of course the number of musicians and composers who crossed paths with Previn is a huge one.

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Andre Previn also wrote the music for the second section of Gene Kelly's all dance film, Invitation to the Dance. (Filming on this section occurred sometime between August 1952 and February 1953.)

The clip below contains a 13+ minute sample of highlights and features (in order) Tommy Rall, Claude Bessy, Belita, Irving Davies, Diana Adams, Gene Kelly and Tamara Taumanova:

 

 

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20 hours ago, miliosr said:

The clip below contains a 13+ minute sample of highlights and features (in order) Tommy Rall, Claude Bessy, Belita, Irving Davies, Diana Adams, Gene Kelly and Tamara Taumanova:

What a roll call!

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21 hours ago, sandik said:

What a roll call!

Indeed. I wish it were a better movie.

An interview from 2014:

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Previn clearly harbors mixed feelings about the city and said he hasn't been back to L.A. in nearly two decades. (He said it was "unlikely" that he would return to see "Streetcar" performed.)

"There is something that always struck me about L.A., and that is that they can argue all they want about putting up 16 new museums and 14 new orchestras, but it's all about the movies," he said. "It always is. They can't get away from it."

 

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Review of a Previn classical box set.

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Previn came to London in 1964 to record with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (CDs 8 and 9), and the following year began his long love affair with the London Symphony Orchestra with a dazzling recording of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5, which has rarely been equalled, and in my view at least, never surpassed (CD 10).

 

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The "Valley of the Dolls" number is great camp. I like this one, too--not camp, but satire, with a terrific Dolores Gray who is the perfect vessel for Comden & Green's brand of humor.  I like to remember Previn this way--an expert, game partner in funny, joyous team, where everybody seems miraculously on the same page in terms of tone. Even the crazy red costume plays its part. Does anybody know if Gene Kelly did the choreography, and if not, who was it?

 

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4 hours ago, Anthony_NYC said:

The "Valley of the Dolls" number is great camp. I like this one, too--not camp, but satire, with a terrific Dolores Gray who is the perfect vessel for Comden & Green's brand of humor.  I like to remember Previn this way--an expert, game partner in funny, joyous team, where everybody seems miraculously on the same page in terms of tone. Even the crazy red costume plays its part. Does anybody know if Gene Kelly did the choreography, and if not, who was it?

 

I believe it was Michael Kidd. Some dirt on the production:

"Kelly asked his old friend and collaborator Stanley Donen to co-direct with him. Donen, who had just scored a major success with Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (with Kidd as choreographer), did not want to go back to collaborating with Kelly, but he reluctantly agreed. The two men clashed over creative differences in the film, with Donen tending to side with Kidd against Kelly. Donen and Kelly never worked together again after this film, and their friendship ended permanently, as Donen later acknowledged."

And that's show biz.

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On 3/12/2019 at 6:00 PM, pherank said:

I believe it was Michael Kidd. Some dirt on the production:

"Kelly asked his old friend and collaborator Stanley Donen to co-direct with him. Donen, who had just scored a major success with Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (with Kidd as choreographer), did not want to go back to collaborating with Kelly, but he reluctantly agreed. The two men clashed over creative differences in the film, with Donen tending to side with Kidd against Kelly. Donen and Kelly never worked together again after this film, and their friendship ended permanently, as Donen later acknowledged."

And that's show biz.

Interesting--thanks!

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