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After Antal Doráti

BILL NEWMAN visits pianist
Ilse von Alpenheim
at her home in Switzerland

 

This was a trip I had been promising myself for some while. With my close friend and colleague Richard Chlupaty -- like me, a fanatical supporter of the late, great Hungarian conductor-composer Antal Doráti who died in 1988 -- the joint meeting, at the special invitation of Mrs Ilse Doráti-von Alpenheim, took place during the final week of May 2003 at the family residence in Gerzensee overlooking Lake Thun.

Ilse von Alpenheim and Antal Doráti. Photo courtesy of Ilse von Alpenheim
Ilse von Alpenheim and Antal Doráti. Photo courtesy of Ilse von Alpenheim

A wide expanse of valley lies in front of the magnificent house perched comfortably at half-way point on a high slope overlooking well laid out farmlands in front, while dense forestry spreads sideways at the rear. The building itself has both a spacious and a functional aspect. The top floor features bedrooms, the Maestro's old study-work room, and copious shelving for books, musical scores and the like. Doráti original, framed paintings, containing several oils, occupy pride of place in the master bedroom, while the approach corridor and staircase features a number of seventeenth century drawings.

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Copyright © 10 August 2003 Bill Newman, Edgware, UK

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