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The opening chapter, 'Life's Fulfillment', is an essay by Bill Newman who worked at EMI Records and knew Antal Doráti. The middle chapters follow Doráti's career from 1925 to 1988. In the early years, Doráti was a music assistant at the Budapest Opera (1925-28) and then assistant to Fritz Busch at the Dresden Opera (1928-29). In 1929 he became second conductor at the Muster Opera House. He also conducted with the Orchestra of the Budapest Philharmonic Society and in Berlin. From 1933-40, Doráti worked with the Ballet Russe of Monte Carlo and joined their tours of New York and the rest of the US, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. Occasionally he also conducted separate concerts with symphonies; on 28 June 1944, for example, he conducted the Watergate Symphony in Washington DC, with Earl Wild on piano, in a performance that included the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No 2.
In 1945 Doráti became the conductor for the Dallas Symphony, and from 1949-60, he conducted for the Minneapolis Symphony. The glowing reviews that sometimes accompany the program lists help create the sense of history. In Time Magazine, 1957, one review stated that the American musicians received a hero's welcome around the world: they were cheered in Athens and received a standing ovation in India. Also included are excerpts from Doráti's own writing, 'Notes of Seven Decades' (Wayne State University Press, 1981). In one excerpt, he indicated that his years with the Minneapolis Symphony may have been the most important years of his musical development.
Copyright © 21 July 2007
Anna L Franco, New York, USA