News of the death of Colin Davis has just come to light with word that he died this evening as the result of an illness. I got the news through the Friends of Radio 3 forum which I subscribe to, and the post concerned linked to the website of the London Symphony Orchestra, whose president he was, and where a book of condolence has been opened. A quick search failed to ring up any obituaries, but Im sure they’ll follow pretty soon.
What an inspirational conductor he was! His Berlioz recordings alone would ensure him a lasting legacy, but he was such a prolific music-maker that it would be desperately wrong to limit his reputation to Berlioz and only Berlioz. One of the jewels in my own CD collection is his superb Royal Opera House recording of Tosca, with Montserrat Caballe, José Carreras and Ingvar Wixell. In fact, I’m off right now to listen to part of that. We’ve been going through a bad time over the past year with musical deaths. The loss of this fine musician is among the saddest of the sad news.