So,Lorin Maazel’s cancellation of the concert in Berlin when Semyon Bychkov stood in for him and his recent retirement from his position in Munich make full sense now, with the announcement that he died today at his home in Virginia, USA after suffering complications from pneumonia.
The usual obituaries have popped up on the internet, including from The Guardian, The New York Times, The Washington Post and The BBC (which includes a rare photograph of the maestro as a a young man).
That BBC item links to an interesting feature from 2011, not the only piece which refers to critical disagreement about his interpretations. On the other hand, there is total agreement about several of his recordings, most notably the complete Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet with the Cleveland Orchestra, his early recordings of the Tchaikovsky and Sibelius symphonies (Vienna Philharmonic), and a highly regarded Mahler 4. I also remember a wonderful version of Ravel’s Left Hand Concerto with Jean-Philippe Collard as soloist. Oh yes, and there’s also more Ravel: the operas L’Enfant et Les Sortilèges and L’Heure Espagnole.