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Notes of Seven Decades Hardcover – April, 1981

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 382 pages
  • Publisher: Wayne State Univ Pr; Rev Sub edition (April 1981)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814316859
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814316856
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,293,919 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Timothy P. Koerner on March 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Born in Budapest in 1906, Antal Dorati became one of the world's most prominent orchestral conductors and classical recording artists. After holding important opera and ballet positions in Europe, he migrated to the US following the outbreak of World War II in Europe and eventually became the principal conductor of symphony orchestras in Dallas, Minneapolis, London, Stockholm, Washington DC and Detroit. Dorati's reputation was that of an "orchestra builder", having both built the Dallas SO from scratch and significantly enhanced the caliber of most if not all of the other ones he led. In addition, from 1936 on, he made hundreds of recordings, some of which are still around and prized by collectors. Dorati died in 1988.

NOTES OF SEVEN DECADES, although not a formal autobiography (whatever that is), offers Maestro Dorati the opportunity to share stories, anecdotes and ideas about music and the arts. I found the book both entertaining and a bit frustrating because of some topics the author chooses not to discuss. I'll mention a few of these omissions.

While Dorati spends a fair amount of time discussing his native Budapest, he never talks about an aspect of this that has puzzled me for some time: how is it that late 19th-early 20th century Budapest produced so many outstanding orchestral conductors, including Eugene Ormandy, Georg Solti, Fritz Reiner, George Szell, Ferenc Fricsay, as well as himself? Was there something in the air, the water, I've always wondered? Dorati doesn't broach the subject. Maybe he never thought of it.

Another topic he mentions in passing several times but never really discusses in any detail is his recording career.
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