Ernest Ansermet

From Academic Kids

Ernest Ansermet (November 11, 1883February 20, 1969) was a Swiss conductor.

A contemporary of Wilhelm Furtwangler and Otto Klemperer, and like them a conductor of 20th century music, Ansermet represents a very different tradition and approach. He was born in Vevey, Switzerland and was originally a mathematics professor, who took to conducting locally. Traveling in France, he met both Debussy and Ravel and consulted them on the performance of their works. During the World War I, he met Stravinsky, who was exiled in Switzerland, and began a lifelong association with Russian music.

In 1918, he founded his own orchestra, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande. He travelled widely in Europe and America and became famous for accurate performances of difficult modern music, making first recordings of works such as Stravinsky's Capriccio with the composer as soloist.

Ansermet was one of the first in the classical music field to take jazz music seriously, and in 1919, he wrote an article praising Sidney Bechet.

After World War II, Ansermet and his orchestra rose to international prominence through a long-standing contract with Decca Records, and between then and his death, he recorded most of his repertoire, often two or three times. His interpretations were widely regarded as admirably clear and authoritative, though they were not without their detractors, and differed notably from those of other famous twentieth-century specialists, notably Pierre Monteux and Stravinsky himself. Ansermet disapproved of Stravinsky's practice of revising his works, and always played the original versions. Although famous for performing much modern music by other composers such as Arthur Honegger and Frank Martin, he avoided altogether the music of Arnold Schoenberg and his associates, even writing a book, Les Fondaments de la Musique dans la Conscience Humaine, in which he sought to prove that Schoenberg's idiom was false and irrational.

Ansermet was an ardent man who argued his opinions vehemently. He was notable in Britain for his argumentative rehearsals with British orchestras, who were used to the more jovial style of Thomas Beecham and Adrian Boult. His last recording, typically of Stravinsky's Firebird, was made in London with the New Philharmonia Orchestra, and a recording of the rehearsals and sessions was made as a memorial to him.

He died in Ansermet ja:エルネスト・アンセルメ gl:Ernest Ansermet


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