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Lead book review

The old-fashioned greatness of Christian Thielemann

My Life with Wagner is the conductor’s perceptive and impassioned account of his lifelong devotion to one of the world’s greatest — and most controversial — composers

15 August 2015

9:00 AM

15 August 2015

9:00 AM

My Life with Wagner Christian Thielemann

Weidenfeld, pp.267, £25, ISBN: 9780297608554

Christian Thielemann (born in 1959) is a self-consciously old-fashioned figure who makes rather a virtue out of his limitations. As a conductor, he stands out in a profession increasingly given to the eclectic, and to performances of music outside the western canon. The practitioners of art music have almost all surrendered to the requirement to reach out, to experiment with the new and the non-European, and to mesh their endeavours with conscious gestures of social improvement.

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