Eugen Jochum - Central Website (Revised)

Activities in Amsterdam - 1

November 1941: Press Comments

Original paper of 1941

The press comments seen here to the left (in translated form provided below), were published in the Dutch newspaper "De Telegraaf", which did not hold a very patriotic point of view concerning the occupying forces, to put it (to) nicely. The style of the press comments of the journalist, L.M.G.Arntzenius, of those days was archaic and sometimes even epic. It is clear that an impression is given in a "great literary style". Much style found here, but astonishing little information for the reader!
In any way, this was (and is) not a typical Dutch way of writing. It was clearly influenced by the language-style of the occupying Germans.

The musical authority of the journalist is not disputed here, however. He had always shown to have a keen sight and sharp ear for quality performers and performances.
The translation is mine and will be far from perfect, but serves to give an impression of how Eugen Jochum was valued and highly rated from his first moments onwards in Amsterdam.

Date and location:

The program:

Eugen Jochum conductor: Szekely and Koromzay soloists

The first impression of excellence which was made by Eugen Jochum on the Amsterdam audience during his concert of last Thursday, was fully confirmed by the afternoon-concert of yesterday. One experienced a musical Sunday afternoon, rich and perfect as is only seldomly heard: for the attendants some happy memories will be kept of a threesome of beautiful works - [the works, see above] -, of perfect interpretations thereof, and of a conductor who established his name definitely among the best ever on the Amsterdam Concertgebouw.

A pure and exact and crystal clear Mozart, a Strauß so exciting and enthousiastic on one side and so lyrical and tender on the other side as one can only dream of, a Beethoven full of grand power: behold the character of Jochum's interpretations. All three verily live: Mozart in serene harmony, Beethoven and Strauß within the forces of Romanticism, and they are truly felt interpretations in the sense that they fill the listener with the true spirit of music. They step outside the music, they approach you, they are standing visually before you: exalted beings as they are, they announce to you part of their exhaltation. No detail is without love, or is lukewarm or is without depth, nothing has the bleedlessness of only pretending to be with inner life. Each note has been experienced and been lived through and is loaded. At last, here is a sound with flesh and blood and breath....

And DO allow to let it go to far with the exaltation found in this real and fleshy music, to far sometimes for your inner feelings of correctness: DO allow to a Strauß his accellerandi and rubati against which the author - with his style of continuity, continuity - himself maybe takes a rejecting stand, and DO allow a Beethoven to step beyond the lines of demarcation of classical sternness. Let them be overly-romantic here and there: that's what they are living for! To that goal they are convincing and are taking you with them and are not letting you go: to that goal thay are emotions.

Jochum moved his public from the first to the last note in both his concerts, which does apply for only few contemporary conductors. He also, maybe the word sounds ridiculous, pleased his public: his uncomplicated sincereness, while inspired never being to expansive, his apert rejection of all chichi, it all are virtues which, in combination with his mastery over both the performed works and the orchestra, destine him to be one of those persons for whom, in any kind of times, one hopes that he will return regularly and indeed often.

The great successes - unlike other Sunday afternoon concerts with long applause for both conductor and for Szekely and Koromzay who played Mozart deliciously, and for the orchestra - have proven that the musical part of Amsterdam retains its warm and powerfull feelings for the serious Arts. Let it be another incentive for the management of the Concertgebouw to continue to strengthen that feeling.

Back to Eugen Jochum - November 1941: First Concerts

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