Herbert von Karajan/Schostakovich - soulmates


Interviewer: "You started to conduct works from Shostakovich quite late. Why?" Karajan: "The reason is that I have always thought very highly of Shostakovich. I have to admit: If I could compose music, I would compose music like Shostakovich."

"I feel we both are soulmates. It makes me think that I composed the music myself, especially the 10th which I repeatedly conduct because I feel the urge to do so. One of my most fortunate concerts were in Moscow, when I conducted the 10th and Shostakovich was also there to witness the concert. A short time before the concert he was run over by a car. He was still in pain. However he still came to the concert. At the end of the concert he was lifted to the podium and he hugged me. He said: "I am too moved to speak." From that moment I knew that we both shared a family bond."

Photo: Dmitri Schostakovich and Herbert von Karajan at the final applause after the 10th Symphony with the Berliner Philharmoniker at the Tschaikowsky conservatory Moscow in May 1969 - photo credit: ©DSCH Publishers; Karajan-Archive