His charming TELEVISION looks won the conductor big popularity and presented millions to Mozart and Grieg
I n 1977, Andr Previn was so popular that he had his own chatshow on BBC1. In one episode, using an expensive-looking brown suede safari coat with huge collar, and clutching his large-scale glasses in his hands, he presents the studio audience to Jonathan Miller. They go over Miller’s brand-new production of The Merchant of Venice, the director going on to forecast the “sluggish disintegration” of English theatre.
It’s a genuine spirit-of-the-age minute. There is no apology for the raised tone of their discussion; the format is basic– 2 cultural polymaths pondering on the arts on primetime tv.
Television was a medium that the conductor comprehended entirely. Over the previous years, he had actually hosted more than 2 lots editions of Andr Previn’s Music Night, a shiny-floor light home entertainment program in which the star visitors were the gamers of the London Symphony Orchestra. Previn was the ensemble’s chief conductor. Shunning official show gown for casual pants and open-necked t-shirts, they carried out popular classics presented with a light touch by the master.
This long-running series followed Previn’s huge TELEVISION development in 1971, as the straight guy to Morecambe and Wise in their sketch about the Grieg Piano Concerto, with its well known punchline: “I’m playing all the ideal notes. Not always in the ideal order.”
Classical music still has its star conductors today: Simon Rattle , Daniel Barenboim , Valery Gergiev . When was the last time one of them was on BBC1? Nowadays, an expansion of channels implies delicious protection of the Proms on BBC4 or live performances from Paris and St Petersburg on streaming services such as Medici.tv . The nature of our multichannel world suggests audiences are undoubtedly fairly little. Numerous million of his audience would have found him by mishap when idly changing over from ITV or BBC2 when Previn was on the primary TELEVISION channel each week. Some may have grumbled about what they viewed as yet more symphonic music on the BBC. A substantial number would have remained put, presented for the very first time to the riches of Ravel, Strauss or Shostakovich.