In June 1977, Sir Georg Solti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra embarked on their first tour to Japan, with fourteen concerts in Fukuoka, Hiroshima, Kanazawa, Nagoya, Niigata, Osaka, Sapporo, and Tokyo.
“The unusually keen artistic perception of Sir Georg Solti as conductor is reflected by the Orchestra in its performance as an organic body in expression of its musical conviction. The degree of perfection they achieve is unbelievably high,” reported Masaaki Tanba in the Yomiuri Shimbun, following the first concert at the Bunka Kaikan in Tokyo on June 7. “From the first measure, I could not help but exclaim with awe. This was a perfect symphonic ensemble, producing a blend of balanced, unified tone across the full range of dynamic expression without masking the richness of each individual instrument. Through Wagner’s [Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan and Isolde] and Richard Strauss’s [Don Juan and Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks] the Orchestra unfolded its artistic virtuosity, demonstrated its deep emotion and overpowering authority, and showed its ability to describe intricate details with the delicacy and precision of miniature sculptures. Yet this performance of the Chicago Symphony conducted by Solti was unbelievably powerful.”
This article also appears here.