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The last laugh

Berthold Goldschmidt is belatedly recognised as one of Britain's finest modern composers. In the last interview before his death he told Edward Pearce about neglect and rediscovery

By Edward Pearce   December 1996

He died on 17th October, aged 93. Berthold Goldschmidt had been actively composing music in his second musical career for about ten years. His first career began in Germany where he was born in 1903 and continued in England where he came in flight from the Nazis in 1935.

The second career has been almost triumphal, including an ardent reception at the Wigmore Hall last year for his fourth quartet. It merges with retrospective admiration for the work of the first career, including rave reviews for the recording of his operas Der gewaltige Hahnrei and Beatrice Cenci.

How he came…

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