Solti and Grandfather

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A homage to two, uniquely distinct lives

 

Neither knew one another, but perhaps they had met.

Grandfather was climbing poles for the telephone company when Sir Georg Solti first conducted for the Budapest Opera. Both men were in their twenty-fourth year.

Solti was a devout reader of the newspaper. Grandfather read the funnies and did his best with the crossword puzzles.

Grandfather told heroic stories about Knute Rockne. Solti told heroic stories about Erich Kleiber.

Solti liked Soccer. Grandfather liked football. Grandfather played golf and Solti played the piano. Solti was taught music by Leo Weiner about the time Grandfather was being taught business by Mrs. Huber.

Grandfather fathered two children in the 1940’s. Solti fathered two children when he was well into his forties. Solti once conducted a performance of Belshazar’s Feast, while Grandfather conducted numerous Thanksgiving Day feasts.

Solti recorded Wagner’s complete Ring Cycle with the Vienna Philharmonic. Grandfather recorded the family on videotape during the holidays.

Grandfather was made an honorary member of the Lion’s Club in 1970.

Solti received his honorary knighthood in 1972.

Solti was a celebrated man.

Grandfather was a celebrated man.

Grandfather died in 1995, while Solti was still at work on his Memoirs.

Solti lived two years longer than Grandfather.

And I loved Solti for this, and I hated Solti for this.

 

 

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