Robert A. Alps
Georg Tintner was a pacifist, a vegan, and a cyclist, but most of all he was a musician. Tanya Buchdahl Tintner, his 3rd wife has researched his life before their marriage and brought us this story of Tintner's successes which are each time negated by the musical world's rejection of him. Tintner lived a hard life, with much of the difficulty being self-imposed by his priciples. Science fiction writers often write about an alternate universe. Tintner lived in an alternate universe that would be very difficult for most others to understand.
I was struck by Ms. Tintner's objectivity in reconstructing his story. This does not mean that she sticks to the facts, but that her observations and explanations seemed to me to be very believable. Her observations are often critical of Georg Tintner as well as often very supportive of him.
In the last third of the book dealing with the period of their marriage, the perspective shifts from third person to first. This is almost jarring, but it is reasonable and, I think, necessary. Ms. Tintner has a sufficient knowledge of music to help us appreciate some of the finer points of Georg Tintner's composing and conducting.
Prior to reading this book, I had heard Tintner's Bruckner recordings and liked them very much. While reading it, I tried to acquire other recordings he had made. Tintner wrote the liner notes for the Bruckner recordings on Naxos and on several other Naxos releases he gives a spoken introduction to the piece that he conducts on the disc. These recordings, notes, and comments are a useful supplement to this book in coming to terms with Georg Tintner.
I think only Tanya Tintner could have written this book. It was written with love and it has helped to generate respect and admiration.
Ivor E. Zetler
Georg Tintner's name will be known to music lovers primarily from his best selling and highly regarded Bruckner symphony cycle recordings that were released on the Naxos label. Written by his third wife Tanya, this biography comprehensively documents his various exploits and adventures. Firstly is must be observed that Tintner was a crank of the first order. A strict vegan and dedicated bicycle rider (this in itself is not the sign of a crank!), he was also a believer in free love (for himself) and maintained that his children should not be exposed to any direct or observed affection.
Tintner left Austria in 1938 and spent time in New Zealand and subsequently in Australia. It is interesting to read of musical life in these countries during these times. Life was certainly provincial then. Despite his conducting talent, Tintner never rose to any particular musical prominence during his often tortured life. Certainly his unusual beliefs and difficult presonality (he would rarely address people by their first names)would have some bearing on his misfortunes.
Tanya Tintner writes clearly, honestly and engagingly in this well researched biography. While it might be more detailed that the average reader might require, I found it an entertaining and engrossing read.
Dr. Pj Tregear
Georg Tintner's widow has written a marvellous portrait of her late husband--no mere hagiography but an honest, and at times, necessarily accusatory, portrait of a musician whose greatness was contemned by history, circumstance, and personality, to be too little recognised too late.