He was a wilful character: full of enthusiasm for all that was beautiful and full of high ambitions for the music that meant his life. Uncompromising and with perseverance he tried without fail, to push his artistic demands with Hungarian temperament. Sometimes he went beyond the bounds of reason and possibilities and it took many hours of talks and persuasion until he occasionally surrendered. Discussions of this sort were not always peaceful (he could get quite furious), but they were, everything considered, enriching for our mutual artistic work.
Unforgettably marked in my memory is his rehearsal work and will be for the many others who were part of it. He didn’t spare anybody, neither himself nor anyone else.
Rigorously, driving the participants close to exhaustion, he drilled persistently on the parts that didn’t correspond with the ideal sound he had in mind. But the intensity and severity of his way of work were brightened by the vivid and imaginative, fairytalelike metaphorical language with which he accompanied his explanations, and by the cheerfulness which his fluent and faultyspoken German caused.
I remember the warm and honourable words of the unforgettable old master Bruno Walter:
“Ferenc Fricsay is one of the very few of my young colleagues who has humility."
Prof. Elsa Schiller