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Some Friday Fun

January 25, 2013

In classical music, there is perhaps no person on stage more important than the conductor. Indeed, he dictates tempo, dynamics, expression, and when certain instruments enter and exit. According to the New York Times, “The conductor’s fundamental goal is to bring a written score to life through study, personality, and musical formation.” However, what a conductor actually does varies from person to person. Yannick Nezet-Seguin, the director of the Philadelphia Orchestra, moves both arms a great deal. Fritz Reiner, the sadistic former conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, barely moved at all. In fact, legend has it that a player was fired when he came to a rehearsal with binoculars. When Reiner asked why the player had them, he answered, “I was trying to find the beat.”

Everyone will agree that interpretation and style vary greatly from conductor to conductor. However, no take on conducting is more strange than that of British comedian Rowan Atkinson. In this clip of Mr. Atkinson “conducting” Beethoven’s Fifth, struggling to find his baton, dropping it, and much more!

On a different note: Tomorrow I will post a review of a recording by the Philharmonia and Walter Weller of Mendelssohn.

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From → Friday Fun

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