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 Post subject: Conductors?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 1:55 pm 
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Hello horn folk,

I realise it's an emotive subject for those of us who have suffered at the hands of incompetent and discourteous megalomaniacs, as well as enjoying the rare opportunity to make music with a sensitive and competent musician, but what do we think of conductors and their influence/interpretations?

I've just finished studying a number of DVD archives of famous maestros of the past as I have my first orchestral conducting engagement later this year (I must say the only 'big name' I was impressed with was Sir Thomas Beecham "...Composers should write tunes that chauffeurs and errand boys can whistle"). When I was playing professionally I rather immaturely believed that ALL conductors were a very expensive waste of space, and I hated them prejudicially and without mercy.

As I grow greyer and (one hopes) wiser, I see a great deal of value in the right man on the podium. Do any of you folk hold a strong opinion or any stories of how your own development as a musician has been helped by these strange creatures brandishing their little white sticks?

Funny stories are also welcome as are any tips for me as I prepare Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique for later this year.

Kindest Regards as always,

Dean.

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 Post subject: Re: Conductors?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 7:07 pm 
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floor, wall, wall ceiling.


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 Post subject: Re: Conductors?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 2:51 am 
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Deano wrote:
Hello horn folk,

I realise it's an emotive subject for those of us who have suffered at the hands of incompetent and discourteous megalomaniacs, as well as enjoying the rare opportunity to make music with a sensitive and competent musician, but what do we think of conductors and their influence/interpretations?

I've just finished studying a number of DVD archives of famous maestros of the past as I have my first orchestral conducting engagement later this year (I must say the only 'big name' I was impressed with was Sir Thomas Beecham "...Composers should write tunes that chauffeurs and errand boys can whistle"). When I was playing professionally I rather immaturely believed that ALL conductors were a very expensive waste of space, and I hated them prejudicially and without mercy.

As I grow greyer and (one hopes) wiser, I see a great deal of value in the right man on the podium. Do any of you folk hold a strong opinion or any stories of how your own development as a musician has been helped by these strange creatures brandishing their little white sticks?

Funny stories are also welcome as are any tips for me as I prepare Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique for later this year.

Kindest Regards as always,

Dean.


I currently play in a community orchestra with another player who seems to have boundless energy toward making judgements about conductors. He's retired and plays in several groups, and seems to hold most conductors that he deals with on a weekly basis in high esteem.
Except one . . . who he can't seem to disparage enough.
Turns out that conductor was my high school band director who I worshipped and is probably the greatest influence on my musical life to date.
Go figure . . .

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 Post subject: Re: Conductors?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 10:35 am 
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Jeremy wrote:
floor, wall, wall ceiling.


Thanks Jeremy, very helpful for the first movement of the Berlioz.

Any tips on the waltz and the pastoral movement (in slow 6/8)?

;-)

D.

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Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος, καὶ ὁ λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν θεόν, καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος.


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 Post subject: Re: Conductors?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 10:40 am 
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Jiame wrote:
Deano wrote:
Hello horn folk,

I realise it's an emotive subject for those of us who have suffered at the hands of incompetent and discourteous megalomaniacs, as well as enjoying the rare opportunity to make music with a sensitive and competent musician, but what do we think of conductors and their influence/interpretations?

I've just finished studying a number of DVD archives of famous maestros of the past as I have my first orchestral conducting engagement later this year (I must say the only 'big name' I was impressed with was Sir Thomas Beecham "...Composers should write tunes that chauffeurs and errand boys can whistle"). When I was playing professionally I rather immaturely believed that ALL conductors were a very expensive waste of space, and I hated them prejudicially and without mercy.

As I grow greyer and (one hopes) wiser, I see a great deal of value in the right man on the podium. Do any of you folk hold a strong opinion or any stories of how your own development as a musician has been helped by these strange creatures brandishing their little white sticks?

Funny stories are also welcome as are any tips for me as I prepare Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique for later this year.

Kindest Regards as always,

Dean.


I currently play in a community orchestra with another player who seems to have boundless energy toward making judgements about conductors. He's retired and plays in several groups, and seems to hold most conductors that he deals with on a weekly basis in high esteem.
Except one . . . who he can't seem to disparage enough.
Turns out that conductor was my high school band director who I worshipped and is probably the greatest influence on my musical life to date.
Go figure . . .



Perhaps you should get your colleague to take a rehearsal one day Jiame, it may give him a different perspective on conducting and conductors?

Your old band director sounds like a good fellow, I too had a school band master who was a great influence. A jazz trombonist with a great sense of phrasing (not sure it rubbed off as much as I would have liked).

D :-)

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 Post subject: Re: Conductors?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 2:39 pm 
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The conductor is the natural and traditional enemy of the horn player. That's just the way it is.


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 Post subject: Re: Conductors?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 2:55 pm 
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"The conductor is the natural and traditional enemy of the horn player."

Is that why so many horn-players become conductors? (Along the lines of "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em"?)


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 Post subject: Re: Conductors?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 5:50 am 
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Observer wrote:
"The conductor is the natural and traditional enemy of the horn player."

Is that why so many horn-players become conductors? (Along the lines of "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em"?)


It is appealing...

If you make a mistake as a conductor only a handful of the orchestra will notice, make one as first horn and everyone in the hall notices!

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 Post subject: Re: Conductors?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 8:35 am 
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Quote:
Thanks Jeremy, very helpful for the first movement of the Berlioz.

Any tips on the waltz and the pastoral movement (in slow 6/8)?


How about some unintelligible arm waving with a furrowed brow and some grunting thrown in ?


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 Post subject: Re: Conductors?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 4:49 pm 
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Jeremy wrote:
Quote:
Thanks Jeremy, very helpful for the first movement of the Berlioz.

Any tips on the waltz and the pastoral movement (in slow 6/8)?


How about some unintelligible arm waving with a furrowed brow and some grunting thrown in ?


That's uncanny, have you been watching me prepapre for this concert?!

My favourite rendition of the Symphonie Fantastique is a live performance of the LSO with Colin Davis. Unfortunately, that has some pretty audible grunting and singing along by Sir Colin. Very off-putting...

D :-)

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