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Topic: Do You Study Conductors?

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  1. #1

    Do You Study Conductors?

    I'm a conductor and a composer. I have studied both extensively.

    I love to watch other conductors. At any concert I attend, I observe them closely, studying their stick technique, gestures, styles, etc. I am always open to learn from what I see, even tho I've been conducting for over 26 years.

    I had the opportunity to see the LA Phil at the ACDA convention in Feb. 05 with Esa-Pekka Salonen conducting Schoenberg's Gurrelieder.

    What an amazing and fascinating conductor. He was in total command of an orchestra that numbered over 110 in size. He had total control of the music and his tecnique was amazing...ever gesture meant something and every movement he made generated an appropriate response from the orchestra. I would LOVE to get back to LA and see him conduct again.

    Do you study conductors? Who is your favorite conductor?

    Ron Williams
    Westminster, CO
    Music is a manifestation of the human spirit similar to a language. If we do not want such things to remain dead treasures, we must do our upmost to make the greatest number of people understand their secrets -- Zoltan Kodaly

  2. #2

    Re: Do You Study Conductors?

    During a concert, I watch the conductor. And during musicals, half the time I'm watching the conductor. Just like to keep an eye on the music from a distance to see what is going on. Kind of like me at those showgirl shows in Vegas...girls all over the stage and I'm sitting there looking up into the light systems...
    Colton J. Provias
    Film Score Composer, Location Sound Mixer, and Sound Editor
    Full-stack Web Developer

  3. #3

    Re: Do You Study Conductors?

    I certainly spend some time watching conductors whenever I'm at a concert, though I'm not sure I'd call it studying since I don't know enough about conducting in general to understand everything the conductors do.

    I remember watching John Williams conduct. Nothing really stood out. I wonder if there's a big difference between conducting film music, like he's use to, and conducting classical repertoire in live concerts. Williams certainly seemed accurate and on the beat, but he did not jump around and or show any form of bodily expression or emotion.

    I remember Leo Slatkin used no baton and moved very gracefully, from his arms to the end of his fingers, as if part of a ballet. I can't even move my hands like that. It was very controlled conducting, and perhaps slightly effeminate.

    I'll always remember one conductor: Valery Gergiev conducting the Kirov Orchestra. He would spit. He would literally drool to the music and globs on spit would fly across the stage, twinkling in the spotlights. He'd also grunt with crescendos and tuttis. I got a front row seat, so close I could read the violin parts. I consider myself lucky that I did not get wet.
    Sean Patrick Hannifin
    My MP3s | My Melody Generator | my album
    "serious music" ... as if the rest of us are just kidding

  4. #4

    Re: Do You Study Conductors?

    I'd probably say Fritz Reiner and Pierre Boulez (though I'm not quite a fan of his music). They are both fascinating conductors.
    ♪♪♪♪ CâTå ♪♪♪♪

  5. #5

    Re: Do You Study Conductors?

    I always watch conductors, and often I wonder how the orchestra even follows them! I'm convinced that half the time they don't; they follow the concertmaster.

    My favorite is Carlos Kleiber. He becomes the music when he conducts. I have a video where at one point, he seems to take the music in his hands, bring it to his face and breathe it in, then release it.

  6. #6
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    Re: Do You Study Conductors?

    the greatest living, though alas no longer active, conductor is Kurt Sanderling. With the majority of the younger generation in particular putting effect ahead of musical depth and truth, it will be a sad day when this last and perhaps most under-rated of the great romantic German generation is finally gone.

  7. #7
    Senior Member rwayland's Avatar
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    Re: Do You Study Conductors?

    Well, yes, I have studied conductors, and also semi-conductors when I was involved in electronics.

    Richard

  8. #8

    Re: Do You Study Conductors?

    Quote Originally Posted by rwayland
    Well, yes, I have studied conductors, and also semi-conductors when I was involved in electronics.

    Richard
    Aw, Richard, ya stole my line... ROFL.

    Studying conductors is probably the best way to learn
    the job, I think.

    It might be an interesting thread to start up -- what
    conductors people like the most...

    David
    www.DavidSosnowski.com

    Does CMOS in cut time...
    .

  9. #9

    Re: Do You Study Conductors?

    On the TV 'Star Channel' (Nostalgia based) here in Russia, we get to see Svetlanov at least once a week conducting many fine russian orchestras from the past. An amazing, tough, taciturn, genius who extracted the very best out of orchestras, and gave the music an undeniable 'Svetlanov Touch.'
    I've been searching far and wide for old recordings of him conducting the russian 'music library', as i know they will be outstanding. I have been privileged enough to meet several of the senior players from the Russian Phil, and State orchestras, and including the Moscow 'seniors' orchestra, and although they all pretty well agreed Svetlanov was a brute of a man, they also agreed it was the best they'd ever heard an orchestra play, and all felt privileged they'd worked with him. Two of them also quietly said that Svetlanov (in their opinion) was instrumental in cementing Russia's reputation for producing the finest orchestral string players in the world.

    If you ever get to see old vid of this man conduct, it's a profound education in musicianship.
    It's alleged from the girls at the Russian music library (Bibliotech Lenina) that some movies of rehearsals with Svetlanov were made (although they don't have any), including his notorious temper, so if i find any, i'll attempt to post them.

    Alex.

  10. #10
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    Re: Do You Study Conductors?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hermitage59
    On the TV 'Star Channel' (Nostalgia based) here in Russia, we get to see Svetlanov at least once a week conducting many fine russian orchestras from the past. An amazing, tough, taciturn, genius who extracted the very best out of orchestras, and gave the music an undeniable 'Svetlanov Touch.'
    I've been searching far and wide for old recordings of him conducting the russian 'music library', as i know they will be outstanding. I have been privileged enough to meet several of the senior players from the Russian Phil, and State orchestras, and including the Moscow 'seniors' orchestra, and although they all pretty well agreed Svetlanov was a brute of a man, they also agreed it was the best they'd ever heard an orchestra play, and all felt privileged they'd worked with him. Two of them also quietly said that Svetlanov (in their opinion) was instrumental in cementing Russia's reputation for producing the finest orchestral string players in the world.

    If you ever get to see old vid of this man conduct, it's a profound education in musicianship.
    It's alleged from the girls at the Russian music library (Bibliotech Lenina) that some movies of rehearsals with Svetlanov were made (although they don't have any), including his notorious temper, so if i find any, i'll attempt to post them.

    Alex.
    I'm a huge fan of Svetlanov, more than any other Russian conductor, and was lucky enough to see him live on three or four occasions. The best thing he ever did that I've heard is Rachmaninov's 1st symphony --so far ahead of the "competition" that I can't bear to listen to any other reading. If anyone knows if it's possible to get hold of his recording of Alexander Nevsky, pls. let me know!

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