As a postscript, I'd like to add that, in my unimportant view, challenging an instrumentalist's musical intellect with a few words is a lot more inviting and clear than a limited, vague gesture that may leave them more confused and unsure then the coherence of a well — articulated set of imaginative words. I remember taking a serious and extraordinarily beautiful amateur musician to a Boston Pops concert. She watched Arthur Fiedler, the ur-conductor of the Pops, and nearly-worshipped local celebrity, and after a few minutes said, "I don't have the vaguest idea what he's doing.
BSO open rehersals were a blessing for poor students - fine music, and a look into how it is made. One stands out. Ozawa struggled through Mozart; it always seemed to me that the earlier the music, the less he liked it and the less well he did. But next the Firebird.
The family stayed in Dresden until , only returning to Russia for their summer breaks at Ivanovka. Speculative science. A fantastic feature of digital annotations that forScore, Newzik, and nkoda all feature is layers. I recently completed a guide to commissioning for conductors who want to create a new work. Retrieved 2 April
From the start, it was magnificent, the orchestra played it straight through - there were no corrections necessary - and at the end, not only did the audience jump to its feet cheering, but the musicians were up, too, cheering each other and Ozawa for their transcendent music. After more than forty years, that Firebird is still the most spectacular performance I have ever lived.
And that is why live music matters.
Of course, most concerts will be run-of-a-very-skilled-mill. But once in a while, the music will take everyone over the rainbow, and no recording can do that. It is not easy and require a very deep knowledge of music and appreciation of small variation. The terrible is that many people choice the good conductors if they have a nice background story for example Dudamel , inclusive when they are at mots average.
I've seen conductors like Sergiu Celibidache and Valery Gergiev sweat like crazy during their concerts.
One factor that schools cannot prepare their students are the political dynamics involved in the selection process of new conducting talent. Gaining the respect of veteran professional musicians is the toughest vetting process because few nominating committees will offer contracts to those whom at least their principal chairs do not accept. The ultimate role of the conductor is a public entertainer-- not a musician. Make them laugh, smile, and happy. An excellent mime who has mastered the facial and arm gestures and body movement may have the chops for excelling at musical conducting.
And a little magic, clowning and comedy would be welcome. Duke Ellington comes to mind.
The conductor is the official leader of the orchestra and they direct every aspect of rehearsals. The baton-waving in the performances is the very least of their effort and value.
As an alternative imagine the conductor of the future. It dances across the stage, accelerates, falls, climbs, dips. It prompts musician sections with colored lights that vary in intensity. It shows suggestive video corresponding to the music: like fountains and waterfalls for a fast cascading section. On children's concerts imagine a dance troupe of flying UAV robots to do choreographed dance performances like fly-girls. If you noticed, the orchestra music scene is geriatric and dying. Perhaps it needs to be updated? But there is a lot of room for interpretation in the score, e.
Without a conductor, each musician would resort to his or her own individual opinion. Much of the conductor's input is during rehearsal when he or she conveys this information to the orchestra. Sometimes, especially in the case of piano pieces, the conductor can give enough guidance by playing the solo part and can "conduct from the piano", but this isn't common. Allan, Wimbledon Listen to the music of Harrison Birtwistle or any comparable contemporary composer, and you might wonder whether it is worth the bother to pay a conductor. On second thoughts, paying competent musicians to play the stuff seems a little excessive too.
As above, during rehersal and for interpretation. During the concert to keep everyone together and on track. David, Japan If you wish to read an entertaining, but highly opinionated and infuriating attack on conductors, get a copy of Hans Keller's "Criticism". Conducting is just one of several musical professions he deems "phoney", others being those of opera producer, critic, musicologist, viola player. The book is smugly ironic in that Keller himself practised most of these.
Politicians, teachers, psychoanalysts, editors are among his non-musical phoneys. Andrew Thomson, Paris The boring answer is that music notation is just not comprehensive or accurate enough to be unambiguously turned into music by a group of players. You have to have someone who calls the shots Keith Taylor, Warsash UK The only time I believe the conductor to be redundant is in the performance itself. The leader of the orchestra could easily fill this role, but, conductors just love to bask in their own insignificance.
Choral conducting is a completely different kettle of fish - this requires a lot of input during the performance and can vastly change the perfomance Nick, London In rehearsal the conductor's function is to suggest phrasing, dynamics, articulation, tempo and so on, and pick up on things that are going wrong; if the players have paid attention in rehearsal they should be able to perform many pieces well on their own.
Chamber orchestras often do. However it's harder for an orchestra to rehearse without someone who isn't distracted by playing responsibilities doing the directing, and in concerts the players in one section sometimes can't hear what another section is doing: a clear beat in these passages helps. One month before his death from advanced melanoma , Rachmaninoff was granted American citizenship. In Rachmaninoff's work, early influences of Tchaikovsky , Rimsky-Korsakov , Balakirev , Mussorgsky , and other Russian composers gave way to a personal style notable for its song-like melodicism, expressiveness and rich orchestral colors.
Sergei was born into a family of the Russian aristocracy in the Russian Empire. In their first known genealogy, compiled in the s by Perfiliy Rakhmaninov, the family derives its own origin from the Moldovan rulers Dragoshi , who ruled Moldavia and Wallachia from to  descending from Vasile, nicknamed Rachmaninov "Rachmanin" in Old Russian, meaning lazy ,   a son of the Moldavian prince Stephen the Great. His paternal grandfather, Arkady Alexandrovich, was a musician who had taken lessons from Irish composer John Field.
The couple had three sons and three daughters, Rachmaninoff being their fourth child. It is unclear which of two family estates he was born on: Oneg near Veliky Novgorod , or Semyonovo near Staraya Russa. His birth was registered in a church in the latter,  but he was raised in Oneg until age nine and cited it as his birthplace in his adult life.
Upon hearing news of the boy's gift, Arkady suggested she hire Anna Ornatskaya, a teacher and recent graduate of the Saint Petersburg Conservatory , to live with the family and begin formal teaching.
Rachmaninoff dedicated his piano composition "Spring Waters" from 12 Romances, Op. Rachmaninoff's father had to auction off the Oneg estate in due to his financial incompetence; the family's five estates were now reduced to one. Rachmaninoff remained critical of his father in later life, describing him as "a wastrel, a compulsive gambler, a pathological liar, and a skirt chaser". Later that year his sister Sofia died of diphtheria and his father left the family for Moscow.
In , Rachmaninoff suffered further loss when his sister Yelena died at age eighteen of pernicious anemia. She was an important musical influence to Rachmaninoff who had introduced him to the works of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. As a respite, his grandmother took him to a farm retreat by the Volkhov River where Rachmaninoff developed a love for rowing. In the autumn of , Rachmaninoff moved in with Zverev and stayed for almost four years, during which he befriended fellow pupil Alexander Scriabin.
Zverev, who believed composition was a waste for talented pianists, refused to speak to Rachmaninoff for some time and organised for him to live with his uncle and aunt Satin and their family in Moscow. Rachmaninoff spent his summer break in with the Satins at Ivanovka , their private country estate near Tambov , to which the composer would return many times until Despite little faith from Siloti and Conservatory director Vasily Safonov as he had just three weeks' preparation, Rachmaninoff received assistance from a recent graduate who was familiar with the tests, and passed each one with honours in July Three days later, he passed his annual theory and composition exams.
Upon graduating, Rachmaninoff continued to compose and signed a rouble publishing contract with Gutheil, under which Aleko , Two Pieces Op. He was paid 50 roubles for his appearance. In , Rachmaninoff spent a productive summer with friends at an estate in Kharkiv Oblast where he composed several pieces, including Fantaisie-Tableaux aka Suite No. During his subsequent trip to Kiev to conduct performances of Aleko , he learned of Tchaikovsky's death from cholera. Rachmaninoff entered a decline following Tchaikovsky's death.
He lacked the inspiration to compose, and the management of the Grand Theatre had lost interest in showcasing Aleko and dropped it from the program. The tour was not enjoyable for the composer and he quit before it ended, thus sacrificing his performance fees. In a more desperate plea for money, Rachmaninoff pawned his gold watch given to him by Zverev.
Among the pieces composed were Six Choruses Op. Rachmaninoff's fortunes took a turn following the premiere of his Symphony No. Other witnesses suggested that Glazunov, an alcoholic, may have been drunk, although this was never intimated by Rachmaninoff. Rachmaninoff fell into a depression that lasted for three years, during which he had writer's block and composed almost nothing.
He described this time as "Like the man who had suffered a stroke and for a long time had lost the use of his head and hands".
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Two months later, he travelled to London for the first time to perform and conduct, earning positive reviews. During his time conducting in Moscow, Rachmaninoff was engaged to Natalia Satina. However, the Russian Orthodox church and Satina's parents opposed their announcement, thwarting their plans for marriage. Rachmaninoff's depression worsened in late following an unproductive summer; he composed one song, "Fate", which later became one of his Twelve Songs Op. The visit was unsuccessful, doing nothing to help him compose with the fluency he had before. By , Rachmaninoff had become so self-critical that, despite numerous attempts, composing had become near impossible.
His aunt then suggested professional help, having received successful treatment from a family friend, physician and amateur musician Nikolai Dahl , to which Rachmaninoff agreed without resistance. That summer, Rachmaninoff felt that "new musical ideas began to stir" and successfully resumed composition. After the first and last movement premiered in December with Rachmaninoff as the soloist, the entire piece was first performed in and was enthusiastically received.
Amid his professional career success, Rachmaninoff married Natalia Satina on 12 May after a three-year engagement.