Wednesday, July 13, 2005

To start off the discussion...

I suppose I'll start this off...

Let's see, a topic...

technically, this isn't classical but hey...CLOSE ENOUGH. Any problems with that? Yeah, that's right, I didn't think so.

I must get this out: BOSTON POPS. I'm sort of rediscovering them as of late and holy crap, they're amazing! It's been so long since I watched
Evening at Pops to begin with and tonight, they're having Kristen Chenowith! YAY! So that'll be fun. I have to say, though, that Keith Lockhart is my favorite of the Big Three. The Big Three being conductors, of course. And those three being Arthur Fiedler, John Williams and Lockhart. Now, Fiedler was fantastic, don't get me wrong, but...I like the other direction Williams and Lockhart took the Pops. Williams, of course, had the whole film thing going and it worked for him, seeing as how he's pretty much the best film composer like EVER. Ok, maybe he's a tie with John Corigliano (The Red Violin). Then there's Lockhart. When I first saw him, he'd JUST been appointed the new conductor, it was some time right after that, so early to mid-1995. I was...eleven. And honest to goodness, the first thing that came out of my mouth after I saw him conduct was, "He's so...BOUNCY!" And it's true, he is. In fact, here's a little bit of an article I read:

His style of conducting is so physical that the 42-year-old maestro actually has a torn rotator cuff, an injury more common to baseball pitchers. His physical therapist, who works with Olympic athletes, performs deep tissue massage on his shoulder a couple of days a week and tells him, 'You have one of the most messed up shoulders I've ever dealt with.'" (Deseret News, March 29, 2003)

Now that's conducting. In fact, Jeff and I were having the discussion that to be a great conductor, you have to be some kind of tyrant. The prime example, of course, being Toscanini. As far as I'm aware, nobody beats him for tyrantness. Unless, of course, you were my high school band director. Well, actually, our choir director was worse...she would come and direct if the band director wasn't there...nobody liked those days...anyway. Now, we've decided (I think) that there are two kinds of tyrants: the regular tyrants and the "nice" tyrants. Williams and Lockhart fall under the latter category and I think a lot of conductors do today. Sort of like, they're really nice guys but I wouldn't want to screw up while they're on the podium, that's for sure.

Any other thoughts on conductors? I'd like to see how a Toscanini fares today, wouldn't you? I wonder if anyone would stand for it. LOL I would, I'd be too afraid I'd get stabbed with a baton or something.

So, that's it for my rant at the moment. I might add later...feel free to jump right in!


Blogger Advocate1 said...

I have some pre-Boston Bops recordings of Fiedler in which he conducts Mozart Divertimenti. In these performances you find a conductor who is as dedicated to perfection and minute detail as a Reiner or a Toscanini. We tend to remember the friendly old man from the album covers and TV broadcasts, but Fieldler could be an absolute tyrant on the podium. Not that I'm complaining. The final products were worth all the trouble. The performances glow and glimmer, excellence gleaming through the limited recording technology of the era.

7/15/2005 10:40 AM  

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