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Old 12-21-2016, 11:44 AM   #1
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Christian Thielemann on conducting

Thielemann talks about his experience as a conductor, from the very beginning until today in Bayreuth. One thing I picked up on; he says "a conductor who doesn't look you in the eyes is not a good conductor". Then he talks affectionately about his mentor, Herbert von Karajan, whom he seems to have accidentally forgotten conducted entirely with his eyes closed!!
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Old 12-21-2016, 08:24 PM   #2
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At least Karajan kept his baton moving. I remember seeing videos of Sir Adrian Boult conducting with barely any movement and his eyes half closed.

But Bernstein, usually the most manic of conductors, here takes the laid-back prize (deliberately):


Last edited by Michael; 12-21-2016 at 08:39 PM.
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Old 12-21-2016, 09:29 PM   #3
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You know I've looked everywhere for that work by Haydn; thank you!! It forms part of the lecture "Lead Like the Great Conductors" which I posted on this forum a couple of months ago and which also features Kleiber, Muti, Richard Strauss (barely moves his hands) von Karajan and Bernstein.

The Vienna Philharmonic's Haydn shows us that in smaller orchestral pieces a conductor is there only to start and finish the proceedings - with the groundwork having been laid beforehand during the 'rehoissals' (as Kleiber used to call them!). Itay Talgam, in that lecture, refers to this performance with Bernstein as "doing without doing". What an astonishing orchestra; like a finely tuned piece of precision engineering. Bernstein adored the Vienna Philharmonic and referred to them all as "the good professors". He was amazing himself.

Thielemann made an interesting comment in his lecture about broad arm and hand gestures and how he quickly learned that he would have to moderate these so that he could actually survive conducting Wagner without a total physical collapse!! That man Kleiber seemed to be able to manage it in his earlier, virile years - if you look at the rare footage in the "Traces to Nowhere" documentary I posted which shows him conducting Wagner (at 37min in). This was said about Kleiber: "Maestros don't sing any more, but Kleiber did".

Last edited by Humoresque; 12-21-2016 at 10:08 PM. Reason: Something beginning with K.
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