Jump to content
This Site Uses Cookies. If You Want to Disable Cookies, Please See Your Browser Documentation. ×

Recommended Posts

Thanks, ray. This is a fascinating article (not availble currently online) which is well worth seeking out. Davidson speaks in depth with Robert Spano (Atlanta), Michael Tilson Thomas (LA and Miami), James Conlon (formerly Paris Opera), Lorin Maazel (NY Philharmonic) and others. He is very attuned to historical development -- especially when talking about different emphases and approaches regarding conducting technique which have dominated at different periods of time.

Some of Davidson's points made me think of parallel issues in ballet -- for instance, the ongoing thread about "musicality" here on Ballet Talk. This was especially true when Davidson began writing about the way so much conducting has tilted in recent years towards an emphasis on precision and technical accuracy at the expense of what might be called "perfume" and a long musical line.

Precise gestures produce precise sound, and the blossming of technique after the Second World War was accompanied by a musical fetish for clarity. Pierre Boulez developed a fearsome gestural repertoire for executing the hyper-complex rhythms of modern compositions, including the ability to mark a different beat pattern with each hand. Boulez's approach, which arose as a response to the specific demands of modern compositions, soon spread to music of all periods, because it matched the needs of the global music industry -- the high-fidelity LP, for example, captured every flaw in an orchestral performance.

The musical consequences of this trend have not been entirely salutary. Furtwangler relied on degrees of vagueness, especially in Strauss, where he regularly allowed the edges of a chord to bleed, and let the waves of fast fiddle notes gurgle indistinctly. Nowadays a hazy softness is judiciously applied in performances -- Rattle does so exquisitely in Debussy -- but has become a special effect. .... Modern conducting sometimes feels like a glass skyscraper, initially thriling, but finally irritating, in its relentless sheen.

Here's a LINK to the musicallity thread: http://ballettalk.invisionzone.com/index.p...4&hl=musicality

Link to comment
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...