View Poll Results: Conductors grunting

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  • It annoys me

    19 50.00%
  • It doesn't really bother me

    16 42.11%
  • Other

    3 7.89%
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Thread: Conductors grunting

  1. #1
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    Default Conductors grunting

    A small number of conductors have had their on-platform grunts recorded for posterity. The two examples I can think of are Sir Colin Davis and Mariss Jansons. Does this put you off the music, or does it not bother you?

    EDIT: I think this has been moved. Apologies for putting it in the wrong place.
    Last edited by maestro267; Sep-29-2010 at 15:06.
    "I like to think that oysters transcend national barriers" - Roger Waters

  2. #2
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    Never heard any grunting. Maybe bacause I much prefer studio recordings over live ones, but I own more than few performances by Colin Davis and never heard any grunting not by him or any other conductor.

  3. #3
    Senior Member elgars ghost's Avatar
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    I can hear Sir John Barbirolli on most of my recordings. Rattle occasionally. On the whole I haven't a problem with conductors grunting - if I can tolerate Glenn Gould's conspicuous mutterings while he's playing piano then I suppose I can put up with anything a conductor does.

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    Senior Member Edward Elgar's Avatar
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    I say, grunt at home, not in the concert hall. Beethoven didn't write, "quaver grunts at bar 205". Bach didn't write, "hum out of tune to this piece".
    When all the paint has been dried, when all the stone has been carved, music shall remain, and we shall work with what remains.

  5. #5
    Senior Member World Violist's Avatar
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    Humming doesn't bother me. The music is fine, and the humming I see as just a bit of harmless background noise (and I put up with that plenty, not that I have any choice in the matter).

    The only problem I have is with stupid recordings that sound as though the conductor's (or whatever) being close-miked so that when I have headphones on it does distract.
    You get a frog in your throat, you sound hoarse.

  6. #6
    Moderator mamascarlatti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by World Violist View Post
    Humming doesn't bother me. The music is fine, and the humming I see as just a bit of harmless background noise (and I put up with that plenty, not that I have any choice in the matter).

    The only problem I have is with stupid recordings that sound as though the conductor's (or whatever) being close-miked so that when I have headphones on it does distract.
    Never heard any grunting, but I get annoyed when I can hear the prompter during a non-studio opera recording.
    Natalie

  7. #7
    Senior Member Norse's Avatar
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    The only time I can remember noticing conductor grunting was at a concert with Gianandrea Noseda (Rachmaninov's second concerto and the Pines of Rome by Respighi.) I sat front row for once, which might explain it, but I was almost shocked at the loud "uh!" that seemed to preceed every outburst from the orchestra.

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    Senior Member elgars ghost's Avatar
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    I tend to listen to all music through headphones so that's probably why I can make so much grunting out - it didn't occur to me that it might not be picked up if playing through speakers.

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  10. #9
    Senior Member World Violist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elgar's ghost View Post
    I tend to listen to all music through headphones so that's probably why I can make so much grunting out - it didn't occur to me that it might not be picked up if playing through speakers.
    Yeah, speakers really cover up a lot of grunts from conductors. I was rather shocked at one Colin Davis CD I have; after hearing it a few times on speakers I put in the headphones and it was crazy full of hummings etc.
    You get a frog in your throat, you sound hoarse.

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  12. #10
    Senior Member Conor71's Avatar
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    I find Gould's humming on his recordings quite funny (probably because it is so out of tune sometimes!) .
    Generally extaneous noise on recordings dont bother me that much but I cant really abide coughing and clapping! (so I tend to favour studio recordings for this reason).

  13. #11
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    Doesnt' bother me. I used to have a tape with Sir Thomas Beecham conducting, and he was quite a grunter (but it was a live recording - does doing something live make these guys grunt more?)...

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    It bothers me a great deal. It is just bad discipline. The hummers and grunters of the musical world need to have been told to stop their bad habits many years ago. I admire Colin Davis tremendously and have worked with him on several occasions. However, his humming (usually out of tune) has ruined some of his recordings for me.

  15. #13
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    I have a mono recording of Bernstein conducting NY Phil in Shostakovich' 5th-Columbia, circa 1960.
    For one short spell he goes all out, humming, grunting and stomping the podium.
    He settles down nicely afterward.

  16. #14
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    Not really a grunt, but Antonio Pappano does this fish thing with his face when he conducts. I understand getting into the music and what not, but his face... it's kind of scary, and obnoxious.

  17. #15
    Senior Member HarpsichordConcerto's Avatar
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    Studio recordings should not have any. A very small minority of my CDs have a few seconds of the conductor grunting. Thankfully, these very few incidences never really bothered me due to rarity.

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