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Thread: Talkative conductors

  1. #1
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    Default Talkative conductors

    Conductors come in all shapes, sizes and temperaments. One thing they share in common is strong personalities....sometimes, conductors are very verbose, talkative. This tends to drive orchestra musicians nuts....there have been many stories regarding this issue - perhaps the most famous being the famous Klemperer - Bruno Labate incident....Klemperer, in his earlier years, was quite the talker...a tall imposing figure, he was going on and on in front of the NYPO, a pretty tough outfit in years past....Bruno Labate, the principal oboe, was a tiny figure, supposedly he appeared taller when he sat in his chair, than he did when standing - "Hey Klemp, you talka too much!".
    This did not go over with OK, but the orchestra thought it hilarious....another time, Klemperer, again, was preaching to the principal horn about the big solo in Brahms sym#1/IV....going on about the sunrise, dawn of a new day, and so on and so forth....a comment from the orchestra - <I think he just wants it louder>...then there was Paul Paray, a notorious talker, going on in front of Chicago SO...finally, one musician piped up...<Hey, you conduct it, we'll play it!!> orchestra busts up lol... Paray, furious, vows to never conduct Chicago again (he never did), and calls them nothing but a bunch of "gang-stairs" (gangsters)...
    An exception, Istvan Kertesz, quite the talker, but Cleveland loved him, and wanted him to succeed Szell...unfortunately, his untimely accidental death negated this possibility.

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    Probably from the need to prove themselves that they deserve the right to conduct, directly or indirectly.

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    I know someone who would talk the orchestra´s ear off for 20 minutes for a really short instruction. The orchestra would seriously end up watching movies on their phones while she spoke. Lol.

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