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...by way of a Youtube video of a Los Angeles Philharmonic performance of George Gershwin's AN AMERICAN IN PARIS, one of my favorite pieces of non-vocal music:


I'm someone who knows next to nothing about conducting, yet I just love the way the Maestro interacts with the orchestra, the pure joy he conveys. You can actually hear him laughing with delight at 14:37! I certainly have never heard anything like that from a conductor before. And I find it hard to imagine a better performance of AN AMERICAN IN PARIS than this one.

Any thoughts on the performance or Maestro Dudamel? Has anyone seen him conduct live?
 

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Any thoughts on the performance or Maestro Dudamel? Has anyone seen him conduct live?
I have - sorta - the Mahler 8th no less, live simulcast in theaters from Caracas, Venezuela with the combined LA Philharmonic and Simon Bolivar Orchestras. It was a viscerally exciting performance, particularly given that the chorus alone was over a thousand singers, but I would have to listen again to get a better feeling for the musical quality. As to my overall opinion of him, I think that he is good and probably will become very good over the coming decades. I am reminded of something said to Simon Rattle... "The really good conductors, they only start getting good when they are 65 ... and you are no exception!" Neither is Dudamel.

View attachment 78952
 

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I saw him conduct two yrs ago in LA. I flew down for a week-end trip to see him, the Walt Disney theatre, the Space Shuttle, Santa Monica and my girlfriend. Not in that order! We were seated at the back of the theatre, we were too far away to really see what was going on. We heard the North American premier of Brett Dean's Socrates. The music was too strange to know how well or not he conducted. A thoroughly fun week-end.
 

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I saw him twice at La Scala, two/three years ago: at first in a concert with Barenboim at the piano playing Brahms' and Bartok's piano concertos No.1, then conducting Verdi's Rigoletto.
I wasn't very impressed, particularly in Rigoletto, but possibly this was due to an unfair comparison with Riccardo Muti who I heard some years before in the same production...
His recordings are better imo. I like very much his Beethoven's seventh.
 

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Who was the last conductor of the LA? Was it Essa-Pekka Salonen? If so, I do not consider Dudamel to be a good trend, as far as adventurousness. Latinos are very formal and Catholic and traditional, usually, and from an emerging third-world area, this need to fit in and be more upwardly-mobile is not going to portend well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I saw him twice at La Scala, two/three years ago: at first in a concert with Barenboim at the piano playing Brahms' and Bartok's piano concertos No.1, then conducting Verdi's Rigoletto.
I wasn't very impressed, particularly in Rigoletto, but possibly this was due to an unfair comparison with Riccardo Muti who I heard some years before in the same production...
His recordings are better imo. I like very much his Beethoven's seventh.
I actually had the idea that Dudamel was brand-new to opera; I saw that he conducted LE NOZZE DI FIGARO very recently.

I have a recording of him conducting the Beethoven EROICA symphony. I don't know nearly enough about Beethoven interpretations to be able to evaluate the performance, but on the surface at least I like how it sounds: big, bold, Romantic.
 

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Who was the last conductor of the LA? Was it Essa-Pekka Salonen? If so, I do not consider Dudamel to be a good trend, as far as adventurousness. Latinos are very formal and Catholic and traditional, usually, and from an emerging third-world area, this need to fit in and be more upwardly-mobile is not going to portend well.
I would write an answer to this but I may break the ToS.
 

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Who was the last conductor of the LA? Was it Essa-Pekka Salonen? If so, I do not consider Dudamel to be a good trend, as far as adventurousness. Latinos are very formal and Catholic and traditional, usually, and from an emerging third-world area, this need to fit in and be more upwardly-mobile is not going to portend well.
Aside from the last part, which some may find quite offensive, you might want to look at the LA Phil's concert listings. "Ms. Borda's orchestra - first under Esa-Pekka Salonen as music director, and now under Gustavo Dudamel - is flourishing as never before, artistically as well as financially. Its programming is easily the most adventurous of any major American orchestra." (from a New York Times article)
 

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Then list the concert listings if they contradict what I said. From what I've seen on TV, Dudamel is not what I would call adventurous. As far as being offensive, I'm speaking generally, so why not post a list of what religion most South Americans belong to? I don't expect it to be Scientology.
 

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Then list the concert listings if they contradict what I said. From what I've seen on TV, Dudamel is not what I would call adventurous. As far as being offensive, I'm speaking generally, so why not post a list of what religion most South Americans belong to? I don't expect it to be Scientology.
I assume you can look up the current season's program. But here's something.

"New York, NY, June 8, 2012: ...Commenting on the Adventurous Programming Awards, Cia Toscanini, ASCAP's Vice President of Concert Music, said: "For the past 55 years, the members of ASCAP have presented adventurous programming awards to orchestras that enrich the repertory and insure that concert music in America remains relevant and alive. ASCAP salutes those orchestras and music directors whose programming demonstrates a commitment to the music creators of our time."

ASCAP's annual Adventurous Programming Awards recognize American orchestras whose past season prominently featured music written within the last 25 years.

The winners are:

Group 1 Orchestras
First Place: Los Angeles Philharmonic, Gustavo Dudamel, Music Director

(etc.)"
 

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Scarecrow, here's another.

"Here’s how 2015-16 looks:

◾12 commissions, 12 world premieres, 6 U.S. premieres, and 7 West Coast premieres. This breaks a previous LA Phil record for presentation of new music. The orchestra has never presented as many as 12 world premieres in a single season.
◾In 2015-16, the LA Phil and visiting artists will present music by 8 different Baroque composers; 5 Classical-era composers; 22 Romantics; and 72 20th and 21st Century composers.
◾That’s 7% Baroque, 5% Classical, 21% Romantic, and 67% 20th/21st Century
◾Of the 107 composers on the 2015-16 season, 42 are living. That’s 39%.
◾From those 42 living composers, the LA Phil will present 53 different works.
◾(For comparison’s sake, in 2015-16 the New York Philharmonic will present works from 12 different living composers; Chicago – 7; Philadelphia – 5. More here.)
◾An even 200 works on the 2015-16 season: 26 Baroque, 19 Classical, 53 Romantic, and 102 from the 20th/21st Century.
◾That’s 13% Baroque, 9.5% Classical, 26.5% Romantic, and 51% Modern."
 

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Dudamel burst on to the scene with a thunderclap with the Simon Bolivar orchestra. A real poster boy for El Sistema, which really seems a marvellous thing in Venezuela and now elsewhere.
His enthusiasm and passion are undoubted. As a technician, I am told by those who know that he has much to learn but he's off to a great start. Good now, could be great. And a great advertisement for orchestral music.
In Melbourne we have another El Sistema product as guest chief conductor, Diego Matheuz, and I'd make similar comments about him.
 
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I just listened today to his recording of Beethoven's 3rd (my choice for Ludwig's birthday) and found it excellent. His recording of the 9th has been my favorite for some time. His Symphony Fantastique by Berlioz made me finally like that work after struggling with it for years.
 
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