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The Compleat Conductor

Author: Gunther Schuller
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199840588
Size: 55.32 MB
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A world-renowned conductor and composer who has lead most of the major orchestras in North America and Europe, a talented musician who has played under the batons of such luminaries as Toscanini and Walter, and an esteemed arranger, scholar, author, and educator, Gunther Schuller is without doubt a major figure in the music world. Now, in The Compleat Conductor, Schuller has penned a highly provocative critique of modern conducting, one that is certain to stir controversy. Indeed, in these pages he castigates many of this century's most venerated conductors for using the podium to indulge their own interpretive idiosyncrasies rather than devote themselves to reproducing the composer's stated and often painstakingly detailed intentions. Contrary to the average concert-goer's notion (all too often shared by the musicians as well) that conducting is an easily learned skill, Schuller argues here that conducting is "the most demanding, musically all embracing, and complex" task in the field of music performance. Conducting demands profound musical sense, agonizing hours of study, and unbending integrity. Most important, a conductor's overriding concern must be to present a composer's work faithfully and accurately, scrupulously following the score including especially dynamics and tempo markings with utmost respect and care. Alas, Schuller finds, rare is the conductor who faithfully adheres to a composer's wishes. To document this, Schuller painstakingly compares hundreds of performances and recordings with the original scores of eight major compositions: Beethoven's fifth and seventh symphonies, Schumann's second (last movement only), Brahms's first and fourth, Tchaikovsky's sixth, Strauss's "Till Eulenspiegel" and Ravel's "Daphnis et Chloe, Second Suite." Illustrating his points with numerous musical examples, Schuller reveals exactly where conductors have done well and where they have mangled the composer's work. As he does so, he also illuminates the interpretive styles of many of our most celebrated conductors, offering pithy observations that range from blistering criticism of Leonard Bernstein ("one of the world's most histrionic and exhibitionist conductors") to effusive praise of Carlos Kleiber (who "is so unique, so remarkable, so outstanding that one can only describe him as a phenomenon"). Along the way, he debunks many of the music world's most enduring myths (such as the notion that most of Beethoven's metronome markings were "wrong" or "unplayable," or that Schumann was a poor orchestrator) and takes on the "cultish clan" of period instrument performers, observing that many of their claims are "totally spurious and chimeric." In his epilogue, Schuller sets forth clear guidelines for conductors that he believes will help steer them away from self indulgence towards the correct realization of great art. Courageous, eloquent, and brilliantly insightful, The Compleat Conductor throws down the gauntlet to conductors worldwide. It is a controversial book that the music world will be debating for many years to come.

A Musical Life

Author: Max Rudolf
Publisher: Pendragon Press
ISBN: 9781576470381
Size: 68.39 MB
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This volume offers a collection of articles written by the renowned conductor and scholar Max Rudolf, together with a selection of his correspondence relating to material in the articles. Max Rudolf's conducting career spanned seventy years, from his first performances in l920-2l to his last in 1990. His life was devoted to performing, scholarship, and teaching. He conducted at the Metropolitan Opera from 1943 to 1937 and was Musical Director of the Cincinnati Symphony from 1938 to 1970, after which he combined guest conducting with teaching opera and conducting at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia. The articles reflect a lifetime of thought on the art of conducting, musical style, and performance practice. Rudolf, known as an interpreter of the classical repertoire, freely shared his vast knowledge of Mozart's and Beethoven's scores with colleagues and students. His conducting book, The Grammar of Conducting, has been the leading college text in the field for many years. As such it has extended his influence on many generations of conductors. Throughout his life, Rudolf corresponded voluminously with other musicians. The letters included in this volume were selected because they shed a warm, personal light on the formal published articles thus providing an opportunity to share the mind and thoughts of an outstanding human being.

Berlioz S Orchestration Treatise

Author: Berlioz
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781139433006
Size: 36.82 MB
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Berlioz's Orchestration Treatise is a classic textbook which has been used as a guide to orchestration and as a source book for the understanding both of Berlioz's music and of orchestral practice in the nineteenth century. This was the first English translation of Berlioz's complete text since 1856, and it is accompanied throughout by Hugh Macdonald's extensive and authoritative commentary on the instruments of Berlioz's time and on his own orchestral practice, as revealed in his scores. It also includes extracts from Berlioz's writings on instruments in his Memoirs and in his many articles for the Parisian press. The Treatise has been highly valued both for its technical information about instruments but also for its poetic and visionary approach to the art of instrumentation. Berlioz was not only one of the great orchestrators of the nineteenth century, he was also the author with the clearest understanding of the art.

Concert And Opera Conductors

Author: Robert H. Cowden
Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group
Size: 73.16 MB
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Filling an important gap in scholarship, Professor Cowden's new bibliography provides complete and authoritative information on major conductors of permanent orchestral ensembles since the time of von Weber and Berlioz. Cowden has selected 1,249 conductors on the basis of citations in standard music references, biographical studies, autobiographies, and contributions to the pedagogy of conducting. Publications in English and several European languages are cited. The first section, Collective Works, gives detailed information on titles devoted to concert and opera conductors and related titles containing additional material on conductors and conducting. The section on individual conductors is arranged alphabetically by artist. Further sources and references are offered in appendixes and an index of authors is included.