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For JohnK, and others who enjoy orchestra
#279743 11/19/09 03:51 PM
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I subscribe to the University of California's youtube channel for educational purposes, but found this yesterday and thought some of you would enjoy it.

I don't listen to orchestra's, but this performance was brilliant and sounded absolutely fabulous through my Paradigm monitor 9 computer speakers; I can only imagine what it would sound like through some Axioms.

Anyway, here you go .

Cheers,
Cam


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Re: For JohnK, and others who enjoy orchestra
Ya_basta #279766 11/19/09 05:51 PM
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Wow, such a wonderfully large number of performers. The live experience must have been very powerful.


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Re: For JohnK, and others who enjoy orchestra
Murph #279804 11/19/09 07:43 PM
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I thought the same thing, Murph; very impressive.


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Re: For JohnK, and others who enjoy orchestra
Ya_basta #279805 11/19/09 07:50 PM
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Oh yes, I have a question-does a maestro actually do anything? I mean, I really don't see how an orchestra wouldn't be able to play without one. I know he has something to do with the tempo of the music, but I really think that I could sit up there and wave my arms around, even if it was a paroxysmal muscle spasm, and the orchestra would do just fine.

Can anyone explain this to me?


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Re: For JohnK, and others who enjoy orchestra
Ya_basta #279807 11/19/09 08:01 PM
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A conductor is to an orchestra what a pianist is to a piano. He is the one translating the intentions of the composer into instructions for the musicians. Classical music is not single-tempo, single dynamic. Tempo can change every bar and the possible ways to attack each note varies greatly. It would not be possible for a large ensemble to agree on how to play.
The main role of the conductor happens during preparing and rehearsals. The performance itself is the rendering of 100s (when not 1000s) of tiny decisions from the conductor (who can, of course, listen to suggestions from the musicians).


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Re: For JohnK, and others who enjoy orchestra
EFalardeau #279810 11/19/09 08:17 PM
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and then ignore them or take full responsibiliy for how good it sounds ;\)


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Re: For JohnK, and others who enjoy orchestra
EFalardeau #279814 11/19/09 08:27 PM
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I'm still grade school level when it comes to classical but the above is very true. This is why when the more educated in classical refer to a particular piece or CD, they always include the conductor in the title. One conductor's version of the same piece can sound very different from another. You may even enjoy one persons conductor's interpretation and totally despise another.

I do hear you though Cam. Musicians do often seem to be totally ignoring this strange man wailing his arms about but then you will see some performers staring intently, especially when they are currently silent but waiting for their cue to begin. Like tempo, timing in general is a big responsibility of theirs.

EDIT:
Ha, Jay. You sniped me with your quick comment before I finished typing. I agree the musicians should get equal cred. Perhaps if there just wasn't often so many of them.....

Last edited by Murph; 11/19/09 08:30 PM. Reason: snipage

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Re: For JohnK, and others who enjoy orchestra
Ya_basta #279816 11/19/09 08:31 PM
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 Originally Posted By: wheelz999
Oh yes, I have a question-does a maestro actually do anything?


EF's answer is great, but I'll expand on it...

Absolutely. Does a sports team need a coach? Why can't the players just go out and, well, play? For the same reason that an orchestra needs a conductor.

The conductor is the leader. Just like everything else, when a group of people are trying to accomplish a shared goal, it helps if someone is the leader. The conductor guides the performers through the piece of music. The individual musicians all have tremendous talent, but someone has to control that talent and guide it to produce the orchestral work. The conductor also plays the roll of an "interpreter" of the piece of music. Interpreting what the composer desired. And that's were a lot of a conductor's genius comes into play. Different conductors will run an orchestra through the same music in entirely different ways; controlling the tempo (speed), volume, and emphasis on different instruments through different movements.

And on a less esoteric level, you also have to understand that sometimes as an individual musician in an large orchestra, it can be difficult to hear the "big picture". The conductor, out in front of all of the instruments, can hear the combined output of the entire group. (S)He will hear that the oboe's are a bit too loud, or that the 2nd violins are a little too quiet, or that the timpani is just a little bit ahead of the beat; and (s)he'll issue commands (via that arm-waving) to adjust individual sections (or individuals) accordingly.



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Re: For JohnK, and others who enjoy orchestra
PeterChenoweth #279823 11/19/09 09:43 PM
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Thanks guys, very informative.

And here I thought it was something I could do ;\)


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Re: For JohnK, and others who enjoy orchestra
Ya_basta #279825 11/19/09 10:00 PM
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Oh! Conducting involves a LOT of bowing down... Might prove challenging for you! \:\)


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