Mag­i­cal mae­stros

BBC Music Magazine - - Letters -

Tom Ser­vice’s witty and en­ter­tain­ing col­umn on ‘the con­duc­tor co­nun­drum’ (Septem­ber) de­scribes a phe­nom­e­non I had been wait­ing to read about for some time. I had just seen Daniel Baren­boim con­duct his West-east­ern Di­van Orches­tra at the BBC Proms and found my­self fix­ated on watch­ing him work his magic. There were times where the an­i­mated Baren­boim seemed to ex­pel mu­si­cal colour onto the orches­tra and oth­ers where he was com­pletely still, al­low­ing the mu­si­cians to lead them­selves.

Com­plete wiz­ardry! Some time ago I at­tended an open re­hearsal with Sir Si­mon Rat­tle and the LSO which opened my eyes to the de­tail and pre­ci­sion with which a con­duc­tor can at­tune the sound. I agree with Ser­vice when he says con­duc­tors to­day have more re­spon­si­bil­ity, both in shap­ing the or­ches­tral

sound and in cap­ti­vat­ing au­di­ences. There is huge scope for broad­en­ing of the role as he al­ludes, but I be­lieve there is al­ways a place for the magic a con­duc­tor can bring.

Emily Bev­ing­ton, Mole­sey

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