Contemporary conduct

The twentieth century, as it progressed, presented serious challenges for the listener. But not only audiences were tested by this complex ‘new  music’; the job of conducting these scores demanded a whole new raft of techniques. There were complicated cross-rhythms: strange new time signatures: There were aleatoric scores with their chance elements, graphic scores that sometimes […]

Getting (and keeping) it together

You’ve studied the score, understood the ‘topography’ of the piece, decided on the ‘correct’ tempo for each movement, and so on. Now it’s time to put the whole thing together and, working with the orchestra, sort out details of articulation, dynamic, ensemble and balance, and how to negotiate any difficult corners that the work presents. Here, […]

HIPsters

HIPsters? No, not what you’re thinking, but a word – I’m rather proud(?) of it – that I’ve coined myself. HIPsters are people who favour Historically Informed Performance (aka ‘authentic’ performance or period performance). Notice the inverted commas around the word ‘authentic’. They’re there because, as critics of the term point out, before the invention of the wax cylinder, […]