<< -- 4 -- Bill Newman IMPULSE AND SPACE
I remember a television relay of the rehearsal showing Celibidache losing
his temper with the chorus, while a similar occurence occurred almost ten
years earlier -- with Oldham in charge -- when Leonard Bernstein made a violent
outburst during the CBS-Sony recording session of Stravinsky's Symphony
of Psalms at Abbey Road, London.
Both conductors acknowledged the expertise of the London Symphony Chorus,
Bernstein making an effusive closing speech to that effect. Their martinet
tendencies towards performers, though, could be a bullying ploy for obtaining
the exact desired results.
Hickox's style of conducting -- lyrical-dramatic, keeping the music
constantly moving forward, knittting all the parts together, appears to
have evolved naturally. 'There is no substitute for experience, but
like the singer John Shirley Quirk, one learns so much from making recordings
and listening constantly to playbacks. I have made over 250. Music must
have impulse and possess space. My real understanding of space I learnt
from Colin Davis.'
How many chance gambles can you afford to bring into music making? 'If
you are trying to copy somebody else then you will never succeed, but if
you feel justified this is what the music requires, that's fine. I have
been conducting professionally for thirty years and what you learn as you
grow older, if you are lucky, is to be yourself. Orchestral players will
immediately recognize the fellow who is posing -- you know, the dark glasses
with the jacket draped over the shoulder! They can put up with that if the
talent is there, but posing during the music means bad rapport.
Copyright © 10 January 2002
Bill Newman, Edgware, Middlesex, UK
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