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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000257.txt from 1999/06

From: Bill Hausmann <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Re: movement of musicians
Date: Sun, 6 Jun 1999 12:55:27 -0400

At 06:02 PM 6/5/1999 -0500, Neil Leupold wrote:
>On Sat, 5 Jun 1999, Bill Hausmann wrote:
>> It is a fact of life that in any group of, say, 65 musicians and a
>> conductor, there are 65 and ONLY 65 people who know how the piece SHOULD be
>> played. Somehow that white stick drains all musical taste out of anyone
>> who holds it. Just ask any of the 65! The joy of conducting is that you
>> get to play it YOUR way. The downside is that all the rest of the group
>> thinks you are an idiot. If your skin is thick enough, it's OK. It's
>> better than sitting in the clarinet section grousing about the
>> gesticulating moron up front!
>A strange assertion of one's opinion, especially if the conductor
>is possessed of academic integrity and musical insight. The man
>or woman gesticulating up front, if (s)he meets these criteria, is
>more likely to have a detailed understanding of the composer and
>the piece in question than any of the musicians under his/her
>leadership. The subjective issues of leadership ability, person-
>ality, and attitude, however, can obfuscate whatever wisdom and/or
>inspiration the conductor might potentially impart to the ensemble.
>There are those conductors, though, who have no business being on
>the podium, when they have not done their homework and/or received
>the training necessary to literally know what they're *trying* to
>do, whether or not they actually accomplish anything. Even a blind
>squirrel eventually finds a nut, and by no merit of his own.
While I was obviously exaggerating for comedic effect, your comment does
give me an opportunity to clarify what I said. I have myself spent time at
both ends of the stick, although, of course, not at the professional
symphony level, where your requirements for conductorial scholarship are
entirely justified. But you can't tell me that you do not frequently (if
silently) question the conductor's interpretation and feel that you would,
if given the opportunity, do it differently, that is to say, better.

Bill Hausmann
451 Old Orchard Drive
Essexville, MI 48732
ICQ UIN 4862265

If you have to mic a saxophone, the rest of the band is too loud.

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