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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000626.txt from 2001/04

From: rgarrett@-----.edu
Subj: Re: [kl] Conductor's and Musician's Ego
Date: Thu, 26 Apr 2001 08:11:25 -0400

At 06:20 PM 04/25/2001 -0700, you wrote:
>I do not suggest for one minute that this is true, only that this is the
>way the world perceived band conductors; i.e., "they may be big cheeses in
>Ann Arbor, but put them in front of the Detroit Symphony and have them
>conduct Rite of Spring instead of a Sousa march, and watch them fall apart."

I expect that is why H. Robert Reynolds, Director of Bands at U. Michigan
from 1975 to the present, was asked by members of the Detroit Symphony to
conduct the Chamber Winds ensemble.

>As a result of this unfortunate perception, conductors like Revelli were a
>great deal more vulnerable than is imagined. Thus, they behaved like
>petty tyrants (which is what orchestral conductors were thought to be)
>out of a sense of inferiority, not out of ego.

My guess is that Dr. Revelli's first-hand observations of Toscanini and the
NBC Symphony, as well as other prominent orchestras, as well as his primary
instrument of violin would shed some doubt on the generalization that
Daniel Leeson has presented here.

>I do not endorse the truth of any of the assertions described above, but
>offer them only to focus attention on a matter other than ego.

And I assert, regarding Revelli, that Daniel Leeson's comments regarding a
possible egocentric behavior (implied regarding band directors in general)
are pure speculation and are based on nothing but conjecture. Daniel
Leeson has not indicated that he knew William D. Revelli, a man at least 25
years his senior, and he has not indicated that he Revelli was a victim of
this kind of "vulnerability." Therefore, I further assert that Daniel
Leeson, while a wonderful Mozart scholar, has no idea why or what caused
Dr. William D. Revelli to behave in any manner whatsoever.

I am pleased that Daniel Leeson agrees - by virtue of his last sentence above.

Best wishes,
Roger Garrett

Roger Garrett
Clarinet Professor
Director, Symphonic Winds
Illinois Wesleyan University
School of Music
Bloomington, IL 61702-2900
Phone: (309) 556-3268
Fax: (309) 556-3121

"A man never discloses his own character so clearly as when he describes
another's."
Jean Paul Richter (1763-1825)

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