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The silent musician : why conducting matters

Author: Mark Wigglesworth
Publisher: Chicago : The University of Chicago Press, 2019. ©2018
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
The conductor--tuxedoed, imposingly poised above an orchestra, baton waving dramatically--is a familiar figure even for those who never set foot in an orchestral hall. As a veritable icon for classical music, the conductor has also been subjected to some ungenerous caricatures, presented variously as unhinged gesticulator, indulged megalomaniac, or even outright impostor. Consider, for example: Bugs Bunny as Leopold  Read more...
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Mark Wigglesworth
ISBN: 9780226622552 022662255X
OCLC Number: 1051692245
Description: ix, 250 pages ; 24 cm
Contents: Shaping the invisible --
Conducting movements --
Conducting musicians --
Conducting music --
Conducting drama --
Conducting performances --
Conducting yourself.
Responsibility: Mark Wigglesworth.

Abstract:

The conductor--tuxedoed, imposingly poised above an orchestra, baton waving dramatically--is a familiar figure even for those who never set foot in an orchestral hall. As a veritable icon for classical music, the conductor has also been subjected to some ungenerous caricatures, presented variously as unhinged gesticulator, indulged megalomaniac, or even outright impostor. Consider, for example: Bugs Bunny as Leopold Stokowski, dramatically smashing his baton and then breaking into erratic poses with a forbidding intensity in his eyes, or Mickey Mouse in Fantasia, unwittingly conjuring dangerous magic with carefree gestures he doesn't understand. As these clichés betray, there is an aura of mystery around what a conductor actually does, often coupled with disbelief that he or she really makes a difference to the performance we hear. The Silent Musician deepens our understanding of what conductors do and why they matter. Neither an instruction manual for conductors, nor a history of conducting, the book instead explores the role of the conductor in noiselessly shaping the music that we hear. Writing in a clever, insightful, and often evocative style, world-renowned conductor Mark Wigglesworth deftly explores the philosophical underpinnings of conducting--from the conductor's relationship with musicians and the music, to the public and personal responsibilities conductors face--and examines the subtler components of their silent art, which include precision, charisma, diplomacy, and passion. Ultimately, Wigglesworth shows how conductors--by simultaneously keeping time and allowing time to expand--manage to shape ensemble music into an immersive, transformative experience, without ever making a sound [Publisher description]

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"An illuminating account of what it means to be [a conductor], how it feels, what's required and why it's a misunderstood job that has the potential to enrich and terrify in equal measure. The most Read more...

 
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