Saturday, 25 February 2012

Ten Golden Rules for the Ablum of a Young Conductor by R. Strauss

Ten Golden Rules for Conducting

Was watching a video about conducting & leadership on TED today, reminds me the story about R. Strauss' Ten Guidelines for Young Conductors.  Also some memorable moments during the undergraduate studies.  These ten rules faithfully reflects the ideally balanced sound of an orchestra for R. Strauss, as well, what the role of being a conductor is for him.  One does not need to agree, but it's noteworthy to know.

  1. Remember that you are making music not to amuse yourself, but to delight your audience.
  2. You should not perspire when conducting: only the audience should get warm.
  3. Conduct Salome and Elektra as if they were Mendelssohn: Fairy Music.
  4. Never look at the brass encouragingly, except with a quick glance for an important lead-in.
  5. On the contrary, never let the horns and woodwind out of your sight; if you hear them at all they are already too loud.
  6. If you think that the brass is now blowing hard enough, tone it down another shade or two.
  7. It is not enough yourself to hear every word of the singer--which you know by heart anyway; the public must also be able to follow it without effort.  If they don't understand what is happening, they fall asleep.
  8. Always accompany the singer in such a way that he can sing without exertion.
  9. When you think you have reached the limits of prestissimo, double the pace.
  10. If you follow these rules carefully you will, with your fine gifts and your great accomplishments, always be the darling of your listeners.

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