Thursday, January 01, 2009

Do we really need Conductors ?

I watched the New Year's Day concert from Vienna yesterday.
It's a thing I do ,,, every year I sit there, generally a bit hung-over, and give myself a Classical shot in the arm. Generally it's very good .,,. however this year I was disappointed .,,. maybe I was too sober or maybe it just wasn't the best choice of music this year, who knows ?
We had the internationally renowned but over dramatic Israeli conductor Daniel Barenboim doing his thing in front of the very talented Vienna National Orchestra, so it should have been good.
The music this year, as I said, was not to my taste so I got to watching Barenboim ,,, and the more I watched his histrionics and his highfalutin, profusely sweating, (high) brow the more I got to wondering ????
Why does a perfectly competent group of musicians actually need a conductor anyway ?
They can read the music, follow the mood, intonations, musical direction given on the sheet music ,,, a simple Metronome should more than suffice ?
And it wouldn't have all that prancing off-stage then on again to rapturous applause and it would save all the flower bouquet presentations at the end too !
I doubt most of us ( the untrained ear majority ) would notice any difference sans conductor ?

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