Sunday, September 19, 2010

9/19 Rehearsing Beethoven

A lot of detail goes into preparing a Beethoven symphony which a casual listener might not be aware of.  Watching a good rehearsal by a good conductor can give the listener an intimate and revealing look at how dynamics, phrasing and many other elements are shaped by the conductor's own vision of what the music should sound like (watching 2 conductors rehearse the same piece is even more revealing but unfortunately I haven't found any videos of that yet).  A musician who worked with Toscanini said that the Maestro's rehearsals were more exciting than the actual performance, since by the time of the show most of the hardest work was already done.   It's worth mentioning that the New York Philharmonic has open rehearsals throughout the season, some for free and the rest for less than $20.  It's a great deal and you can sit anywhere you want!

Here's an excerpt of Dr. Karl Böhm rehearsing Beethoven's 7th Symphony.  The flutist at the beginning of the exposition really gets it!

Here's an interesting rehearsal/documentary with Alicia de Larrocha, Michael Tilson Thomas and Dudley Moore.....this one's a bit "lighter"....(Piano Concerto 1)

Leonard Bernstein is probably the greatest music educator of the 20th century, at least on TV.  I wish I could offer a video of him rehearsing a Beethoven work, but Brahms will "have to do"...

Bernstein on Conducting Pt 5 (Omnibus)

(the starts the rehearsal at about 5:30)

Here's the whole program if you're interested. It's excellent of course.
Wow, they just don't make 'em like this anymore.

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