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CLASSICAL  March 2000

CLASSICAL March 2000

Subject:

Conductorisms

From:

Scott Morrison <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sat, 25 Mar 2000 11:07:57 -0600

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (137 lines)

Sent to me by John Wiser.

Lines from the retired conductor of The New Hampshire Symphony:

1. "I try not to look, because then I see."
2. "Terrible rhythmic training. Why don't you kill all your teachers and
    get your money back?"
3. "Play slow enough to be exact."
4. "It's eleganza--you sound like Woolworth's."
5. "Under no circumstances should anyone look at me here."
6. "For that, they have milking machines."
7. "If you won't watch, I won't listen."
8. "I'll try to spit equally in both directions so everyone will know
    where we are."
9. "Play in a kind of Friday-matinee style."
10. "Look artistic when you play that."
11. "It's very important to play your phrase the way it is."
12. "Too loud cellos. And don't throb there."
13. "Try and simulate non-sight-reading."
14. "The horn is still unwinding his entrails there."
15. "Please don't use the depth-charge pizzicato."
16. "I know you're all very well brought up, but don't show it.
17. (Stomps feet) "I won't clean up my room!"
18. (On La Valse) "If Parsifal could waltz, this would be it."
19. (To cellos) "You sound like your fingers are doing the walking
    through the Yellow Pages."
20. "Play short, especially if vou don't know where you are."
21. "Violins, don't play like such pigs."
22. "Better to be slow than quick."
23. "It says accelerando. It's not like falling downstairs."
24. "Play that for your dogs and cats. When they stop howling, you've
    got it right."
25. "It doesn't need to be good, it just needs to be loud."
26. "You should play a soft forte."
27. "It sounds like you're being goosed there, which isn't the idea of a
    real orgy."
28. "If that happens, don't laugh."
29. "We're starting at bar three. Even those of you with all your
    fingers cut off can find it."
30. "Play as if you were accompanying John Denver."
31. "There is a lot of fishing for notes. I wish you would catch them."
32. "Play as if you were musicians."
33. "Look busy at the beginning."
34. "It sounds like an Italian Strawberry Festival."
35. "Try not to sound like Segovia."
36. "Play faster. It's getting late."
37. "Basses, you're too fucking loud."
38. "If you can't play the notes, play the accents."
39. "It sounds like killer bees on the loose."
40. "The downbeat has to be up."
41. "You all sound like a Wallgreen's Drug Store. I'll have a cherry
    frappe."
42. "Imagine that you know what I'm going to do."
43. "It must be very soft. Play as if you're lost."
44. "It's sort of yo-ho-ho, a little bit."
45. "Violas, let your true piggish sides come out."
46. "The piece is all based on harmony, so we have to hit the right notes."
47. "Horns, imagine that you've had a really ugly breakfast and it's
     about to come up."
48. "Triangle, not so much in the loud section. Don't join in on the fun."
49. (In Beethoven's 6th) "My God, it's a brook, not the ocean. I'm
     getting seasick."
50. "Strings, I know what you're thinking: 'With all this racket going
     on, why am I playing?' Well, there's no time for existential questions
     right now."
51. "Above all, don't look worried."
52. "It's a little bit note-sniffing right now."
53. "It sounds as if you're all doing your income taxes."
54. "Listen to the tune, and then accompany it in a non-disgraceful fashion."
55. "You sound as if you hate music."
56. "Look like you're playing long after you've given up."
57. "I may do something artistic there, which means I'm going to drag."
58. "Violins, don't try to play the accents, just try to get through the
     part without dropping your bows."
59. "Imagine you're getting enough money for what you do."
60. (In Pathetique first mvt.) "It sounds like everybody has already
    committed suicide."
61. "Definitely third-world."
62. "Strings, vibrate; you sound like storm troopers."
63. "Your tone sounds like the weather outside."
64. "It's half-good."
65. "Win the war with violas."
66. "Trumpets, you're honorary violas."
67. "Not so bright. It sounds like 'Orpheus in His Underwear'"
68. "Don't make those chicken sounds before the beat."
69. "Don't hop! Chickens!"
70. "I'll try not to make the really distracting twitch before your B
    double-flat."
71. "Sounds like something you read in the Enquirer."
72. "Don't follow the pizzicatos. They're just going plop--cowpies."
73. "Pianissimo means 'Drop the fuck out.'"
74. "Let's see if you can pizzicato together in a non-banjo way."
75. "It's very hard to raise money for something that sounds like that."
76. "You won't be able to get this in time, but at least we can get so
    you don't fuck it up."
77. "It's a place you can fake, but fake softer."
78. "When I make the really big twitch, then play."
79. "Make a lot of sound. An ugly, loud sound. Hostile."
80. "Let's pretend we played that right and go to letter A."
81. "It sounds like a singer being drowned."
82. "Play it as if you had good rhythm instead of what you have."
83. "It's not going to be a nice tempo, whatever it is."
84. "It's no use telling the violas, they won't do it anyway."
85. "That's a laser sound, a killer trill."
86. "This must be much more agitated. Think of someone you hate. Think
    of your mother."
87. "You know, there's a fine line between artistry and shit. Not that
    what you're doing is shit, but it's close to it."
88. "That was a drive-by viola solo."
89. "Don't be so sensitive."
90. "Try and get the non-torpedo-boat sound."
91. "The place where you will be shot if you come in early is the bar
    before 26."
92. "Don't express your hatred for your parents there."
93. "You'd kill your students for doing that, so don't do it yourself."
94. "The downbeat's the downbeat."
95. "Imagine you have tone."
96. "I'm not doing much at the beginning of the measure, but I'm going
    to beat it and get very excited."
97. "You sound like Palestinians throwing rocks."
98. "Try vibrato in case you don't make the D-sharp."
99. "Now forget all the nasty things I said and play naturally."
100. "Pretend you took the parts home and practiced them."
101. "I'm going to be very flexible, and that means you won't have a
     clue as to what's going to happen."
102. "Think of a nice sound, and then imitate your thought. If you can't
     think of a nice sound, ask your neighbor."
103. "Why did you take up the violin if you don't want to play it?"
104. "If you get desperate I'll even help you there."
105. "You're all wondering what speed it's going to go. Well, so am I."
106. (To saxophonist in Lt. Kije) "Sound like New Year's Eve."
107. "Play like you've had expensive lessons."
108. (To basses) "I will fire the next one I see using vibrato on a pizz."
109. "Make it rounded. Not like a cow pie."
110. "Funny how it sounds so different every time."

Scott Morrison

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