Walter Meyer wrote:
>How does this apply to people conducting while playing an instrument?
The same, but the hands are busy, so the job must be done with other body
parts. There is a violinist here on Mallorca, Barry Sargent, who leads a
chamber orchestra, playing the violin at the same time. His directing is
fine, I think it takes some away from the violin playing because it is very
difficult to remain focussed enough to play the violin while leading an
orchestra at the same time. I worked with Zuckerman once, he played and
directed the Bach a minor concerto, and it was magnificent, both the
playing and the conducting. Later he played the Brahms concerto, but with
someone else conducting.
>This has fascinated me. Apparently the best conductors can get
>superb performances from otherwise obscure orchestras and, conversely,
>an orchestra of international reputation can fall flat from poor
>conducting. Which raises a question for me. The Philadelphia Orchestra,
>under Stokowski and under Ormandy was famous for its "Philadelphia sound".
>Did this Philadelphia sound remain when Toscanini guest conducted them?
I'm not sure, as Mats points out, that a great orchestra will "fall flat"
from a poor conductor, these groups tend to maintain a high level even if
the tuba player's cat is conducting. Sometimes though, a poor conductor
can be very distracting, because we are conditioned, Pavlov-like, to
respond to every twitch of a conductor, and if the twitches are out of
rhythm then indeed train wrecks can happen, even with a good band.