Outline Of The Great Conductor Essay Research

Outline Of The Great Conductor Essay, Research Paper

The Great Conductors

Chapter III. Bach and Handel

I. Introduction

A. Until 1850?s, composer, player, and conductor were

same person

B. Presider over the harpsicord was conductor

II. Monteverdi

A. Introduced tremseo and pizzicato for bowed


1. Violinists were horrified

B. Strings were made backbone of orchestra

C. Did not wave stick, but was conductor

III. Lully

A. Used a baton

1. Was a long rod he struck on the ground

2. Resulted in his death when the staff went into his fist and gangrene developed

B. Modern orchestra fashioned after him

C. Dominated his performances

D. First great conductor

1. Musicians from everywhere came to study with him

IV. Bach

A. Much like today?s conductor

1. Sat at clavier in concert master?s chair

2. Did not use a baton

B. Good conductor and demanding musician

A. Could probably play any instrument

B. Expected everyone to be as good as he was

C. Complete musician who could do it all

A. Could hear the tiniest mistakes

B. Tuned orchestra himself

V. Handel

A. Harpsichordist and organist

A. Presided over harpsichord and was therefore conductor

B. Impatient like Bach

C. Used dynamic markings

A. Were new to the time

B. Eventually became common

Chapter IV. Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven

A. Mannheim Orchestra

1. Considered the best in Europe

2. Helped spark a new school of composers and conductors

3. Composer Cannabich considered among the best

B. Gluck

A. Perfectionist

1. Would play a passage 20-30 times until satisfied

B. Rumored that his musicians paid double

C. Influenced by Mannheim orchestra

C. Haydn

A. Composed for the Concerts de la Lage Olympique

B. Influenced by Stamitz

C. Served at Esterhaz Palace

1. Prince demanded 2 weekly concerts

2. Prince took great interest in orchestra

3. Prince requested certain types of music

a. Gamba because prince could play an instrument

4. Was rewarded with a maid, coachman and selected performers

D. Forceful and demanding

1. Asked that every detail be observed

2. Players considered him a slave-driver

E. Grew very popular

1. Outside negotiations for music

a. Printing never done without error

F. Opera

1. Composed 17 in 1786

2. Between 1780-90 conducted 1,026 operas

3. Grew sick of opera

G. Conducted from clavier

1. Last appearance in 1803 as conductor

D. Mozart

A. Prodigy

B. Ability to embellish or improve conductor?s ideas

C. Gifted conductor

1. Took charge of orchestras from age 12

2. Conducted from clavier

3. In youth was a violin conductor

a. Expert violinist

b. Demanded by his father

c. Declared himself independent of violin conducting at 22.

D. First great conductor

1. Beat time and worked from full-score

2. Eventually had someone else at keyboard while he beat time

E. Beethoven

A. One of worst conductors in history

1. Refused to bow to his deafness

2. Could not easily get along with people

3. Was absent minded

a. Forget to take rehearsal repeats

b. Forget he was soloist

c. Forget he was conductor-totally taken away by the music

B. Physically involved in the music

1. Would crouch low for pianissimo

Chapter VI. The Arrival of the Stick

I. Introduction

A. Conducting

1. Need for a simple controlling force

2. Fun poked at old way of conducting

B. Leadership divided among conductor, piano, and violinist

1. 2 or 3 men stomped beat

2. Loud and confusing

3. Leading violinist would stop and beat time

with bow

C. Batons

1. Foot long roll of paper first used

2. Idea of modern baton adopted by Johann Fredrich Reichardt

3. Spohr also one of first batonists

II. Spohr

A. Introduced modern baton to Europe

1. Took this step in 1817

2. Conducting easier and silent

B. First to use reference numbers and letters in score

1. Previously had no way to isolate specific measure

III. Conclusion

A. Trial and error with new conductor

B. Physical location of conductor not determined

1. Some faced the audience

2. Some stood to left of orchestra

C. Experimentation with baton

D. Beat pattern being stabilized

Chapter IX. Hector Berlioz

I. Berlioz as a conductor

A. Was first maestro who was neither a pianist or violinist

B. Part of the trinity upon which modern conducting based

C. Admired by many

D. Didn?t always get results he wanted

1. Orchestras not up to his standard or vision

2. Conducted 20-30 rehearsals for one piece without accomplishing desired results

II. Treatises

A. Criticizes eagerness of musicians

B. Sets out to correct abuses

C. Good and bad conductors

1. Good conductor must communicate and understand

2. Bad conductor is cold and indifferent

3. Conductor must know how to beat time

D. Orchestra must watch baton

Chapter XI Richard Wagner

I. Introduction

A. Wasn?t child prodigy

B. Played no instrument

C. Always had ideas how to make the orchestra better

II. Wagner as a conductor

A. Vain and overbearing

B. Orchestra saw brilliance in his conducting

1. Paid attention to every detail

C. Treatises about tempo

1. Stresses taking correct tempo

2. No random changes in tempo

D. Perfectionist

1. Listened for balance

2. Rehearsals went bad because of impatience

E. Not very good with baton

1. Had to work hard to get good results

2. Bar line didn?t rule but rather phrasing and melody

3. Not good at keeping beat

F. By 1855 one of most famous and controversial conductors

1. Wore white gloves to show contempt

2. Conducted the Eroica Symphony from memory in rehearsal

G. Accused of taking liberties with music

1. Fast movements taken faster than anyone else and slower movements slower

2. Tempos emphasized lyric elements

3. Exaggerated

H. Wonderful conductor for the 19th century

Chapter XVI America and Theodore Thomas

I. Introduction

A. U.S. nation of orchestras

1. Philharmonic established c.1842

2. Attempts to create orchestras before

B. Many musicians in U.S.

1. At this point U.S. had no music schools or culture

2. Foreign musicians made valuable place for themselves

II. Theodore Thomas

A. Came to U.S. at age 10

1. Capable musician

2. Added to family income by playing violin

3. Father taught him and also was self-taught

a. Was his own manager

B. Thomas as a conductor

1. Filled in as conductor for an opera

a. Never had conducted opera

2. Began conducting concerts in Central Park

a. Once a week for 10 years

3. By 1872 was giving all Wagner concerts

C. Orchestra

1. Had one of best in the world

2. First American to have a full year employed by an orchestra

D. Bankrupt working for American Opera Company

1. Bad management of money

2. Bankruptcy didn?t slow him down

E. Chicago

1. Took offer from Chicago orchestra

2. Made enemies there

3. Accused of taking bribes from Steinway

4. Discharged as director

a. Stayed on anyway

b. Most papers anti-Thomas

5. Tried to resign but was not allowed to

6. Had a $750,000 Orchestra Hall built

7. Created a brilliant orchestra

F. Conclusion

1. Reputation of being a drill master

2. Raised standards of orchestral playing and repertoire

3. Introduced a lot of works to America

Chapter XXIII The Italians and Toscanini

I. Introduction

A. No important Italian conductor to the international

Scene through most of the 19th century

B. Not many important Italian orchestras in the 19th


II. Angelo Mariani

A. First of the great Italian conductors

B. Close friends with Verdi

1. Conducted first performances of “Lohengrin” and “Tannhauser” in Italy

2. Verdi resented the liberties Mariani took

III. Arturo Toscanini

A. Became the greatest single force in contemporary conducting

B. Everything related to music has changed in the 20th century

1. Music is over interpreted

2. Toscanini saw the notes and tempos in music

C. Conducting was intense

1. Realized that music must breathe

2. His music sounded fast because it was so regulated

3. Had ability to balance musical lines so that all relationships were heard

D. Opera was main genre he conducted

E. Had to have complete authority

IV. Toscanini comes to America

A. 1908 came to Metropolitan Opera House and remained for 7 seasons

B. 1926 became principle conductor of New York Philharmonic and New York Symphony

1. Orchestra frightened of him

2. Left in 1936

3. Returned in 1937 as head of NBC orchestra

C. Refused to conduct in Italy after 1931

D. Always conducted from memory

1. Rehearsals were recorded

E. His exactness led to higher standards worldwide


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