Friday, June 1, 2007

Conductor's Comments

These comments come from the former conductor of the New Hampshire Symphony

If you won't watch, I won't listen.

Play in a kind of Friday-matinee style.

Look artistic when you play that.

Try to simulate non-sight-reading.

Please don't use the depth-charge pizzicato.

(On La Valse) If Parsifal could waltz, this would be it.

Play short, especially if you don't know where you are.

It says accelerando. It's not like falling down stairs.

If that happens, don't laugh.

There is a lot of fishing for notes. I wish you would catch them.

Play as if you were musicians.

Look busy at the beginning.

It sounds like an Italian Strawberry Festival.

Play faster. It's getting late.

If you can't play the notes, play the accents.

It must be very soft. Play as if you're lost.

Violas, let your true piggish sides come out.

Horns, imagine that you've had a really ugly breakfast and it's about to come up.

(In Beethoven's 6th)--It's a brook, not the ocean! I'm getting seasick!

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.

(In Pathetique first movement)--It sounds like everybody has already committed suicide.

Not so bright. It sounds like "Orpheus in His Underwear".

I'll try not to make the really distracting twitch before your B double-flat.

Let's see if you can pizzicato together in a non-banjo way.

That was a drive-by viola solo.

The place where you will be shot if you come in early is the bar before 26.

Imagine you have tone.

I'm not doing much at the beginning of the measure, but I'm going to beat it and get very excited.

Pretend you took the parts home and practiced them.

(To saxophonist in Lt Kije Suite)--Sound like New Year's Eve.

Play like you've had expensive lessons.

(To basses) I will fire the next one I see using vibrato on a pizz.


Anonymous said...

I love it, especially since I play the Trombone. 9Yes, it's special enough to get captilized)

Brian Michael Page said...

My favorite one is Play like you've had expensive lessons.

OK - two - Play as if you were musicians.

These sound like some of the things I've heard people say that Peloquin would say at his rehearsals.
You sound a little piffed! was one of his.

Some Yogi Berra-like thingies in that list too. If you can't play the notes, play the accents sounds almost like If you see a fork in the road, take it!


Mara Joy said...

those are funny.

I've had a few private teachers and conductors who would say stuff like that, and it's amazing whether or not they could pull it off.
as in, sometimes the conductor who says that stuff is viewed as a total jerk by the other musicians, but other times, they love him! I wonder what exactly makes that difference.