Monday, November 24, 2008

Of Conductors and Omelets

Okay, so I'm really thinking of only one conductor. Paavo Järvi. And technically, it's a "umlaut"(pronounced oom-lout, rhymes with boom-shout, whatever that is) not an omelet. The two dots above the a in his last name, that is. I think that anyone with an umlaut in their name is cool.

Paavo Järvi is definitely cool.
Paavo was born in Tallinn, Estonia, which makes him Estonian. And gives him a cool accent. Many composers and musicians came from Estonia, and many did not.
At any rate, he's now the director of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, or CSO. That's how I know of him. Last time I was at the CSO, I felt compelled to try and capture some of his dynamic energy on a page. You see, his style of conducting is quite unique. Instead of simply beating meter, he strays away from the metrical and towards the interpretive. In fact, I remember him giving an actual down beat only on the most rare occasion. Indeed, his gestures at times seem more reminiscent of a weaver than a conductor. Actually, that's not a bad simile.
As his hands stroke and pick, plucking the air with the most minute of movements, the warp and the weft of the music emerges, a delicate pattern of color in tone. Now with bold whirls and strokes the pattern begins to change as the master's hands blur into figures and lines I almost can't make out, but apparently the orchestra can as they intensify and strengthen and build with vigor broadening/deepening the tapestry...until, at the end the sounds fade and diminish and he is slowly lowering his baton, the only music now in the memory as we sit holding our breaths in the silence until he finally, almost grudgingly reliquenshes control and turns to face us.

And I think, you know, it would almost be worth being bald if I could do that...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Saturday, November 8, 2008

No Comment

I went to the CSO,
It really was quite a show,
They played Britten and Brahms,
We smote with our palms,
And cried, "Bravo, again, Paavo !"

Brahms spelled backwards is Smharb.