[SOLVED] The emergence of the modern conductor
In chapter four of First Nights, Kelly tells us about Francois-Antoine Haberneck and his decision to conduct Symphonie fantastique with a bow rather than a “time-beater.” This change is essentially the emergence of the modern conductor. There were some practical needs that encouraged the change: music had become more complex, and orchestras had grown in size. But what exactly does a conductor do? Do they just keep time? Do they have some other role? In the link below is a short video, the conductor James Gaffigan explains his job:
Video below is an excerpt from a performance of the last (fifth) movement of Symphonie fantastique, with the conductor Mariss Jansons leading the Berlin Philharmonic. Watch the performance a few times and observe, thinking about the ways Jansons communicates with the musicians and what he communicates to them. Your informal response (below) will come from your observations.
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