Music as Alchemy: Journeys with Great Conductors and their Orchestras

Music as Alchemy: Journeys with Great Conductors and their Orchestras

by Tom Service


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How are conductors' silent gestures magicked into sound by a group of more than a hundred brilliant, but belligerent musicians? The mute choreography of great conductors has fascinated and frustrated musicians and music-lovers for centuries. Orchestras can be inspired to the heights of musical and expressive possibility by their maestros, or flabbergasted that someone who doesn't even make a sound should be elevated to demigod-like status by the public.

This is the first book to go inside the rehearsal rooms of some of the most inspirational orchestral partnerships in the world - how Simon Rattle works at the Berlin Philharmonic, how Mariss Jansons deals with the Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam, and how Claudio Abbado creates the world's most luxurious pick-up band every year with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra. From London to Budapest, Bamberg to Vienna, great orchestral concerts are recreated as a collection of countless human and musical stories.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780571240487
Publisher: Faber and Faber
Publication date: 02/04/2018
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 833,153
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.80(h) x (d)

About the Author

Tom Service writes about music for the Guardian, where he was Chief Classical Music Critic, and broadcasts for BBC Radio 3. He has presented Radio 3's flagship magazine program, Music Matters, since 2003. He was the inaugural recipient of the ICMP/CIEM Classical Music Critic of the Year Award, and was Guest Artistic Director of the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival. After years practicing in the mirror, he once conducted Bruckner's Ninth Symphony.

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From the Publisher

"Service's passion is evident from the opening page ... he blends in-depth musical understanding and analysis with an armchair conductor's enthusiasm and VIP access to rehearsals. The result is fascinating ...This book shows us how, through the efforts of this shamanic figure, live music can be simply good enough or, sometimes, utterly electrifying." — New Statesman

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