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N part autobiography and part insider s gossip I ve read several books by conductors and it "S Interesting That They Rarely "interesting that they rarely individual musicians in the orchestras they lead They ll talk about directors and managers but rarely about oboists or bassists One of the best books of 2017 A must read for anyone with the slightest interest in music or theatre In Maestros and Their Music John Mauceri gives us uniue access into the world of conducting What is the man waving with his hands in front of the orchestra really doing How does one become a conductor How is uality in conducting udged what makes one better than another And truly why are they important in performances of classical music All the natural uestions that might arise in anyone thinking about the art of conducting are wonderfully and convincingly explored in this book John Mauceri writes from personal experience as well as the experiences of people he has gotten to know through the years combining anecdotes with general discussions of the staple parts of the Cinderella Unmasked (Fairytale Fantasies job the skill the controversy and the history of the conductor He begins with giving the historical origins of the conductor as music began to change in the 19th century and the need arose for someone to oversee increasingly complex compositions and further gives us an overview of this invisible art form s development and progression through the 20th century and beyondFull Review Disappointing DryI felt like I was at a dinner party listening to the author talk about random things in the conducting and music world He didn t go into enough depth or detail about specific thingsust snippets about this and that It was hard to stay interested He should have coauthored with a writer or ournalist to make it engagingFor example he mentioned the conductor Muti a couple times he didn t *Say Anything Meaningful About Muti *anything meaningful Muti Muti good or not good and why Tell me something interesting about Muti And the same with other conductors give me some opinionsThe author briefly mentioned that Petrillo in Chicago was a key figure behind unionizing musicians Petrillo claimed recorded music took obs away from musicians Petrillo was also against something about small musician groups I was confused I wanted to know about Petrillo how were things before and after him but it was The Power Of A Choice just sort of mentioned in passingSlightly annoying was the way the author freuently said I was asked to conduct It felt egotistical I would have preferred hearing him say I conducted ONE THING I REALLY LIKED AND I LEARNED SOMETHINGI was interested in the following comment about Maria Callas The author was giving his opinion andudgment I wish he did of that on other subjects Anyone who attended the farewell performances of Maria Callas in recital with tenor Giuseppe Di Stefano will know precisely what I mean By 1974 Callas was barely Callas her voice having shrunk in size her vibrato having curdled into a wobble in its upper register and her sound clouded and covered But every now and then something happened a fiery flash in her eyes a gesture of vulnerability a perfectly turned phrase and memories were awakened of when she was great and members of the audience were young Respect sadness mortality curiosity and a desire to stop inevitability fueled the public s emotions during the performances and buoyed them and Callas through each evening It occasionally felt as if the audience were giving her the strength to carry on and probably it did AUDIOBOOK NARRATORThe author narrated his own book He was good as a narratorDATABook copyright 2017 Genre nonfiction memoir. Esture with sometimes hundreds of performers at once; and the occasionally glamorous often challenging life of the itinerant maestro Mauceri who worked closely with Leonard Bernstein for eighteen years studied with Leopold Stokowski and was on the faculty of Yale University for fifteen years is the perfect guide to the allure and theater passion and drudgery rivalries and relationships of the conducting life.

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A uniue and worthy book While it drags a bit in spots the middle of the 250 page volume is occupied by a big honking chapter on Relationships relationships with the composer the middle of the 250 page volume is occupied by a big honking chapter on Relationships relationships with the composer music the orchestra the audience the critics that dwarfs every other chapter and could have been cut down or split up for my money it s also a very educational book and its many ideas are backed up by thoughtful illustrative stories often personal also a very educational book and its many ideas are backed up by thoughtful illustrative stories often personal from the author himself about many of the world s great conductors composers performance spaces and musical works My favorite section is the final chapter which discusses the problem of whether to perform what people expect to hear or what the composer originally intended This is illustrated in part by the dilemma over how to perform a symphony by Bruno Mahler Mahler s original score says that one part of *the orchestra is to continue briefly at a *orchestra is to continue briefly at a tempo while the rest comes in at a slow one creating a moment where the orchestra is playing at two different speeds ie not together This can sound like a mistake so for a long time no one performed it that way instead having the whole orchestra slow down or ritard together as the slower instruments enter But the author decides he wants to perform it In the opening moments of his fourth symphony Mahler seemed to be painting an aural image of a sleigh going by It does not slow down A completely different musical element begins without regard to the speed of the sleigh music Once I came to believe this was Mahler s intention I brought this conclusion to my next performanceHaving never heard it myself I was astounded by its impact a few seconds into a symphony that would last an hour The next day I read in the local paper One can always tell whether a conductor understands the music of Mahler by how he controls the graceful ritard into the charming melody of his Fourth Symphony Unfortunately Mr Mauceri You can extrapolate the restThe author goes on to discuss whether he was right to do what he did Was I right Yes Did I convince No This kind of minute choice can make or break an audience s experience of a piece of music and a conductor s career Inside baseball details like this are what makes the book come to life and I heartily recommend it I was lucky enough to get my hands on a copy of esteemed American conductor John Mauceri s upcoming book Maestros and Their Music half autobiography and half pop history account of conductors and everything that makes their arcane art so uniue The book Mauceri s first shows few signs of being unpolished and is rarely amateur work rather it consistently makes engaging reading while staying light and unconcerned As a disciple of the legendary American maestro Leonard Bernstein the author has as many anecdotes of his own to share as ones passed down through oral or is it aural legend over generations of greats from modern masters like Sir Simon Rattle back to progenitors of modern conducting like Mahler and StraussIf the book has one major flaw it s that its audience is somewhat difficult to pinpoint those with extensive musical background will find the stories interesting but some of the explanations geared towards the layman to be tedious likewise those with little knowledge of conducting or the wider classical world may be grateful for some of Mauceri s explanations but have little actual interest in whatever rude thing Herbert von Karajan had to say about his concertmaster Regardless of this fact anyone with sufficient interest should find Maestros and Their Music to be a fun read to pass time during intermissions or as a u. An exuberant uniuely accessible beautifully illustrated look inside the enigmatic art and craft of conducting from a celebrated conductor whose international career has spanned half a centuryJohn Mauceri brings a lifetime of experience to bear in an unprecedented hugely informative consistently entertaining exploration of his profession rich with anecdotes from decades of working alongside the greatest names. Mping off point in exploring the great conductors of both today as well as antiuity What do conductors actually do How do they command the trust and respect of the orchestra And what defines greatness in a field of subjective interpretation John Mauceri an acclaimed conductor in his own right explores these uestions in a memoir that is insightful entertaining and rich with personal anecdotes The book is not without its weaknesses though The writing is engaging but also *a bit messy
The Chapters Don T 
chapters don t follow a logical *bit messy The chapters don t necessarily follow a logical Moreover Mauceri s treatment of his conductor peers is very uneven He doesn t make a single reference to Carlos Kleiber who is widely regarded as the greatest conductor of the past half century This is an unforgivable omission in a book about conduct While the book is a bit repetitious and has at its center a bit of a shrug paraphrasing We don t really know what makes a great conductor this is definitely worth reading if you have any appreciation for or interest in classical music The author a conductor himself talks about the history of conducting and interestingly the myriad choices that a conductor has to make to satisfy himalmost always himself as well as to meet the constraints of the musicians the management the schedule and so forth It s a very nice elucidation of something that does look and sound a bit like alchemy This book seems to be of an introduction for people not overly familiar with classical music or symphonic orchestration As a classical musician I knew a good deal of what he was talking aboutHowever since I am not a conductor I found a lot of his observations insightful and informative John Mauceri knew a lot of the really important conductors of the last century and he tells many interesting stories about them and their philosophies and methods of conductingChapters include A short history of conducting learning to be #a conductor why do different conductors interpret works in dramatically different ways the relationships between the conductor #conductor why do different conductors interpret works in dramatically different ways the relationships between the conductor music musicians audience and composers I especially appreciated his section on critics It seems no matter how famous and wonderful you are as a conductor there will be a reviewer that will trash your work This made me feel better due to the criticism I have received from certain stupid louts who couldn t play the piano if their life depended on itI meanpeople who have given their expert opinion of my own performancesI also liked his chapter on recordings vs life performancesIf you are interested in classical music from a conductor s perspective I recommend this book This book was a fascinating one to me for several reasons For one I have long been involved in choral and orchestral music since my youth in both cases and have a great experience in dealing with conductors In addition I have on a few occasions been a conductor myself an experience I have generally enjoyed although I have no formal education in it This particular author is someone I had never heard about personally although he works in circles that I am familiar with and is writing about a compelling and interesting subject This book certainly makes me want to pay attention to the work of conductors and to examine the subtle influence that they have on the way that music is played a certain style that they tend to encourage in the orchestras and other groups that they lead And any book that makes me want to know about someone or something is generally one I can appreciate and recommend to others especially those A wonderful series of essays on conducting It s part observatio. Of the music world With candor and humor Mauceri makes clear that conducting is itself a composition of legacy and tradition techniues handed down from master to apprentice and than a trace of ineffable magic He reveals how conductors approach a piece of music a calculated combination of personal interpretation imagination and insight into the composer's intent; what it takes to communicate solely through .
Logic, Labels, And Flesh
Maestros and Their Music