Music As Alchemy by Tom Service

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And yet there's a complicated psychology at work in these relationships, depending on the history of the orchestra, its function and constitution, and its cultural and political significance within each city and country.
-Guardian

Synopsis

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.

 

About Tom Service

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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 programme, 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 practising in the mirror, he once conducted Bruckner's Ninth Symphony.
 
Published June 15, 2012 by Faber & Faber. 302 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction
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Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Tom Service on Jun 01 2012

And yet there's a complicated psychology at work in these relationships, depending on the history of the orchestra, its function and constitution, and its cultural and political significance within each city and country.

Read Full Review of Music As Alchemy | See more reviews from Guardian

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