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Maestros and Their Music: The Art and…
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Maestros and Their Music: The Art and Alchemy of Conducting

by John Mauceri

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Excellent behind-the-scenes look into the world of the classical music conductor. I found the beginning a bit difficult, uncertain as to whom Maestro Mauceri imagined as his audience for his book -- some of it seems almost too simplistic for those readers already 'into' classical music, while other passages seem aimed at the specialist and the formally trained. But the book gradually unfolds its beauties. I left the book with a keener appreciation for the complicated nature of the conductor's work (it involves so much more than standing in front of a group of musicians and waving a baton -- or one's hands). I really enjoyed some of the sections related to specific problems with specific compositions for their insights into the real work a conductor must do, even with allegedly 'established' works. Maestro Mauceri also leavens his book with many vignettes of famous conductors and dollops of humor. Very insightful! ( )
  David_of_PA | Jul 14, 2018 |
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An exuberant, uniquely accessible, beautifully illustrated look inside the enigmatic art and craft of conducting, from a celebrated conductor whose international career has spanned half a century. John 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 of the music world. With candor and humor, Mauceri makes clear that conducting is itself a composition: of legacy and tradition, techniques handed down from master to apprentice--and more 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 gesture, 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.… (more)

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