Nydelig og lærerik video om hva en dirigent egentlig gjør. Se filmen hos New York Times.
Essentially what conducting is about is getting the players to play their best and to be able to use their energy and to access their point of view about the music. There is a connection between the gesture, the physical presence, the aura that a conductor can project, and what the musicians produce.
En utfyllende forklaring fra den klassisk skolerte musikeren Chris Brody :
You're absolutely right that one of the main things an orchestra conductor does is to prepare the orchestra in rehearsal for the way he/she wants the piece to sound in performance. A lot of stuff is conveyed in that way that the conductor then won't need to attempt to convey in real time during the performance. And furthermore, as you suspect, conductors are often in some sense kind of "dancing" for the audience during performances, in ways that are strictly superfluous to making the musicians play correctly, though sometimes an enjoyable part of the concert experience.
In order for a concert performance to come off correctly, someone has to take responsibility for giving what musicians call "cues"-concrete gestures that enable everyone to know when to start playing. In chamber music (classical music played in small groups), one of the players will do this, usually with an exaggerated, rhythmically timed gesture that connotes "taking a breath to start playing right NOW" or "preparing my bow to play the string right NOW", and so on. In fact, there are entire smallish orchestras, like the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, that play with no conductor, because members of the ensemble give cues when they are needed.
In larger (orchestral) settings, it is convenient to have a conductor to give cues instead. Of course, there are some pieces that are played with metronomic strictness, and the conductor in fact will have fairly little to do during those performances. You might have noticed that pieces from the Baroque and Classical periods are usually quite strict in time, and it is no coincidence that there was no such thing as a professional conductor until the nineteenth century-music prior to that was usually quite playable with the first-chair violinist ("concertmaster") or the keyboardist giving a few cues as needed. (Conductors were occasionally used prior to the nineteenth century, but not so much that it was anyone's entire job.)
Some pieces, by contrast, have a lot of changes of tempo, or a lot of starting and stopping. In cases like that, a conductor is really an indispensable part of...
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