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Monarcheon

What's your dream piece to conduct?

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Monarcheon    255

I've been a conductor for the past 4 years of my life, conducting my own other people's works alike, but have always had dreams to conduct such beautiful concert music. If you are, or are an aspiring conductor, what pieces would you like to conduct? Some of my favorite pieces are on this list, but some of them would just be really fun to conduct!

1. Symphony No. 6 - Tchaikovsky 
2. The Pines of Rome - Respighi 
3. "Mysteries of the Macabre" - Ligeti
4. Afro-American Symphony - W.G. Still
5. Thoroughly Modern Milly (Musical) - Jeanine Tesori

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I am not a conductor, but I have had dreams about conducting these pieces, which seem to be the most beautiful ones for me to conduct:

1. The Great Symphony - Schubert
2. ''New World'' Symphony - Dvorak
3. The Planets - Holst
4. Requiem - Mozart
5. Symphony No. 5 - Tsjaikovski

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LostSamurai    33

This probably isn't inspiring but I've never had dreams of being a conductor, but had dreams of attending a concert and witnessing my stuff being played back in real time. 

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pateceramics    261

If I didn't like music so much, I would run like hell from anything that qualifies as a performance, so no way am I dreaming of conducting anything.  Nightmare, you mean?  What is your personal nightmare?  I'm self-employed just so that no one can every put me in charge of anyone other than myself.  Nope, nope, nope...

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fishyfry    47

Conducting an orchestra is a serious life goal for me. Here are a few pieces that I particularly think I would love to conduct some day:

1. Symphonies No. 5 and 7 - Beethoven

2. Symphonie Fantastique - Berlioz

3. Symphony No. 6 - Mahler

4. The Firebird - Stravinsky

5. Concerto for Orchestra - Bartok

6. From me flows what you call Time - Takemitsu

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I've gotten to conduct a lot of interesting music over the years leading concert bands, but I've never had the opportunity to do much with an orchestra. Here's my list:

1. All of the Beethoven Symphonies

2. Dvorak 9

3. Mahler 1

4. Stravinsky - Petroushka

5. Shostakovich 5 and 7

6. Hindemith - Mathis der Maler and Symphonic Metamorphosis

7. Copland - Appalachian Spring

8. Messiaen - Turangalila

9. Gillis - Symphony 5 1/2

That said, I've developed somewhat of an aversion to conducting my own works. It comes, I think, from being too attached to the music. It's much less stressful and much more enlightening for me to have another conductor interpret the work.

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I am not a conductor. I never will be - I don't think. However, if I was a conductor I can tell you right away that the top thing on my list would be Scriabin's Poem of Ecstasy. This piece is otherworldly. There is nothing to describe how insanely powerful and awe-inspiring the music is. I would imagine I would die if I was a conductor and I got to lead an orchestra in a performance of that. 

I'd also think that I would end up loving to conduct some of my new favorite composers pieces. I would totally get into conducting either Adam Schoenberg's Finding Rothko, La Luna Azul, American Symphony or Picture Studies. I'd love doing Christopher Theofanidis's Rainbow Body. Jennifer Higdon's On a Wire or Blue Cathedral. John Adam's Lollapalooza, Dharma at Big Sur, A Short Ride in a Fast Machine.

Other than that I think Prokofiev's Alexander Nevsky would be empowering. I think Barber's Second Essay for Orchestra would be enthralling. Of course, Pines of Rome would be euphoric. Bernstein's suite from On the Waterfront is pretty cool. Ravel's La Valse is pretty huge and powerful. To be able to lead dance around to that would be so much fun. I freaking love Ravel's Daphnis et Chloe especially that last movement. That would be epic. Tchaikovsky's March Slave would give me chills (most powerful piccolo's of all time). Copland's 3rd Symphony. Verdi's Requiem. 

I am sure there are many more, but that is initially what comes to mind. 

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jrcramer    327

+1 for Barber RRR
Although I guess I would pick Barber (1st) symphony in 1 mvt. Especially the 3rd slow movement of that 1 movement work (haha).
There is in the 1st symphony of Einar Englund a moment where I almost tripped, due to the sense of floating, soft gentile divine. 
I have the same with the 2nd movement of Ades' Asyla (not so much for the 3rd mvt). Or Lutoslawski's immensely profound 4th symphony...
And all things Brahms

I am no conductor. never stood before an orchestra. I imagine I would like the power, but feel I lack the leaders-qualities it takes. As a kid I imagined conducting the Chopin piano concerti. That was a phase... Can't stand the pieces now...

Fascinating to see who want to go for the powerful frenzied and ecstatic pieces, or rather the slow soothing or lamenting ones...

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pateceramics    261

I'm curious... this isn't just a "what's your favorite piece of music" thread, it's a "what do you want to conduct" thread.  So for all you conductors, what's the difference between the two?  Why do you want to conduct something in particular?  

Do you want a chance to share some neat items of little known music history with the orchestra and in the program notes?  Do you have a particularly efficient way of explaining some musical concept that you just can't wait to teach your players?  (I had a conductor who described rubato with a metaphor about finding the pickle in your cheeseburger.  Now I can never see the term without thinking, "mmm...  pickle...")  Is there something you have always heard in the piece that other conductors never seem to explore, and you want to see if your concept for it will actually work in concert?  (Take it faster, accent beat 3 in the a minor motif, bring out the viola part...)  Does it just feel fun to conduct the piece, physically?  Is there something particularly dance-like about the combination of rhythm and cuing that feels good in your body?  Is it a massively challenging piece to hold together successfully, and you want to master it?  Does it present an unusual combination of instruments and you want to fit it all together and make it work?  

Thoughts?

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23 hours ago, pateceramics said:

I'm curious... this isn't just a "what's your favorite piece of music" thread, it's a "what do you want to conduct" thread.  So for all you conductors, what's the difference between the two?  Why do you want to conduct something in particular?  

Do you want a chance to share some neat items of little known music history with the orchestra and in the program notes?  Do you have a particularly efficient way of explaining some musical concept that you just can't wait to teach your players?  (I had a conductor who described rubato with a metaphor about finding the pickle in your cheeseburger.  Now I can never see the term without thinking, "mmm...  pickle...")  Is there something you have always heard in the piece that other conductors never seem to explore, and you want to see if your concept for it will actually work in concert?  (Take it faster, accent beat 3 in the a minor motif, bring out the viola part...)  Does it just feel fun to conduct the piece, physically?  Is there something particularly dance-like about the combination of rhythm and cuing that feels good in your body?  Is it a massively challenging piece to hold together successfully, and you want to master it?  Does it present an unusual combination of instruments and you want to fit it all together and make it work?  

Thoughts?

 

Well, at least for my list, there's a fair amount of overlap between personal favorites and want to conduct threads. Note also that my personal situation may be different than some others, in that I have had the opportunity to conduct a lot of great wind ensemble literature, but not nearly enough orchestra literature. So my list winds up being more of an "if I had access to an orchestra, I would do x, y, and z" list than anything else.

In terms of why I want to conduct a piece, my main criteria are:

1. I find the piece interesting

2. I want the opportunity to study and interpret the piece.

3. I believe I can lead an ensemble through a good performance of the piece.

This last point is why the Rite of Spring isn't up there, even though I'd love the piece dearly.

In terms of interpretation, the Beethovens have so much dimension to them yet are often taken too seriously for their own good. There are some nearly slapstick moments in the works that are missed by treating them too reverently.

Edited by Adrian Quince
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Monarcheon    255
2 hours ago, pateceramics said:

I'm curious... this isn't just a "what's your favorite piece of music" thread, it's a "what do you want to conduct" thread.  So for all you conductors, what's the difference between the two?  Why do you want to conduct something in particular?  

It depends. Oftentimes I've felt very cheated by a certain interpretation a conductor had on a certain piece when I was in orchestra and I wanted to rebel against it ;) Tchaikovsky 6, despite being one of my favorite pieces, is definitely an example of that, which is why it's number one
Also, for me, sometimes there are piece that have not-as-good orchestration that sound really nice anyway (i.e. Gershwin Cuban Overture), so that may be a reason.
Like @Adrian Quince said, there are pieces I love, I don't think I could do justice to, like Berlioz's Requiem, such a huge piece.
Sometimes there's an emotional part of a piece that I need to be up in front to be a proper conduit for. Brahms Symphony No. 2, second movement is an example of that, where there's a lot of subtleties a recording I think misses, but I'm not a huge fan of the piece in the first place.

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15 hours ago, pateceramics said:

I'm curious... this isn't just a "what's your favorite piece of music" thread, it's a "what do you want to conduct" thread.  So for all you conductors, what's the difference between the two?  Why do you want to conduct something in particular?  

Thoughts?

 

Well, I am not a conductor, but I imagine that even though a lot of my favorite pieces would end up being my top things to want to conduct I think there is a difference. I think there are a number of incredible things to be found in composition. I think I love music for more then just power. I like it for its subtleties and its innovation. I like atmosphere. I love listening to all kinds of stuff for all kinds of reason. However, I think the main qualifier for dream conducting pieces is enormity and power. Just outright epicness. A great example from my list is that Ravel's La Valse is not particularly high ranking on all time favorite pieces to listen to, but it would rank pretty high on my conduct list because it is all of a huge orchestra. The instrumentation provides such a giant sound and it is exciting. I feel like leading an orchestra that plays things like that and giving a great performance would be satisfying in the sense that you are in charge and are molding and guiding this enormous sound. It is like shooting fireworks. It is like any other creative process where hours of work goes in and the final process and result is pure joy and elation from the pay off. There is something special about a full orchestra playing superbly together. There is almost really nothing more exciting and life altering then hearing these great performances of great music in great halls. To be apart of iconic moments is special. I can only imagine the thrill of having a front row seat as conductor to Tchaikovsky's March Slave or Scriabin's Poem of Ecstasy or even Saint Saens Organ Symphony. What an enormous and powerful sound. It would be incredible both to hear, but also to be in charge of.

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danishali903    142

I like how @Monarcheon picked Thoroughly Modern Mille (such a fun musical)! I guess my broadway dream conducting would be for Phantom of the Opera and Carousel. 

In terms of concert/opera music:

1. Rite of Spring and/or Petrushka- Stravinsky

2. ANY Mahler work

3. Beethoven's Symphony 7

4.  The WHOLE Ring Cycle 

5. Ravel's Daphne et Chloe (the ballet, not the suites)

6. Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet (again the ballet, not the suites)

7. Berg's 3 Pieces for Orchestra 

8. John Adams' Short Ride in a Fast Machine 

oh there are so many more....

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On 20/02/2017 at 6:24 PM, pateceramics said:

I'm curious... this isn't just a "what's your favorite piece of music" thread, it's a "what do you want to conduct" thread.  So for all you conductors, what's the difference between the two?  Why do you want to conduct something in particular?  

Do you want a chance to share some neat items of little known music history with the orchestra and in the program notes?  Do you have a particularly efficient way of explaining some musical concept that you just can't wait to teach your players?  (I had a conductor who described rubato with a metaphor about finding the pickle in your cheeseburger.  Now I can never see the term without thinking, "mmm...  pickle...")  Is there something you have always heard in the piece that other conductors never seem to explore, and you want to see if your concept for it will actually work in concert?  (Take it faster, accent beat 3 in the a minor motif, bring out the viola part...)  Does it just feel fun to conduct the piece, physically?  Is there something particularly dance-like about the combination of rhythm and cuing that feels good in your body?  Is it a massively challenging piece to hold together successfully, and you want to master it?  Does it present an unusual combination of instruments and you want to fit it all together and make it work?  

Thoughts?

 

Imagine that your favorite piece is a quartet/quintet, you can't conduct that!

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Sojar Voglar    430

I am not a conductor so I don't dream to conduct music at all. But it might be 8th Symphony by Mahler because it must be awesome to conduct a large orchestra and large choral groups. ;)

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Monarcheon    255
4 hours ago, Sojar Voglar said:

I am not a conductor so I don't dream to conduct music at all. But it might be 8th Symphony by Mahler because it must be awesome to conduct a large orchestra and large choral groups. ;)

 

Ever since I saw Bernstein do it, Mahler 8 has been a contender on the list, especially the huge ending!

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Ken320    203

Nothing too complicated and preferably with an already tight ensemble. Anything baroque, allegro or adagio. Bits of The Messiah, maybe an aria or two. He Was Despised ... despised and rejected... and as long as we're dreaming, make it in Westminster Abbey.

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