CARMEL BACH FESTIVAL: WHAT THE CONDUCTOR WORE

by admin on July 9, 2011

new conductor of the carmel bach festival

esme just can’t resist telling you about the carmel bach festival, even though it doesn’t have THAT much to do with fashion!  esme decided to attend an open rehearsal in order to lay eyes (and ears) on the new conductor and concert master of the show.  plus, this way you get to hear the music for free (so as to save your money for clothes).  then, of course, you become tempted to hear the whole concert and end up paying to attend after all.  oh well….all for a good cause!

anyway, esme was very glad she checked out the bach festival scene.  the new conductor, paul goodwin, is a TRIP!  esme had heard that he doesn’t use a podium and she could see why:  tall and slender and full of positively electric energy, he practically dances on the stage.  he would surely have fallen right off a podium!

he was dressed in a white short-sleeved button down shirt and jeans.  in fact, jeans were the modal garment, with a few notable exceptions.  a few of the men wore khaki trousers, a few of the women wore casual skirts, and one of the (male) violinists was attired in bermuda shorts, a white peasant blouse and flip-flops!

esme, who used to play in orchestras in the distant past, was both fascinated and exhausted trying to keep up with the brilliant lightning-fast explanations issuing from mr. goodwin’s mouth.  he has quite the gift for description and metaphor.  esme wished she had brought a pen to write down some of his imagery.  one that she happens to remember was his request to “put more meat on (the note) so it doesn’t sound pathetic”!  and when something sounded just right he’d say, in his very british manner, “brilliant”.

the man was also a genius at musical noises.  esme recalls this skill from her days as a violinist.  teachers/conductors need to verbally imitate the music in a way that conveys the tone and phrasing.  goodwin could make the fastest, craziest sounds you can imagine.  esme concluded that he must have a background as a wind or brass player—they develop their lips and tongues (the embouchure) in ways that would be impossible for a normal human being—and indeed it turns out that he is also an oboist.  waving his arms dramatically, he’d enunciate something like “diggediggediggebooooaahhhhh” to illustrate how a passage should be played.  oh my, esme has a terrible crush as i do believe do several of the ladies in the audience!

here’s the test.  times like these make esme want to get out her fiddle and give it a good old college try.  will she do it?  if she does, will she toss her bow down in disgust?  only hunter will know.

inspired,

esme

 

 

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