Thursday, June 18, 2009

Stravinsky conducting

Quite by accident I came across a video of a very venerable Stravinsky (whose birthday yesterday was honoured on Google by a specially-decorated version of their logo) conducting the last part of The Firebird. It's black and white, and he was apparently 82 when it was made.



'Conducting' might be a bit of a misnomer; there are times when he's barely moving anything more than his eyelids, and even in the big moments his conducting consists of a bit of arm-waving accompanied by a grin. Who cares. The orchestra obviously knows perfectly well what it's doing (as I suspect most decent orchestras do most of the time), and they just get on with the job.

It's about nine minutes long - though the last couple of minutes are all applause, and Stravinsky being rather more animated than he had been during the conducting, as he bows continually to the audience, and everyone else in sight.
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