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Our motto: "Critical thinking in the cheap seats." Unbiased, honest classical music and opera opinions, occasional obituaries and classical news reporting, since 2007. All written content © 2018 by Paul J. Pelkonen. For more about Superconductor, visit this link. For advertising rates, click this link. Follow us on Facebook.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

And now a word from Richard Strauss!

Ten Golden Rules For the Album of a Young Conductor

(originally written by Dr. Strauss in 1922.)

  • Remember that you are making music not to amuse yourself, but to delight your audience.

  • You should not perspire when conducting: only the audience should get warm.

  • Conduct Salome and Elektra as if they were Mendelssohn: Fairy Music.

  • Never look encouragingly at the brass, except with a brief glance to give an important cue.

  • But never let the horns and woodwinds out of your sight. If you can hear them at all they are still too strong.

  • If you think that the brass is now blowing hard enough, tone it down another shade or two.

  • It is not enough that you yourself should hear every word the soloist sings. You should know it by heart anyway. The audience must be able to follow without effort. If they do not understand the words they will go to sleep.

  • Always accompany the singer in such a way that he can sing without effort.

  • When you think you have reached the limits of prestissimo, double the pace.

  • If you follow these rules carefully you will, with your fine gifts and your great accomplishments, always be the darling of your listeners.

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Since 2007, Superconductor has grown from an occasional concert or CD review to a near-daily publication covering classical music, opera and the arts in and around NYC, with excursions to Boston, Philadelphia, and upstate NY. I am a freelance writer living and working in Brooklyn NY. And no, I'm not a conductor.