I listened today to this DVD by German conductor Christian Thielemann conducting the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, and I was not impressed or moved at all. While I learned that Mr. Thielemann was an assistant to Karajan, I found his conducting skills and style to be somewhat unusual. Beats to indicate the start of a bar of music came somehow from the bottom – up. Instead of a downbeat, Mr. Thielemann’s stick hand is low, and seems to move UP at the start of a bar. The players don’t care; they can play this music with their eyes closed. However, the viewer (at least I) found this to be distracting and seemingly confusing.
The DVD Release Date was on January 25, 2011
The performances are classical, and played in a manner that only the VPO can do. They are somewhat ‘romantic’ in that the conductor takes liberties with tempo variations and phrasing. Generally these are fine interpretations, but I simply was not moved. These masterpieces do have the CAPACITY to move me when done by a creative conductor, who takes risks to present something new, yet authentic, without changing the composer’s intentions.
Here’s a video, which shows a lot of the beginnings of several symphonies; you can see, if you watch closely the unusual conducting technique.
Tags: Beethoven, Christian Thielemann