I am pretty opinionated when it comes to orchestral conductors. I feel that their role is to bring us the composer’s sound and creativity, and I expect any conductor to support the orchestra players in their work. As such, the conductor is above all a communicator, and must do a lot music more than just beat time.
My recent study has led me to watch old recordings of the late conductor Sergiu Celibidache, who died in 1996. I had never observed him in a live concert.
I found him to be demanding. He insisted on clarity of sound, he wanted the melody to be
Here are some comments by musical publications:
“His intense, finely balanced and deeply felt interpretations made him one of the greatest names in twentieth century orchestral conducting. Above all, he was a superb technician.” All Music Guide
“Even with a reduced orchestra, Celibidache creates a full sound here. But there’s also some energetic and precise phrasing, lightness in the fast movements, and obvious enjoyment from a beaming conductor.” BBC Music Magazine
Here is an extract from this recording: