You have come to the Opera house. The show has not started yet, but in the orchestra pit is the area located at the bottom front of the stage - already gathered musicians. They set up their instruments, and a huge racket. It seems that out of this chaos of sounds can not get slim, I agree and beautiful sound. But there will be singers and choir...
In order to manage this large musical group, and there is a conductor (French diriger - to manage, to direct, to lead).
Conductor not just making sure that everything is played according to. He carefully considers the intent of the composer - the character of the sound of music. He is learning to work with performers, indicates when you need to join one or another tool, fast or slow, loud or quiet, should he play.
Portrait of the pianist, conductor and composer
The conductor needs in the Opera and Symphony orchestra, choir and ensemble of song and dance - wherever the music takes a great team. The choir leads the music corovic - choirmaster.
Once upon a time the band was led by a musician who played on the harpsichord or organ. He played his part and simultaneously determined the pace, emphasized the rhythm. Then keyboard instrument ceased to participate in the performance of orchestral works, and leadership passed to the first violinist. And now I can see that a small instrumental ensemble led by the violinist. But the orchestra eventually increased, and soon the violinist was not under force, playing himself, to manage such a large team.
In the early nineteenth century developed the concept of the conductor of the orchestra, close to our. True, but that time the conductor stood facing the audience, as it was considered indecent to turn his back on her. So you had to stand with his back to the orchestra and conduct, not seeing musicians. First from this uncomfortable and for orchestra and conductor position refused German composers Felix Mendelssohn and Richard Wagner.
In the beginning of the XIX century composers and conductors Carl Maria Weber, Ludwig Spohr and others have applied for the first time conducting a small wooden stick. They did this completely independently from each other. A new way of conducting liked it so much that wand became a faithful assistant conductor. They say that when the great Russian composer Alexander Konstantinovich Glazunov arrived in England, where he was to conduct, then, not knowing the English language, he learned just one sentence. With it, he turned to the orchestra: "Lord, I ask you to play something that I will draw the end of his wand." Now some conductors refuse sticks.
The conductor is the soul of the orchestra. Like, for instance, different pianists, performing the same play, play it differently, and the conductor may be emphasized in the work of his classic clear or romantically excited themes can highlight some features and to mitigate, to conceal the other. Therefore, the conductor should be widely educated musician: know the history of music, history of other arts, to perfectly understand the style of work, to freely navigate in the era in which it was created. The conductor must have excellent hearing, to own some (or any) musical instrument.
In the XX century the world famous such conductors as Leopold Stokowski, Arturo Toscanini, Willy Ferrero, Herbert von Karajan. Outstanding Soviet conductors were Nikolay Semyonovich Golovanov and Samuel Abramovich Lynching. Soviet conductor art glorified Hero of Socialist Labor, people's artist of the USSR Yevgeny Aleksandrovich Mravinsky, and in the next generations of folk artists of the USSR, Gennady Rozhdestvensky and Evgeny Svetlanov. Modern famous Russian conductors all know the name of Valery Gergiev is the artistic Director of the Mariinsky theatre, principal conductor of the London Symphony orchestra.
Herbert von Karajan