A Fortunate Conductor
I was recently the recipient of an enormous gift – an exceptional performance of one of the “epic” choral/instrumental works of the 20th century. The gift was presented to me by choral singers, vocal soloists, instrumentalists, dancers, tech crew, and many others. Carmina Burana by Carl Orff is without a doubt a very challenging work to perform successfully, but the people mentioned above accomplished it extremely well! The entire presentation was one of the most satisfying musical experiences of my career.
One of the main reasons for my high level of satisfaction is the fact that the participants were all so engaged in the performance. They were also well prepared, having done the necessary rehearsal and personal study to lead them to that point in time. Still, good preparation doesn’t always result in an outstanding performance, although it certainly is a wondrous thing when it does.
A number of people have asked me what it felt like to conduct such a large number of performers (over 200) in such a monumental work. I can say it was a tremendous experience. I felt as if I were the most fortunate person in the room that afternoon, as 200+ people performed at their highest level and allowed me to “ride the wave” of their performance. It’s what we conductors always hope for, but don’t always receive. This time I did receive that special gift, and I am very grateful.