I try to prepare the arrivals from long before they come and probably longer before the arrivals come than anyone would necessarily think.
It’s already a goal in my mind- where we are going harmonically, how long it’s going to settle down to earth.
And over the course of the piece, each one is more and more settled. Dynamically, it’s very clear.
It starts out at one level and each successive arrival, each successive phrase is softer and last, finally, you are at a very, very peaceful, unbelievably calm place.
A lot of people have said this, I know, but there are some conductors who look as if they are incredibly well put together and physically all in order, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll hear inspired music making.
And there are some conductors whose techniques is ostensibly all over the place, not necessarily so clear, but something comes across and it can even be extremely precise.
One of the ways to make the orchestra sound better is to make it really obvious that you are really listening and that it really matters to you what it sounds like.
That’s not actually conducting, that’s kind of embodying or representing a kind of aspiration, if you will. And it’s uncanny how that actually can make a difference.
As soon as it’s apparent that your ears are open and that you’re interested and you’re following the contour of the sound and that very contour is affected by that. It’s a bizarre little phenomenon that can happen.