Watch: The British way with Bolero

Conductor Paul Daniel does it his way, by way of a Bordeaux encore.

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  • Not knowing the context, it’s hard to judge.
    I applaud every conductor who refrains from unnecessary movement and showmanship when it is really not needed. Getting out of the way towards the end of the Bolero is inspired and would, ideally be a gesture of giving full credit to the orchestra.
    The taking a drink and raising a bottle to the audience may be droll, but unfortunately does the opposite: It draws attention away from the performance of the orchestra. Can anyone explain the context?

    Even though have not seen him live, I do appreciate Mr Daniel’s recordings very much.

    • Thanks for your comments! This is one encore at the end of a big programme with the wonderful musicians of my orchestra in Bordeaux (not Paris this time, Norman) l’Orchestre National Bordeaux, which explored the fascination of French composers for Spain. First, a concert staging of Ravel’s ‘L’heure Espagnole’, and after the interval, Debussy’s ‘Ibéria’, and finally, Boléro. At the end, I prseented our side drum player, the great young percussionist Sylvain Borredon, with a bottle of Spanish beer. And when it became clear that the public were not going to let us go, I handed the reins to the orchestra and opened myself a second bottle. They’d seen enough conducting for one concert, ! – and a great orchestra like the ONBA can do perfectly well without a stick.. it was a very nice bottle of Estrella de Galicia by the way..

      • Thanks a lot for clarifying. Incidentally I just remembered I did hear you live once in 2000 at the ENO in Pelleas and Melisande. I loved it, though I could have killed the noisy bunch of people sitting right in front of me if I could have thought of a noiseless way 🙂 Same year I got your recording of Elgar/Payne III. Good luck with your next concerts!

      • “They’d seen enough conducting for one concert, ! – and a great orchestra like the ONBA can do perfectly well without a stick.”

        With all due respect, are you SURE you’re a conductor? 😛

  • No harm in a bit of fun at the end of an encore, IMO. He was clearly showing his confidence in the orchestra.

    So long as gimmicks and stunts don’t take over.

  • I heard the Las Vegas Philharmonic (David Itkin, music director) perform “Bolero” as a kind of “reverse” farewell symphony. They started with only the snare drummer (standing besides the conductor’s podium) and low strings on stage, with no conductor. Then, one by one, the various solo instruments and/or sections walked onto stage, sat down and played their solos. Maestro Itkin came on stage for the final minute. A very clever idea!

    • Several decades ago, there was of course the infamous Howdy Symphony by the “great” PDQ Bach, but I agree – doing Bolero this way seems like a very fine idea.

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