How the LSO rebuilt the Rattle brand

How the LSO rebuilt the Rattle brand


norman lebrecht

June 21, 2017

The image makers reveal the tricks of their trade (12 cameras, 120 frames per second).

Not for the pure of heart. Not even sure it does much for the brand.


  • Jesus Manuel Berard says:

    Yep, I agree with you.

  • Jesus Manuel Berard says:

    Yes, I agree with you, Norman.

  • Rgiarola says:

    He wanted to be Stokovsky in “Fantasia”, since he was a kid. He told me it one time

  • Talking the Talk says:

    Good idea but If your going to do this, better and more effective to have a conductor whose technique is grounded in the now sadly disappearing art of using the baton like an artists brush to paint and illustrate the musical line and texture.

    Given his technique, I’m not sure why Rattle uses a baton unless his purpose is to use it in the way Leonard Slatkin once laughably described it, i.e. that the baton is simply there to draw attention to the hand as the hand is actually what the orchestra is following. Slatkin’s ‘explanation’ certainly explains a lot of American conducting technique I’ve seen.

    • Cubs Fan says:

      There are very, very few conductors who really understand what a baton is for, what power it could have, and how to use it correctly. They may hold a stick, but they’re really conducting with their arms. Long gone are the baton masters like Fritz Reiner, Andre Cluytens, and most impressive of all, Adrian Boult. Maybe no one teaches how to use one anymore, or even knows how to teach it. A mindful conductor with a great stick technique is a joy to play with. The arms wavers, crouchers, and those who go into fake trances are annoying and pathetic.

  • Donizetti sings. says:

    It’s all Emperors New Clothes syndrome! The LSO has always been a brilliantly eclectic orchestra and Rattle is essentially “coming home,” but whether he can garner better conditions for the membership remains to be seen. It’ll take more than a few visually appealing publicity shots to convince the players, I’m sure.

  • Ceasar says:

    Just do it?

  • Steve P says:

    I liked it. But I voted for Trump, so I’m easily satisfied with almost anything different.

  • Hugh Jorgan says:

    Video looks like a cross between a dog’s dinner that disagreed severely with the dog, and the virtual sex scene in “lawnmower man”. Sound was OK though.

  • Observer says:

    Once upon a time conductors were devoted to the service of music. Then the world changed. I would be tempted to write “Sad, sad”. But then I would sound like Trump, therefore I will refrain.

  • Peter says:

    What is it for?

  • Greg says:

    Not quite as effective as Sir Simon’s collaboration with Mr. Bean during the London Olympic opening ceremony.

  • Jonathan Grieves-Smith says:

    Love it

  • Step Parikian says:

    I think i is great – but dread to think how much it cost…

  • Halldor says:

    Think you’ll find it’s Rattle rescuing the LSO “brand” – after the tenure of their last music director ended at such a low ebb that they could barely bring themselves to mention him in public. They’ve now got a superb, energising new conductor with an international reputation, and since the orchestra is rolling in cash, they’re spending some of it on shouting the fact to the world. Wholly understandable.

  • M2N2K says:

    In any case, his stick technique has never been particularly attractive, but this so-called shortcoming has always been more than adequately compensated by his tremendous musicality and intelligent artistic leadership.

    • Bruce says:

      Oh don’t be ridiculous. We all know that how a conductor (or a female soloist) looks or moves is much more important than the musical product.

      • M2N2K says:

        Your irony is duly noted. The only reason I even mentioned his stick technique here is that the video in question seems to make such a huge deal out of it.

      • M2N2K says:

        Seriously though, unlike in soloists’ case, the way conductors look when they are conducting does make a difference that may sometimes be of considerable importance because, unlike in soloists’ case, they are not supposed to make any sounds and their only job is to communicate their interpretation of music visually. That is why I do not automatically accuse them of a capital crime even when they dare to conduct more for the audience than for the orchestra once in a while during appropriate passages.