One of those endearing maestros who use the podium as their personal gym

One of those endearing maestros who use the podium as their personal gym


norman lebrecht

March 23, 2018

From Geoff Brown’s Times review of Andes Orozco-Estrada’s concert with the London Philharmonic:

We started with another neo-classical object, Stravinsky’s suavely beautiful ballet score Apollon musagète, throbbingly played by the LPO strings with fancy dancing from Andrés Orozco-Estrada, their principal guest conductor, one of those endearing maestros who use the podium as their personal gym.

This is taken from the print version. The killer last phrase has been omitted from the paper’s truncated online review.



  • Rgiarola says:

    Dudamel did it much time before…

  • James says:

    “His manner of conducting an orchestra was something extraordinary. He accustomed himself to give the signs of expression to the band by all manner of eccentric motions of his body. So often as the sforzando occurred, he tore his arms, which he had previously crossed upon his breast, with great vehemence asunder. At a piano passage he bent himself down, and the lower the softer he wished to have it. Then, when crescendo came, he raised himself again by degrees; and upon the commencement of the forte sprang bolt upright! To increase the forte yet more, he would sometimes also join in with a shout to the orchestra, without being aware of it.”

    Which conductor who used the podium as his personal gym was this? Some guy named Ludwig Van Beethoven.

    Then there were other conductors who used barely a flick of the baton like Reiner. Different strokes for different folks – it all works – what matters much more is the sound that comes out of the orchestra. If its good, then it doesn’t matter if the conductor is Reiner or Bernstein, Haitink or Dudamel.

    • Rgiarola says:

      What a pretentious comparisons…

    • The View from America says:

      With some conductors, enjoying their concerts is best done with “eyes closed.”

      • Britcellist says:

        Yes, I had that that experience with Joshua Bell and the Academy of St. Martin in the Field. Glorious playing from everyone, but all the bouncing around by JB as concertmaster and conductor was distracting, I had to close my eyes for most of the concert. Too bad.

        • will says:

          Both of my 2 conducting teachers (Michael Rose and Sir Charles Mackerras) said basically the same thing:
          ” less is more”!

    • Saxon Broken says:

      James: Was Beethoven any good as a conductor?

  • Eric says:

    what is the rational of publishing more in print, and truncating anything online? The opposite seems to be the better method here, if at all.

  • John Borstlap says:

    One can turn conducting into something lively:

  • Holyfield Worthington says:

    Yes perhaps these world class performers should reign themselves in, lest unrestrained honest emotion make the bitter stiffs uncomfortable.

  • brian says:

    …and the conductor of Orpheus has so much quantum energy in her/his body that her/his waveform collapses and s/he becomes…invisible. Now that’s a great conductor.

  • Zalman says:

    A real conductor doesn’t need all that show. As mentioned, Fritz Reiner barely had to move and he had total control and response.

  • Eli Bensky says:

    Anybody have the “killer last phrase” from the print review?