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The brilliant conductor Marin Alsop popped by the Classic FM office and happened to have her score of Rachmaninov’s Symphonic Dances with her. So we asked her to talk us through how to conduct this epic piece.
WATCH OUT FOR THE OPENING
Thoughtlessly, Rachmaninov’s Symphonic Dances opens with a rest, which causes the conductor a headache before the piece even begins, as Marin explains:
Marin Alsop on how to conduct Rachmaninov
But that’s not even the trickiest bit…
We asked Marin to talk us through the section she thinks is the hardest for the conductor. It comes towards the end of the second movement, she says:
Marin Alsop on Rachmaninov's tricky sections
And her favourite section?
You know the end of the Symphonic Dances where the piece gets a bit crazy, with cymbals crashing and a major part for huge gong. THAT PART. That’s Marin’s favourite part. Think it would be ours too…
Marin Alsop on the tam tam
Her top tip for young conductors…
And it's really straight-forward.
Marin Alsop's conducting tips
Marin's recording of Prokofiev's Symphony No.3 with the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra is out now and available on iTunes and Amazon. Her recording of Bernstein's Missa Brevis, Symphony No.3 'Kaddish' and The Lark is out in September.