9 scary and fascinating videos of great conductors in rehearsal

These videos of great conductors in rehearsal are as terrifying as they are inspirational - take a look at the different approaches, from Toscanini shouting to Klemperer singing and Stokowski calling the orchestra "mices".

conductors in rehearsal

A trumpet talks back to Leonard Bernstein

Seriously, trumpet guy, what are you doing? CALM DOWN. This mighty awkward exchange is from late in Bernstein's career, but it shows that he'd lost none of his fire. Or people skills.


Arturo Toscanini loses it (twice)

If anyone can translate what he's saying, we'd be interested to know. Scared, but interested. And we're hoping that's the music stand he's clearly smashing to bits, not the leader's violin.

 

Leopold Stokowski: "you play like mices!"

Few are so withering as the great Leopold Stokowski, especially in such a charged rehearsal as this run-through of Barber's Adagio for Strings. Just listen to how he says, "Give me what I ask, please." Eek.


Sergiu Celibidache: nice and nasty

He was capable of destroying musicians with a single stare, but he was also incredibly inspirational when he wanted to be. Check out both guises of this conducting giant. (All together now: "VIOOOLAAAA!!")

 

Klemperer singing awfully

Some conductors are blessed with a beautiful voice to better express what they would like their musicians to do. Otto Klemperer is not one of them, as evidenced by his rendition of Beethoven's 9th Symphony.

 

Stravinsky: "more violently!"

Igor Stravinsky took the gentle approach when conducting his own work - he was always polite and thanked the musicians, but his instructions were certainly fierce. 

 

Bernstein wants more

The great Leonard Bernstein was a charismatic and energetic dynamo of a conductor - and even in this rehearsal for Shostakovich's Symphony No. 5 he can barely contain himself.

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