Tag Archives: amusia

Keeping the beat – or not

© stokkete/Fotolia.com

© stokkete/Fotolia.com

I have always been fascinated when I hear an orchestra play without conductor.  Interpretation issues aside, how do the musicians stay so expertly in sync through all of the nuances and flexibilities of tempo?   A few weeks ago I heard the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra in a concert that included the Beethoven Third Symphony. I know the Eroica well, but heard it that night as though for the first time. The thirty-six musicians played without conductor and the performance was electrifying – slightly faster tempos than usual, but with a great deal of flexibility; absolute clarity, making it possible to hear voices one doesn’t always hear; and an emotional intensity that is often missing when a group has played a Beethoven symphony countless numbers of times.    Continue reading