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Thursday, March 23, 2006

I will look at you stoppingly!

Via Alex Ross I see this collection of utterances offered during orchestra rehearsals by Finnish conductor Lief Segerstam. Here are a few samples:

More grease in the pianissimo.

Use parabolic crescendi. . . they are more animalic.

We will enter in the right times, so the shortening is to the left.

I have to be the bumper to take all these colleagueual comments to the playing trumpets.

Don't make it sound as brutal as my left hand, please.

You are still mouldering (to the percussion).

We still have a pleep.


I can only imagine the plight of those poor musicians. I'm reminded of anecdotes about film director Michael Curtiz, who once directed his stagehands to "Bring on the empty horses!", and said, upon accepting a Best Director Oscar after losing out a number of times before: "Always a bridesmaid, never a mother."

(And I can't help but think that there's a great pickup line in "I will look at you stoppingly".)

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