Conducting Small Gems

Listen to the Story

Play
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky by Nikolay Kuznetsov, 1893(Photo: Painting by Nikolay Kuznetsov)
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky by Nikolay Kuznetsov, 1893(Photo: Painting by Nikolay Kuznetsov)

Boyce Lancaster talks with Maestro Albert-George Schram, the resident staff conductor of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, about conducting small gems. These short pieces – as opposed to symphonies and operas – are featured heavily especially during pops performances, and tend to get dismissed from discussions about great music.

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky‘s waltz from Eugene Onegin is one such piece.

[audio src="http://wosu.org/audio/classical/2006/ShortGems.mp3"]

Highlights From This Interview:

Albert-George: “Tchaikovsky waltz from Eugene Onegin goes on for six minutes, goes on for a long time if you don’t try to find the muse there. So why not give the eight notes a certain direction that they go?”

Boyce: “People in this day and age are not going to sit down every day and listen to 35 or 40 minutes of a symphony, or an opera, or anything. They’re going to throw a disc in, they’re going to be driving their car and their going to hear the waltz and polonaise from Eugene Onegin, they’re going to hear a short Mozart aria, a romance – that’s what they have time to listen to.”

Albert-George: “It’s easier to have thrills in the short form than it is in the long form. It’s a lot of fun to do short forms. I keep telling audiences that there’s a lot of gems you need to know about. I think there are a lot of (short) jewels there we can explore and find music in.

Comments