Friday, November 13, 2009

Fw: "Passion and Patriotism" by Ed Vuilliamy [30.10.09]

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, November 13, 2009 5:40 PM
Subject: Fw: "Passion and Patriotism" by Ed Vuilliamy [30.10.09]

This letter appeared in the Nov.13th/09 issue of The Guardian Weekly.     Les
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Saturday, October 31, 2009 6:22 AM
Subject: "Passion and Patriotism" by Ed Vuilliamy [30.10.09]

Perhaps it is arguable that Valery Gergiev, as Ed Vuilliamy asserts, is the greatest conductor of his generation. Yet as one who has experienced the orchestral terror of trying to decipher his beat--which consists of a toothpick dangled in his right hand, while his left hand flutters up and down like a butterfly--I can attest that maestro Gergiev is definitely the most difficult to follow.
    All the same, Mr. Gergiev, along with the legendary maestros Leopold Stokowski and Carlos Kleiber is, in my opinion, one of the great poets of the podium. These gentlemen could convey a musical dynamic and articulation to their musicians with a glance, a frown, a wink, a smile--call it E.S.P. if you will, but nonetheless it was always a great pleasure and an honor to make music with them--despite the absence of a clear beat from a baton and a few skipped heartbeats.
Les Dreyer
(Retired violinist of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra)
180 West End Ave.
NYC 10023 U.S.A.
Note to Editor: I was a member of the Met Orchestra for 46 years, 30 of them as associate-principal violin, and have played under the 3 conductors mentioned.