03. March 2008 · Comments Off · Categories: Links, Ramble

To make ”Mist” more tangible, Wittry wrote many directions in English rather than traditional Italian, even though the work was written in Italy. Her commands tend to be very specific; her extra pauses, or fermatas, last from seven to 10 seconds. Being on the same page, she points out, allows musicians and conductors to be more precise and passionate.

”I want everyone to take risks, to not be tied up, to let the music come to life,” says Wittry, who has judged works for the National Endowment for the Arts and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. ”I think the biggest fault of some conductors is that they’re very mechanical, they interpret the page literally. Young conductors are particularly guilty. They think that everyone has to be right. In my piece the idea is to go for the overall shape of phrases. Singers know that; conductors forget that.”

I would think that giving precise times for, for instance, the fermatas, is rather … I dunno … mechanical? Or controlling. Seems as if paragraph two contradicts paragraph one. But what do I know? I’m only an oboist. ;-)

Article here.

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