14. April 2008 · Comments Off · Categories: Ramble

Gernot Schmalfuss is the most charismatic conductor now working in Taipei. On Thursday, he limped onstage with his foot in a hefty plaster cast — ironic, as his name in German means “narrow foot.” He’d had an accident on his motorcycle, apparently. Musically it didn’t matter an iota, though, and he conducted the Evergreen Symphony Orchestra with humor, zeal and panache that were instantly infectious.

He was obliged to operate sitting on a high steel-and-plastic office-type chair. It had a spring somewhere inside it, and as a result he rose and fell with increasing dynamism as his enthusiasm for the music mounted. This was rarely less than total, however, so that when the time came for Khachaturian’s ferocious Saber Dance, played as an encore, I more than half expected to see a gleeful Schmalfuss catapulted into the air, conducting the final bars from on high, meters above the orchestra.

I do wonder why they couldn’t have found a “non-springy” chair.

(Read here)

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