By Way of Explanation

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Conductors sing during rehearsal, some of them a lot, few of them well. This week Nathalie Stutzmann makes her St. Louis Symphony conducting debut. She is also one of the great contraltos in the world. When she explained to the musicians how she wanted a phrase in Dvorak’s Symphony No. 7 to be played, she sang it, as conductors often do. Only this time, the musicians responded with applause. I imagined a cartoon bubble above the musicians’ heads: “Oh, you want it to sound musical!”

Nathalie Stutzmann. Photo credit: Simon Fowler
Nathalie Stutzmann. Photo credit: Simon Fowler