Duke Rehearsal #1

I am so glad and honored that I got the chance to watch a symphony rehearsal done by Maestro Harry Davidson. To fully study my father’s conducting techniques for rehearsal in detail made me feel so happy. There is one particular section of a piece that he rehearsed that I would like to share some observations about. Firstly, the piece which he was rehearsing last night was the Fifth Symphony of Felix Mendelssohn, also known as the “Reformation” Symphony. The specific section I will be focusing on is the coda of the first movement. Just for clarification, a coda is the ending passage of a piece, typically that is used after completing the basic parts of the most common structure in the Classical Era, sonata form. The technique that I looked into the most that my dad used was when he was conducting was how much clearer he made his beats when the coda reached its fast tempo. To keep the strings together, who were playing rapid scales, he made his beats much more strict and direct. When Maestro Davidson made this instinctive choice, the strings could much better follow a stricter tempo and play more together. It was exciting when they got it right, and all because of that little difference in the manner of conducting technique. I want to leave this post with a quote from my father, which was for the students to play with more musicality: “We want to play music, not notes.”