Of course, when I questioned the necessity of choral conductors in my last posting on this site, I was referring specifically to our own rather talentless DoM. There may be others of that ilk who perform their duties without the histrionics, without the flailing of arms and jangling of song-school keys, without the scowls and the tut-tuts, and most importantly of all, without the complete and utter obfuscation and annoyance of the singers, who are worthy of that title (although I'm bound to say I haven't met many, and in my humble and unsolicited opinion the vast majority are no more than charlatans, poseurs and megalomaniacs, but there we are).
Consider just a few examples:
Mr Harry Christophers, conductor of 'The Sixteen'.
When not swishing his crimped coiffure from side to side, this chap seems to regard conducting as a series of arm-swirling whooshes, rather in the manner of those Chinese dancer-chappies with their ribbons. No wonder members of his choir don't look at him. But then, he doesn't know that. His eyes are always closed.
Mr Stephen Aloysius Cleobury.
Another whirling dervish of a choir director, although of necessity rather more retrained than Mr Christopher. And why does he look so bloomin' miserable? The man has the cream of English choral youth at his disposal (not to mention the English clergy) and yet his lugubrious expression and drooping jowls give the impression of someone trying desperately hard to stay awake, or at least hold back the tears. And we are not, gentle reader, referring here to tears of joy.
Dr Philip Moore.
Actually, Philip Moore is alright. But what of that other chap, John Scott-Whitling? Has anyone ever looked so uncomfortable conducting? Actually, yes - our DoM (who must remain nameless) but enough of him. It seems to be that Richard Scott-Whiteley should remain in the organ-loft, along with the rest of them. Apart, maybe, from one.
Rodney. Ah, dear Rodney. I told you that my comments weren't a blanket condemnation of the entire profession. Rodney, Rodney, Rodney. Latent homosexual, snooker fan and conductor - par excellence - of the Wilchester Choral Society. Rodney knows how to wield a baton! And I would, of course, be honoured to be following his beat in their next performance - of Vaughan-Williams Sea Symphony. Now that takes some conducting skill.
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