The Teacher Is Fantastique

| IN, USA | Learning | October 10, 2015

(The conductor of my college orchestra is a really fun, smart, but very eccentric guy. He tends to run everywhere (“running is faster than walking”) and gesture wildly even when he’s not conducting. On this particular week, we’re working on the “Hexensabbath” portion of Berlioz’s “Symphonie Fantastique”; it is about a round dance of witches.)

Conductor: “No, no, no, celli and basson! Here, the Devil is coming to the round dance. You have to play it more sinister-ly!” *singing* “Here I come, cause I’m the Devil! Ho ho, ha ha, I’m going to do evil doings to you!” *normal voice* “And violins and violas, look at these fast chromatic runs. These are the witches laughing at the Devil. Don’t you come here, Satan, all the single witches are laughing. Here, like this.” *throws head back and lets out an incredible maniacal laugh*

(Suddenly, he darts around to each of the major sections, doing a maniacal laugh to the rhythm of their run. He gets back to the podium and straightens his jacket. By this time, half the orchestra is laughing. As if nothing had happened, the conductor raises the baton.)

Conductor: “Okay, guys, from measure 27 again!”

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