Duke Ellington and His Orchestra

Bear with me until I come up with a link between this and sport history/psychology:

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One response to “Duke Ellington and His Orchestra

  1. funny you should mention that – I was talking to a cellist the other night, who told me that British orchestras simply don’t rehearse anything like as much as European or American ones, and it’s not really got anything to do with “resources” or any such. It’s just that British orchestral musicians have got into a culture of believing that “passion”, “feeling” and naturally, “inspiring” speeches from the conductor (whose job is to “motivate” the troops to “give their all” rather than all that dull bollocks about preparation and studying the score) are the ingredients of a good performance. The result is that British musicians are generally well-regarded around the world, because they’re excellent sight-readers and have good instrumental technique (gained from practicising on their own), but British orchestras are not – and they do, in general, play out of time with one another. British conductors are also generally not well-regarded, apart from Sir Simon Rattle, who had a *lot* of problems with the Berlin Philharmonic in the early days as they adjusted to his way of working.

    Jazz musicians have an awful lot of the same culture about rehearsing and practising versus “feel”, which is also tied up with an awful lot of Orientalist patronising bollocks about the ability of some races but not others to “feel” the music. The gradual demise of outfits like the Duke Ellington orchestra in favour of small-group jazz is not entirely about economics.