Leonard Bernstein and the expressive face

A few years ago, I got the opportunity to work on an opera … Although I am capable of carrying a tune … in a bucket … I’m not anything like the standard necessary to perform this level of art. My role was one of building and performing as part of the circus troop which is a large part of the story of Smetena’s The Bartered Bride.

It was a great experience and just hearing the orchestra tuning up was enough to make a physical warm-up almost redundant.

One of my favourite things was getting to see the Conductor physically draw the incredible score from the musicians. It was like he was dancing ever so slightly ahead of the wave. Spellbinding.

Years later I someone showed me this amazing footage of the great Leonard Bernstein conducting a reprise of the 4th movement of Haydn’s Symphony No 88 .


He knows and loves the musicians so well that he decided to conduct using his FACE (!)

It is an astounding chance to watch how expressive and profound the music is when lived by someone who truly knows it.

So much humour … so much passion … so much.