The famous Russian conductor Gennadi Rozhdestvensky reveals the secrets, great and small, of conducting.
"Being a conductor, has nothing to do with the arm movements, it's a question of influence." That is how Gennadi Rozhdestvensky defines this very special art of orchestra conducting, backing up this claim with the words of Franz Strauss, who played the horn in his son Richard's orchestra: "When a conductor we don't know enters the orchestra pit, we can see by the way he walks whether or not he is capable." But when we see Rozhdestvensky work with the students from the Moscow Conservatory, we realise that it's a little more complicated than that…
However, the man is a humorist ("the position of a conductor who has a permanent appointment is that of the manager of a travel agency") and an iconoclast. The film is also an opportunity to see Serge Prokofiev play his Concerto No. 3 for the piano with the "orchestra without conductor," or the Persimfans, Yehudi Menuhin during a rehearsal of Concerto No. 2 for violin by Béla Bartók and Mstislav Rostropovitch in Haydn's Concerto for Cello in C Major.
BBC Proms, 1981