Carl St.Clair and the Pacific Symphony open their season this week with the Overture to Die Fledermaus by Johann Strauss II. (Have they been listening to me? Rest assured, no.)

The video above is of a rehearsal of the overture, with Herr Carlos Kleiber and the Sudfunk-Sinfonieorchester. It was made in 1970. (Interestingly enough, this is the same orchestra, later known as the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra, that St.Clair conducted for many years and recorded all of the Villa-Lobos symphonies with.)

People often ask what, exactly, a conductor does. Well, most of what a conductor does is accomplished in rehearsal, and this video gives a fair idea of how such things go. Note that musicians aren’t always happy when the conductor stops to talk; you can sense it here. Kleiber’s German is translated into English in the subtitles.

You don’t necessarily have to watch the whole thing, but it’s all pretty interesting. A performance of the overture starts at the c. 35 minute mark.

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