Thursday, November 3, 2016

Mahler's Conducting Style

As a conductor, Gustav Mahler was known for raising standards of playing, but also for having an autocratic style that led to friction with his musicians and stagehands.

This cartoon caricatures him as both a conductor and composer. The picture includes what people heard as non-musical sounds: songbirds, roosters, bells, trains, howling dogs, and cannons. One man falls asleep in exhaustion. Others have collapsed after being struck by the instruments or the notes themselves.

Mahler's conducting style, 1901, caricatured in the humor magazine Fliegende Blätter
He must have been fun to watch, based on caricatures by artists. This set of drawings shows him with overlapping keyframe poses, an effective way to sketch a conductor in motion.
Here are my previous posts about sketching conductors:


Karen VR said...

Great illustrations! Reminds me of the Bugs Bunny cartoon where he conducts that guy singing :'-D

drwistman said...

Did anybody do the same sort of thing with Lennie Bernstein? Must have. He certainly was theatrical enough, although I think he was more beloved by his musicians.