It has been a busy few days in the run up to Christmas what with shopping to be done, gifts to be wrapped and delivered etc and, of course, darling daughter arrived home from Japan on Thursday much to the delight of Mrs P and me.
The three of us had a trip into Manchester today to enjoy a meal and the Christmas atmosphere before heading to the Bridgewater Hall, home of the Hallé Orchestra, for their Christmas at the Movies concert.
It was quite an eclectic mix of music with everything from White Christmas to The Nightmare Before Christmas and Die Hard, the latter on the basis that it must appear somewhere on the tv listings at some point over the holiday.
But as I enjoyed the music, I couldn’t help wondering just how someone gets to be a conductor. I mean, the violinists, trombonists and even the bloke who dings the triangle have presumably studied their particular instrument since childhood, but surely conductors don’t have a similar career path?
It occurred to me that perhaps the conductor has proved him or herself adept on every instrument in the orchestra and having done so the other members bow to his superior skill and let him take charge. Certainly, they seem capable of completing the score once they’ve received the ready, set, go.
None of this is meant to cast doubts on Stephen Bell (above) who wielded the baton tonight. He was an energetic frontman in his musical guidance so perhaps the choice comes down to who is the best/worst dad dancer.
You can probably tell that my knowledge of serious music is even more limited than in other subjects and I really must find out more about this conducting lark.