Throughout the passage, Igor Stravinsky uses vibrant language describing his peers while painting crystal clear images of the metaphors he is trying to convey to his readers. His sudden but slight use of sarcasm and persistent objections strike the audience as if he is keeping a hold on his ideas about conductors like they were personal mockery. This method of expression reels the reader in, keeping them on their toes in wonder if the conductor, or any person perhaps, actually is as egotistical and self-centered as he describes.
Stravinksy starts off by saying that no matter how brilliant a conductor may present him/herself, he/she may well in fact be more poor of a musican than the lowest chair of the ensemble. He adds strength to this accusation by comparing the conductor to a politician, infering that face value is how politicians achieve their success. If you look omnipotent, in-control, and all knowing, your actual skill will not be scrutinized because the front you put off will ascend you above the rest. The only concern after this point is maintaning that power.
Once the conductor has his/her ensemble in hand, Stravinsky then explains the egotistical augmentation that occurs when a conductor is encouraged by the placement of his/her position to appear virtuous simply because he/she is a conductor. He attacks while saying that by this point, "they are unable to play anything but themselves."
The conductor belives that any musical success will only be achieved if it is expressed through given body language and sporadic cues and soon he/she will not only refuse to adapt to the music, but the individual will also set sail on the idea that "the important part of the performance becomes the gesture."
Stravinsky closes out his view of orchestral conductors by leaving his audience with an allusion of Beethoven's Third Symphony. His rhetorical reference prints a permanent scene of an avid, lively, and extreme conductor acting away bit by bit of his/her...
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