What’s “plantation”in Hungarian?

It turns out that even conductors have wet dreams. An article in last Friday’s Guardian about the Budapest Festival Orchestra describes one very nicely:

The whole philosophy is different from any other orchestra I know,” [Ivan] Fischer, 57, explains. “There is no job security, no union, and no limits to how much we can rehearse and work.” It sounds, frankly, bonkers. What performer would sign up for a musical life of deregulated working conditions, in which the conductor – usually Fischer himself – can insist on whatever hours he chooses?

Well, about a hundred of Hungary’s finest musicians, it turns out.

And what do those musicians think about working in such an environment? According to Fischer,

“Strangely enough, the members are very happy…you need a certain personality to like our orchestra, but once you join a club like ours, you don’t want the other, more conventional ways of making orchestral music. It’s an orchestra for artists, who relish very intensive rehearsal work.”

But of course they love it. Why would they say otherwise?

“Like a youth orchestra, we always have sectional rehearsals to master the technical difficulties of what we’re playing…But nobody finds it a humiliating thing,” Fischer says, “because nobody has the arrogance to say it’s a bad idea.”

I’ll bet they don’t.

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