As to his conducting technique, given the amount of energy he expends on the podium the results in concert or on record don't seem to always come across well. Less can often achieve so much more. There's a fascinating film of Eschenbach conducting Bolero in Paris and he pretty much does nothing throughout the entire performance except use his eyes and move his head. Eschenbach might well be thinking the Orchestre de Paris can play this music in their sleep; on the other hand, the minimal conducting does everything he needs. Eschenbach doesn't always conduct this way - far from it - but here doing nothing is a revelation. Barenboim, too, can sometimes just do nothing for long stretches of the music of he conducts - but his stick technique is abysmal; Rattle's isn't. Technically, sometimes, you can have great precision and technique and achieve little - or have a pretty incoherent technique and do nothing on the podium and achieve remarkable things. But that's the mysterious art of conducting for you.
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