Radetzky x5

or why conductors matter. Miss Mussel was relieved to see that bloggers and journalists didn’t take the bait in regards to Phillipa Ibbotson’s thoroughly ridiculous article about the value of conductors. Poorly argued and grossly uninformed is just the tip of the iceberg. Miss Mussel is going to quit talking about it before she gets all wound up again. Where’s Runnicles has a thoughtful response if you’re interested.

The Radetzky March is a tradition at the New Year’s Concert in Vienna. The orchestra can play it in their sleep and a steady beat is provided by the drums corps, so in this case the conductor really is unnecessary. Following that line of thinking, you would expect all five versions to be exactly the same. But they’re not.


2014 Update: Turns out none of the videos Miss Mussel had originally posted are still available. So. Rather than spend hours sifting through Youtube for another postful, you are invited to so yourself. Who knows what you might unearth.

Sartorial Footnote
: Well cut, matching suits with straight ties look very smart. If the Viennese are able to find a suitable alternative to tails, then so too can North America.


  1. JtM

    Thank you for writing this! Anybody who has ever performed in or even listened to an orchestra should have no doubt about the value of the conductor. The aforementioned article is complete filth.

    • Miss Mussel

      You’re welcome. The article was shocklingly crap, that is for sure. On the other hand, the author’s sheer ignorance were rather entertaining. Thanks for your comment!

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