Some time in the mid 1960s, I can't remeber the actual year, Gennadi Rozhdestvensky conducted what (I seem to remember - but it was a long time ago) was the first ever Sunday Promenade Concert in which the BBC Choral Society (now the BBC Symphony Chorus) took part.

As a member of that society at the time I was privileged to witness the whole concert in which he also conducted Tchaikowsky's Symphony No 4. The third movement is a scherzo played by pizzicato strings. He conducted with such lightness (I likened it at the time to conducting with his cufflinks) and the result was magical, so much so that the audience applauded energetically at the end of the movement, before the symphony's finale could continue. So enthusuiastically did they show their appreciation in fact that he was unable to continue before he had conducted an encore of the scherzo. It was a magical experience that I will never forget.

I also remember during the final rehearsal for the concert he arrived with an interpreter as he spoke virtually no English, which was not a problem for his orchestra that had come from Moscow with him, but the choir were all English-speaking. After a few minutes struggling with his remarks being interpreted for us he dismissed the interpreter and communicated with us just using his musicality and personality to convey how he wanted us to perform the choral piece that evening.

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