Four questions for David Eben

Wherein consists the study of Gregorian Chant conducting?

First and foremost it lies in study of Gregorian Chant as such. Professor Vigne used to say, exaggerating a bit, that if we have a clear idea of the final sound we want to hear, we can conduct even with our legs and “et ca passé” – it will work. Though, there are various peculiarities in the technique of conducting. As there in no regular rhythmical unit in the chant, it is not possible to relay on the triple-time nor tetra-time scheme and it is a must to find another mutual feature, which would enable communication between the conductor and the audience. For-example a basic idea of the time and its flux based on a natural declamation of the Latin language can represent such “common denominator”. Another vital feature is awareness of the “rhythmical buttresses” of the melody towards which the musical course proceeds. Often these are the word accents. And thus also the conductor´s gesture should express this concept and appropriately set the ensemble into melodic motion.