I confess: Brian Masters, the author, reveals fantasies of wielding the baton

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I like to conduct orchestras. I put a record on and wave my arms, pretending that various parts of the room are different parts of the orchestra. I snap my fingers and the book shelves are the horn section. I bring in the bassoons with a swirl of my hand.

The more flamboyant the symphony, the more outrageous I become. My favourites are Shostakovich's Symphonies 5 and 10, and Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring. They're very challenging; the rhythm changes so frequently. It's not the same with Haydn or Handel. Too rhythmic - no opportunity for histrionics. I prance about to Bolero, collapsing on the floor at the finale, totally exhausted. I make a good Bernstein and a terrible Boult.

I have to pull the curtains sometimes because I can be seen from the street. Once I saw someone peering in, amazed. That put me off. For about a week.

I have had audiences. There have been dinner parties when I've had too much wine and put on a record and then been unable to keep still. I jump up and conduct. I think my friends close their eyes. I apologise at breakfast.

If I did have a real orchestra it would be chaotic. Conductors don't do the downbeat. They operate a second ahead of time, they plan. I'm not a co-ordinator. I just follow the music.

Brian Masters's 'The Shrine of Jeffery Dahmler' is now available as a Cornet paperback. He was in the confessional with John Lyttle

(Photograph omitted)

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