Upbeat: From the top

CONDUCTORS of the present took a hammering in the recent BBC 1 Omnibus expose, writes Andrew Green. Now a BBC 2 mini-series on 2 and 3 January sets out to look at how it used to be done. The Art of Conducting uses often rare footage of the likes of Richard Strauss, Fritz Busch, Klemperer, Beecham and Toscanini. The enterprise is rooted in the very personal passion of the IMG agency's managing director in London, Stephen Wright. His business travels around the world in the last 15 years have regularly been combined with the sniffing out of little-known film material: 'I've always been fascinated by just how the great conductors transmitted their wishes and personalities to their players.' Among the discoveries which have put Wright in ecstasy are films of rehearsals taken by George Szell and Bruno Walter.

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