A friend of mine showed me this video a couple of days ago, and it has been a main topic of discussion among us.
There are too many questions, but so little time. The main question, is of course...
What is up with the downbeat?!
It's pretty amazing how the orchestra managed to stay together, but more importantly, come in in such perfect unison with this kind of silent flailing about. It seems as if the conductor is trying to do subdivisions, but that is way too much work. This famous beginning of Beethoven's 5th Symphony is hard due to the infinite possibilites of interpretation (the length of the fermata; the breath before the next phrase; slight rubato etc.). The fact of the matter is, it is possible for an orchestra of capable ability to play well together in concert without a conductor - a sad, but realistic truth.
Masato Usuki (the conductor) was one of Japan's most renowned conductors, and died in 2011.
You may laugh, cry, or actually enjoy the performance! Who knows. Tell me what you think and comment below.