Saturday, March 24, 2007

Next concert

We don't have a date for our next concert yet, but Thursday night we read through the new music. The Maestro was occupied elsewhere, so we had a substitute conductor, a nice and very competent guy named Steve, who seemed well-known to the rest of the orchestra. The main theme of my thoughts since rehearsal is something along the lines of "Ouch!". I don't know if it was just two hours of reading, which means we had fewer breaks because we didn't stop as much to work, or if this is very bow-arm unfriendly music, but my tendinitis has definitely flared.

This is what we have in our folders:
(1) Dvorak's Slavanick Dances #3 and #8
There are evidently not convenient and well-stocked libraries for checking out orchestral parts available locally. The orchestra has a very small library, and the repertoire expands through generous gifts from patrons. This year, it seems like the patrons have been wind players, who have donated a number of pieces that "they" would like to play. Hence these Dances. We did 1 and 2 last concert, and will eventually do all 8. All I know is, they're fast, have a lot of double stops, are in string-unfriendly keys (#3 is in Ab and E), and are doing a number on my arm.

(2) Moussorgsky's Une nuit sur le mont chauvre, which sounds so much more elegant than Night on Bald Mountain. This one is fun if nuanced appropriately, and shouldn't cause too much strain if I don't overplay the fortes.

(3) Rossini's Overture to Die diebische Elster. WT? Aha - The Thieving Magpie. I knew I recognized it. I was initially annoyed that the stand behind us had missed the tenor clef, but then we discovered that they had been given a bass part. This won't be bad after a session to work out optimal fingerings. A little time on fast scalar passages, and again, don't overplay.

Well, that review makes me feel more optimistic. I don't really care for the Dvorak, but as long as I don't let myself get sucked in to trying to compete with the brass I think I can do a better job both of playing the music and protecting my tendons at future rehearsals.

6 comments:

yarnplayer said...

The Thieving Magpie! I'm pretty sure that's the piece my orchestra was rehearsing when our conductor fell off his podium...just at the part when the music was going ta-da, Ta-da, TA-DA!...into a viola player's lap, still waving his baton....

Guanaco said...

Wow, take care of that elbow!
Sounds like you're going to need it.

Mr L said...

Dvorak - I love the symphonies and the string quartet, but the rest -- ehh...

Moussorgsky - we played Pictures at AU years ago. Tough and not that rewarding. The brass always win in the end...

Rossini - Played one Rossini overture, played then all...

We are playing Mendelssohn's Scottish Symphony. Nice cello melody line in the slow movement, but like some of Mendelssohn's symphonic works (i.e "Italian", "Fingal's Cave") there is some busy work that doesn't seem to matter much. We are getting Schumann's piano concerto next week. So far everything in A minor.

Take care of the elbow -- you're in it for the long haul!

Gottagopractice said...

Mr L! You're alive! Alas, I agree with your assessments. Wish I was playing with youse guys this cycle, instead.

Hi Yarnplayer, glad to see you here. Do you think this is a music-specfic event? Should I play vigilantly, ready to duck?

Truth be told, I am giving serious consideration to bowing out this cycle in favor of elbow-healing time.

Guanaco said...

Hmm... "bowing out this cycle" ?

Gottagopractice said...

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