Rehearsal: Really Worried :/

November 23, 2017, 6:23 PM · So i'm joining an orchestra for their final concert for the year and they've already had heaps of rehearsals with the pieces. This is my first rehearsal with them and it just happens to be a 7 hour long one with tutorials and sectionals and all and i only printed out the music today so i barley know it and one of the pieces is Russlan and Ludmilla which is CRAZY fast. What am i meant to do! HELP

Replies (14)

November 23, 2017, 6:23 PM · gosh imagine if someone from that orchestra was on this website !!
November 23, 2017, 6:24 PM · oh and by the way the concert is in like 2 weeks...
November 23, 2017, 6:27 PM · Practice everything else. Fake the Glinka.
November 23, 2017, 6:29 PM · I was thinking i could do that until i could practice it properly before the next rehearsal but won't it be obvious?
November 23, 2017, 6:41 PM · In the Glinka? It's only obvious if you don't fake it well. :-)

Make sure to nail the beginning and end of every run of the notes, and to nail the structural notes of the passage.

Edited: November 23, 2017, 6:55 PM · 1. Look busy with fingers and bow, even if you're not making much sound.
2. Start and finish with everyone else.
3. Try not to play in the silent bars.
4. Watch your section leader like a hawk (that's very important).
5. It's all meant to be fun, so enjoy it.

I think that covers the main points of when you're actually on stage in the concert.

Finally, when it's all over and you're standing facing the applause, smile and be happy, because you can be sure the audience is happy for you!

Postscript: The fact is, 99% of an audience don't notice mistakes. The 1% that may possibly notice will most likely have been there themselves, so they'll know what it's all about and will mentally applaud you. So it's a win-win for you!

November 23, 2017, 7:01 PM · Okay, i guess i'm just worried that others in my orchestra will judge me haha but i reckon i can nail it before the concert :)
November 23, 2017, 7:07 PM · 7 hours? Some people have no sense.
November 23, 2017, 9:02 PM · There is one run in the 1st violin part to R & L that is exposed; that's the ascending A major scale (that goes from E to E) 20 bars after letter H. (I don't know if these match your rehearsal letters but I'm looking at the first violin part on IMSLP.) Anyway, it's all under a slur in piano.

The trick to that one is to start in 4th position (2nd finger on the G string) and DO NOT SHIFT. Play the whole run in 4th position.

You're welcome. ;-)

Edited: November 24, 2017, 7:01 AM · The word from a professional conductor I had for a number of years (30 or so years ago):"when in doubt - air bow."
When there are a lot of very fast un-slurred notes use very short bow strokes - even when you start out practicing slowly - that way all you have to do to play it faster is shorten the "rests" until you eliminate them completely.

It's probably been 40 years since I played R&L overture.

Edited: November 24, 2017, 12:19 PM · R&L was the very first piece I ever played in orchestra. I had been invited to join a community orchestra because my teacher was the concertmaster. I took a stand with one of his other students at the back of the first violins. The first rehearsal is when you get your music -- this is the case in many community orchestras. The conductor, a jolly man named Arthur Stephan, tapped his baton and said, "Let's start with the Glinka." We were brutalized.

When I said you should fake the Glinka I thought the pros here would tear me apart. I didn't expect detailed instructions. :)

November 24, 2017, 11:23 AM · I've always found overtures to have the worst work:reward ratio of any orchestral music. So many notes, so frequently exposed. So little rehearsal time, often. My university orchestra conductor loved to throw something like Candide or a Rossini overture into a program that also included a big symphony and a concerto. We'd never quite manage to rehearse it enough. I guess they are audience pleasers, though.

Anyway, I've never played the Glinka (I guess that one eluded him) but these suggestions sound excellent. Good luck, Camilla!

Also wanted to say that I'm so appreciative of the generosity in this community, as well as the insane depth of information buried in the archives. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

November 24, 2017, 12:11 PM · Just jump in and do your best! (And if in doubt, "fake-ando"!)
November 24, 2017, 1:07 PM · Since you have two weeks, it looks like you do have some time to get it up to snuff. You can use the faking tactics others have mentioned for the parts you still haven't learned, but I would recommend practicing with a metronome, starting slowly, and working it up to tempo, and practicing lots of different rhythms with the fast running 8th note passages. Make sure that you are generally using very little bow, completely relaxed, and not generating the stroke from your entire arm.


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