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Orchestration Practice and Orchestra Rehearsals......

Joshua Iyer

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Published: November 17, 2015 at 3:49 AM [UTC]

It was nice to sit down in orchestra rehearsal today, as we have a few Christmas carols for our early December "Christmas at Augustana" concert we're going to be playing: along with a couple other pieces, we're playing "Angels we Have Heard on High", "Joy to the World", "The First Nowell", and "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing", with some of the harmonization exactly like "A Christmas Festival", so... Whatevs. Thursday will be focused on the Elgar "Serenade", so it's just strings that night, and then on Monday we'll be getting the music for Bartók's Second Piano Concertos, that we'll be accompanying, so I'm very excited for that! (Apparently we aren't going quite as fast as some pianists would play it...)
Nov. 17 UPDATE: I just listened to the first movement, and I now see why we're playing the Elgar strings piece - there are no strings in the opening movement! They're in the other movements, though.)

Lately, over break, I've been getting into Ravel's Piano Concertos and the style of music from his "Post-War" years, which is more jazzy or bluesy. I spent the break working on orchestration practice, first doing the Ravel Piano Sonatine, the second movement, which was pretty easy, and then doing Ravel's Second Violin Sonata, orchestrating the piano part on the second movement, which was the "Blues", which was tons of fun. (I of course included an alto sax, which was pretty cool.) I'm discovering orchestration is not just about putting notes down for parts, as I feel I sort of did in "Birds of Prey"; it's about colors and textures and all sorts, and it's really a whole lot of fun. I got into the BBC Proms concerts again in London, since both Ravel Piano Concertos were performed at two different concerts, as well as some of the other concerts. So yeah! The break was all about the orchestra for me, so it's nice to be back playing my violin in orchestra again and listening to the instruments around me. I'm excited for Thanksgiving, our Christmas concert, and heading into my second term at Augustana!

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