Lily Dunlap

The Living, Breathing Orchestra: My First Rehearsal with a Real Symphony

September 16, 2015 08:22

Last night was the first rehearsal this year for the local Symphony, and my first rehearsal with them ever. I was so extremely excited about it, I was scatterbrained the entire afternoon leading up to it. Finally, I thought, I get to play with a real symphony where everyone's practiced their parts - yes! I get to play with the pros! It was a glorious way to spend the evening, and I can't wait for the next rehearsal.

What came as a bit of a shock to me was the rapid tempo the conductor started with - boom! Right into the piece. It was exhilarating, racing along at breakneck speed through Nielsen's Symphony no. 4 (The Inextinguishable). I'd been used to the Youth Symphony's plodding and halting tempos during the first rehearsal, the conductor steadily beating the conducting patterns as everyone sight read. It was bliss to play the music, really the music and not the notes, from the very start of the rehearsal. Sure, the ambitious speed we were going at left me in the dust a couple of times, but I got back on track. And then in the fourth movement - hear those timpani go! When the timpani are having their "duel", you can feel it reverberating through the floor and in your bones.

That's truly what I've missed most about being in an orchestra: being inside the sound. I can listen to the pieces as much as I want, but it's not even close to being part of the living, breathing orchestra.

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Previous entries: August 2015

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