Written by Lily Dunlap
Published: September 16, 2015 at 3:22 PM [UTC]
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.
Now you know that the standard for professional symphonies is, "Show up at the first rehearsal fully prepared to play the all of the notes correctly, at tempo". :-)
Yours truly, a humble amateur violinist/violist, had the opportunity to perform with the pros of the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra as part of the viola section. We played the finale of Dvorak's "New World" symphony and it was an awesome experience I'll cherish for the rest of my life.
See http://www.violinist.com/blog/jlhemm/201111/12874/ for details.
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