March 2007

Concert Ready? Not.

March 9, 2007 07:16

I guess I’m more of a blog reader than a blog writer. Like everyone else..I’ve been busy. Lots of practicing and I’m sooooo frustrated. Our community symphony will present An Evening of Beethoven at Spivey Hall next week. We are playing the ballet music from Creatures of Prometheus and Incidental Music to Egmont. Both pieces are long – the Prometheus over an hour. We’ve cut a few movements and the playing time is now about 45 minutes for the Prometheus and 35 for the Egmont. That is a lot of music to practice for an amateur such as myself on top of weekly church orchestra music to go over. My dilemma is this… I cannot play portions of each piece up to speed. We’re taking sections at qn=144 and I just can’t play moving sixteenths cleanly at that break neck speed. I’ve used all the practice strategies I know and have resigned myself to the fact that it just isn’t going to happen for me by next week. My back-up plan is to play a little air bow in places and every other note in a few other sections. I think that would be better than my frantic attempts to keep up. Thank goodness our string section is large for a community group and has several strong firsts and seconds that can carry the violins. I am competitive in nature and can’t stand to admit defeat.

I enjoyed the recent blogs by Corwin and Buri. Corwin’s writing made me really think about tone and I followed his suggestions last night. I was amazed at the difference in my sound and the carry-over into my practice. Buri, our symphony would not have made it through the Beethoven without sub division and some of our professionals actually complained to the conductors about using it! Go figure.

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