What'cha playing?

October 11, 2017, 6:40 PM · I was scrolling through some old threads on here (from around 2007) and I came across some posts about what everyone's playing in their orchestras or ensembles.
It sort of piqued my interest- what's everyone playing now? Is there an obvious sort of evolution of typical orchestral rep, even over the last ten years?

I'll start-
In my youth symphony, we're playing Beethoven's Emperor Concerto, Verdi's Overture to La Forza del Destino, and Tchaikovsky's Second Symphony.
However, in my chamber orchestra, we're doing the Tchaikovsky Souvenir de Florence and the fourth movement of Walton's String Quartet in A Minor.

So, what sort of rep is everyone on here learning?

Replies (37)

October 11, 2017, 8:16 PM · For Orchestra,

Rossi's Battle of the Somme, Holst's Venus, and Elgar's Empire March.

For personal,

Some self-compositions for Viola and Piano/guitar.

October 11, 2017, 9:20 PM · We're playing the soundtrack to Harry Potter: Chamber of Secrets this weekend while the movie is shown on the screen above us, and I am stocking up on ibuprofen in advance.
Edited: October 11, 2017, 9:24 PM · Mary Ellen,

We are doing something similar with the Somme film. Do you have any insight on how that context changes the performance for the musicians? It is a new experience for me.

Sorry to side track the thread a bit!

October 11, 2017, 9:42 PM · My local Philharmonic is doing the same thing with the Sorcerer's Stone.

I'm not playing, so I think I'm going to enjoy it.

October 11, 2017, 9:45 PM · I had to LOL at Mary Ellen. I haven't had that experience before and it sounds like it could be fun under the right circumstances, with the right score. (I'd love to do Alexander Nevsky, say. Or at least I think I would.) I'm curious what about the experience requires painkillers. :-)

My community orchestra's concert this month is the Dvorak Carnival Overture, Elgar Enigma Variations, and Berwald's Symphony No. 3 "Singuliere".

For chamber music, I have a performance of the Mozart Clarinet Quintet this month, and we're working on the Brahms, too.

I also have an upcoming Classical Revolution performance where I'm playing the Tchaikovsky "Meditation", and Bolcom's "Graceful Ghost". And I need to pick a short, reasonably virtuosic showpiece, as well. (Suggestions welcome. Target, five minutes-ish, moderately challenging.)

October 11, 2017, 9:49 PM · Lydia, what about something like Sarasate's Zapateado or Nigun from Bloch's Baal Shem Suite?
October 11, 2017, 10:03 PM · Orchestra: String Symphona 1, Mendelssohn
Chamber music: String Quintet, Boccherini
Solo: Danse Espagnole (Spanish Dance), Prelude from Bach's Third Partita, new piece coming soon
October 12, 2017, 2:21 AM · Orchestra: Mendelssohn Lobgesang
Does anyone know this? It's new for me.

Chamber music: Mozart e-minor Sonata, Franck Sonata and Enescu 2nd Sonata

Solo: Bach C-Major Sonata

Edited: October 12, 2017, 3:44 AM · We are currently preparing Holst: Jupiter, von Suppé: Leichte Kavallerie, Devreese: Benvenuta Suite, Shostakovich: Second Waltz, Katchaturian: Sabre Dance, and some film music (Pearl Harbor, The Godfather).
October 12, 2017, 4:22 AM · Symphony Orchestra - Dvorak's 6th symphony; Capriccio Espagnole by Rimsky Korsakov and Concerto de Aranjuez.
Chamber Orchestra - Midsummer Night's Dream for a performance in February, Holst St Paul's Suite, Grieg Holberg Suite, Madeline Dring's Festival Tocatta and Barber's Adagio for Strings.

In addition I'm working on the Barber Concerto (1st and 2nd movements), Bach E Major Partita and Mozart 3rd concerto.

Hard to know where to start sometimes!

October 12, 2017, 5:08 AM · Bach: Gigue and Gavotte from E-Major Partita
Mozart: Rondo from "Haffner" Serenade, Kreisler arrangement.
Balakirev: E Major Impromptu
Beethoven: G Major Romance Op. 40
Sher: Butterflies

My orchestra is doing the accompaniment for a 13-year-old cellist playing the Haydn C Major Concerto and a group of adult amateurs playing a Bach concerto for three violins.

October 12, 2017, 5:52 AM · We're only doing a simple Radetsky March and a Rimski-Corsekov (Or however you say it) but we're going to add more stuff soon
October 12, 2017, 6:14 AM · Lobgesang is beautiful; I have done it as a gig at a church.

"I'm curious what about the experience requires painkillers. :-)"

The music is very demanding and it never stops. We did the first Harry Potter movie last year, and on the two-performance day I ended up with knots everywhere. Second violin is even worse than first violin because playing on the G and D is more tiring than playing on the A and E, not that we weren't doing plenty of that, too.

I actually have played Alexander Nevsky with the movie showing and it was a lot of fun.

We've played quite a few movie soundtracks over the past few years--it's a "thing" among professional orchestras because they sell extremely well and attract a largely different audience from our usual. I've never been in the audience for one but I am told it is a wonderful experience.

Edited: October 12, 2017, 7:00 AM · This is what I have on my plate up to the end of November, spread over 4 orchestras:

Haydn Symphony No 88 (being used as an overture)
Mozart Clarinet Concerto
Beethoven Symphony No 3
Rossini "La Cenerentola" Overture
Bruch Violin Concerto No 1
Mendelssohn Symphony No 5 "Reformation"
Mendelssohn Midsummer Nights Dream
Mozart Piano Concerto No 21
Beethoven Symphony No 4
Rossini "Italian in Algiers" Overture
Saint-Saens Cello Concerto No 1
Schubert Symphony No 3

The Mozart piano concerto nr. 21 will be performed and directed by the conductor, standing in for a soloist who will be unavailable. The orchestra has promised not to play concerto nr. 20 ;) - for the relevance of this remark see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJXnYMl_SuA

I shall be playing in one of the orchestras as a deputy, so will be attending only 1 or 2 rehearsals (I'm familiar with the music); and another orchestra habitually has only 3 rehearsals for its concerts.

October 12, 2017, 6:17 AM · We're playing Shosh Festive Oveture, Wagner Ride of Valk., and Mahler 5-5
October 12, 2017, 6:41 AM · A few years back I experienced the screening of the Lord of the Rings trilogy (three evenings) with live orchestra and choir - it was absolutely marvellous.
October 12, 2017, 6:56 AM · I'm playing a symphony concert this weekend with Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries, Rienzi Overture, Liebestod from Tristan and Isolde, Siegfried's Death and Funeral, the Prelude to Act III of Lohengrin, and Mozart's Concerto for 3 Pianos.

I don't have any upcoming chamber performances at the moment, but a couple of months ago I performed Appalachian Spring, Faure's Requiem, and a new piece by a local composer.

On my own, I'm working on Prokofiev #2 and Amanda Maier's violin sonata.

October 12, 2017, 7:13 AM · Let's see,
Vltava and Vyserhad from Ma Vlast (I probably butchered the names)
Rhapsody in Blue
1st Mvt of Beethoven 5
Adagio For Strings
A whole bunch of patriotic music for a veterans day concert.

Dvorak American Quartet Mvt. 4

Polishing Mozart 3
Bach Partita 2: Allemande and Sarabande
Kabalevsky Concerto Mvt. 1
Kreutzer Etudes


Edited: October 12, 2017, 11:38 AM · Polishing Kreisler's Correlli Variations, Mozart Rondo in C, and Bach E Major Menuet I.

Working on Bach E Major Menuet II and started Lalo Symphonie Espagnole last week.

October 12, 2017, 1:48 PM · Solo pieces:
Polishing for the weekly recitals at the local conservatory: Mendelssohn violin concerto, Brahms violin sonata No.1 in G maj,Bach Sonata No.3 Largo
Starting Bruch Scottish Fantasy E-flat major

Chamber music (String quartets):
Haydn Op.76 No. 3 "Emperor" (violin I)
Mozart E-flat, K 428 (violin II)

String Orchestra:
Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen
Ernst Bloch's Concerto Grosso No.1

October 12, 2017, 5:15 PM · I am in two orchestras -- both on viola.

The community orchestra, as I said above, is doing:

Haydn - C Major Cello Concerto Hob VIIb:1
JS Bach - Concerto for 3 violins BWV 1064 (Baumgartner)
Vaughan Williams - Five Variants of Dives and Lazarus
A couple of easy fiddle arrangements

The other orchestra (mostly youth plus a couple of adult students)

Elgar - Serenade for Strings (this is wonderful)
Piazzolla - Four for Tango
Schickele - Dance Music
Britten - Simple Symphony

October 13, 2017, 12:28 AM · Orchestra (concert tonight and tomorrow):
LIGETI: Atmosphères
MOZART: Pianoconcerto no. 17
PROKOFIEV: Symfoni no. 5

Chamber music:
Mozart: oboe quartet and second piano quartet + a brand new oboe quartet by danish oboist and composer Henrik Goldschmidt; all for a concert tour to the US in november

Ravel: String quartet

Shostakovich second piano trio - just keeping it alive after concerts this summer with plans to perform it again in spring.

At the moment going through various shorter pieces (Bridge, Wieniawski, Glazunow and others) for violin&piano and viola&piano scouting for something to play for a recital end of november.

October 13, 2017, 6:39 AM · Bruch G minor concerto

Bach D minor partita (excluding the last movement)

October 13, 2017, 6:49 AM · Debussy's La Mer, Poulence's Stabat Mater, and for myself, Enesco's Concertstück for viola and piano, which has a few nasty mesures in th middle.
October 14, 2017, 3:20 PM · Sorry Louis, no one's doing cha cha.
October 14, 2017, 5:41 PM · Right now in SF we're doing Rachmaninoff's Symphonic Dances, Shostakovich's Piano Concerto No. 2, and a new piece by a student composer who won a competition this past academic year. Difficult but lots of fun! :)
October 14, 2017, 11:34 PM · For me prepping for next month community concert: Mozart Symphony No.31, Schubert Symphony #6 and Fauré Pavane.
October 15, 2017, 3:09 AM · In my chamber orchestra we're playing:
-Mozart Haffner Symphony
-Schubert Symphony No.6 and
-Haydn Trumpet Concerto

As for my youth symphony we're preparing for our christmas concert with some of the pieces being:
- Brahms Academic Festival Overture
- Wagner Elsa's Procession To The Cathedral
- Anderson A Christmas Festival
- Thais Meditation

October 15, 2017, 9:30 PM · Our orchestra season has just ended (Highschool Orchestra)
but we played some really cool pieces including the last movement of Dvorak 8, and Overture to Zampa, by Ferdinand Herold (I had never heard of it before but it is a really fun piece).

For our Chamber Orchestra, we played an interesting combo of Herrmanns "Psycho theme", Contrapunctus 1 from Art of the fugue, and the finale from Tchaiks Serenade for Strings.

October 16, 2017, 8:42 AM · YES! ZAMPA OVERTURE! I played that in my youth orchestra a few years ago. I had necer heard of it, but I LOVE it. It is so much fun!
October 16, 2017, 8:51 AM · Solo: Dvorak Sonata

Orchestra: Nicolai's "Merry Wives of Windsor" overture, Mendelssohn Violin Concerto, Scheherezade.

October 16, 2017, 9:04 AM · No orchestra for me, only solo stuff. Polishing Thais Meditation, and working on I-IV of the Roumanian Folk Dances, Bach (the duo for violins).

Going to start some new Bach soon, I think the Partitas but I'm not certain. My teacher wanted me to start working on Vivaldi Four Seasons but I have come to accept that I do not really like Vivaldi, and being in the privileged position of being an adult returner I don't have to play anything I don't like -muahahahahaha. Working on a lot of technique, so my rep work has been slower than I expected - which is fine, my technique has improved leaps and bounds in the past few months. Still a long way to go, but the ride is far more enjoyable now.

Anyhoo, that's what I'm working on: lots of technique, RFD, Thais, some Bach.

October 16, 2017, 9:25 AM · Pamela, on my way back, I did the four seasons too. Your teacher seems to have the same idea. I enjoyed it.
October 16, 2017, 9:41 AM · David - interesting! She thinks that I'll enjoy it. (With Vivaldi, I have a total mental shutdown around it -in the form of a eyeroll combined with falling asleep- with both listening and playing), so it's onto something else.) Maybe I'll come around to it one of these days. Interesting how our tastes/preferences change/develop as we go through life. I love nearly all classical music, but there's something about Vivaldi...

Great to read what others are working on. Very inspiring!

October 16, 2017, 4:38 PM · And to embarrass myself in front of you all (something that I'm prone to do anyway), as a violist who's still stuck in what is essentially beginner mode, and unable to afford any teacher at the moment, I'm mucking around with AMEB Grade 1 stuff.

Principally I'm slowly working through (and up to speed) Bartok's Párnas Tánc (dumbed down significantly I expect). My main issue is that the only recording I can find on ewechube is a Perlman/Zukerman violin/viola duet. Oh well, better than nothing at getting an idea of what it should sound like.

Also working on Grainger's Country Gardens from Barbara Barber's book Solos for "Young" (yep, that'd be me - 40 years ago) Violists. Main issues there are again the absence of videos of this version, and that I struggle mightily to count and follow the metronome in it.

However, my main focus is intonation, so lots and lots and lots and lots of slow scales and some exercises from Fischer's Basics

We all have our battles I guess.


October 17, 2017, 2:54 PM · With the community orchestra:
Mussorgsky: Gopak (from The Fair at Sorochyntsi)
Tchaikovsky: Festival Overture on the Danish National Anthem
Dvorák: Slavonic Dances, op. 72

Our informal string quartet had a go at the first movement of Shostakovich's String Quartet #8 - the rest is way too scary, though. We do a bit better with Holst's Brook Green Suite.

October 17, 2017, 11:42 PM · When I am taking extension program from school for music, I became part of the school orchestra, back then we are playing Vivaldi's four season, Salzburg, Brandenberg, Bruch, and some waltz like Blue Danube and Viennese Blood. We played many pieces those are some that I can remember. Now, because I've been busy on my work as a Graphic Artist; I no longer play in an orchestra but still continue my lessons ( I need to continue it because it's not my profession and if I stop, it might disappear). Now my teacher gave me solo pieces like Schumann's Traumerei, Concerto in G by Vivaldi and a Filipino Classical piece called Cavatina by Nicanor Abelardo.

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