Well, I made it to my SMP rehearsal yesterday after a long flight from Seattle to Heathrow. What is it with men and their elbows on flights? The guy next to be seemed to have no idea that the space on my side of the arm rest was for my body, not his damn elbows.
Anyway- what an interesting gear shift from Mahler 5 to Beethoven 1… I seriously love Beethoven 1- it’s the ultimate orchestral spring clean. In some ways, I think it’s the hardest of the 9 Beethovens, but it’s so rewarding to work on. We worked extremely hard on articulation, rhythm and contrast. It’s one of the most rehearse-able pieces ever because the musical intent is so clear, so you can focus on executing that intent with the greatest possible precision and clarity. I also came up with a wicked new bowing for one bit last night. I love it when that happens. The concert is Saturday at the Menuhin Hall- I think there are only about 20 tickets left, so you should call the box office today if you’re coming.
However, it seems a bit cruel that I have to drive back over today after only 11 hours at home for another rehearsal. I feel fine this morning, but tonight? At least I’m working…
I still promise some more Mahler 5 thoughts, but meanwhile, over at A Musical Rampage, Erik Klackner has some wry and insightful observations.
On a personal horn level, we fucking rocked the shit. The principal/obbligatoist was Lydia van Dreel from the University of Oregon, and I officially declare her a bad ass. Real easy to play with, too, which is key, because there’s an awful lot of teamwork as a section. I’m not even going to bother mentioning specific examples of our collective shit-rocking, but perhaps when Sean the engineer finishes the recording I’ll toss the link up here for peeps to listen to and confirm what I’m saying. We weren’t alone…
He’s not just, er, blowing his own horn- our horn section completely demolished the last several bands that I’d heard do the piece. Sometimes it just clicks- with horns it’s all about confidence, and they were, as we say in hoops and harmony, dominant.
I’m still pondering and reflecting on the performance and how I feel about my own part in it- the piece itself is so huge and complex that I feel like I want to go through the score a few times in post mortem contemplation, and I’ll be anxious to hear how it turned out on recording, but it’s been really satisfying to see so many musicians still buzzing about it after a few days. I certainly miss working on it.