Bass Blog

Michael Hovnanian plays bass in an orchestra located in a large midwestern city.

Feel free to email your comments.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Not so endless summer

I started playing with the CSO in the summer of 1989. Somebody recommended starting during the summer because things were ‘more relaxed’. I’m not sure who provided this advice since I didn’t know anybody in the orchestra when I got the job. (At the rate they keep hiring new players, by the time I retire I won’t know anybody in the orchestra either, but that is another story.) Anyway, the atmosphere at Ravinia is more relaxed, but the workload can be daunting for someone who doesn’t know a lot of the music.

Ravinia seasons used to be 8 weeks. Recently they have been shorter due in part, or maybe completely, to the fact that the current leadership there seems intent on squeezing us out. There has been all sort of talk about the 17 year cicadas and other excuses why the CSO is playing less and less at Ravinia, but it basically boils down to an acrimonious relationship between the two organizations.

So this summer we play 6 weeks – 18 concerts. Below is most of what we are playing, minus the repertoire for the Gala concert – opera arias, I think – and a popsy Night in Vienna show – Strauss waltzes.

Beethoven
Leonore Overture no. 3
Piano Concerto no. 4
Symphony no. 5
Triple Concerto

Bloch
Schelomo
Boccherini
Cello Concerto in B flat
Bruckner
Symphony no. 7
Chopin
Piano Concerto no. 2
Dalbavie
Music for Piano and Strings
Debussy
La Mer
Dukas
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
Ibert
Flute Concerto
Mahler
Songs of a Wayfarer
Symphony no. 5
Symphony no. 6

Mozart
Piano Concerto no. 15
Piano Concerto no. 16
Piano Concerto no. 17
Piano Concerto no. 18
Piano Concerto no. 19
Piano Concerto no. 20
Piano Concerto no. 26
Violin Concerto no. 5

Overton
The Magic Flutes
Puccini
Madama Butterfly
Rachmaninoff
Piano Concerto no. 2
Ravel
La Valse
Daphnis and Chloe suite no. 2

Rimsky-Korsakov
Scheherazade
Saint-Saens
Piano Concerto no. 2
Symphony no. 3

Strauss
Don Juan
Tchaikovsky
Piano concerto no. 1
Xinghai
The Yellow River Piano Concerto
Yuankai
China Air Suite
Zemlinsky
A Florentine Tragedy
Lyric Symphony
Die Seejungfrau

2 comments:

HutCanoe said...

Michael, just listened to your podcast on Jason' site. Well done. Very entertaining.

Thanks!
Mark

Jacque said...

Michael:

Yep, that's a pretty aggressive list for just six weeks of work. Look at all the d*mn piano concertos! When I first saw those on the list, I feared that maybe a particular ex-Music Director might be a feature... then I see that it's most likely Garrick Ohlsson. I saw him do the Beethoven Piano Sonatas last year: great stuff. I hope he is as gracious with the orchestra as he appeared to be from the stage in the Martin Theater.

I'm hoping to add some quartet literature to your learning list this summer...

Jacque