Bass Blog

Michael Hovnanian formerly played bass with an orchestra located in a large midwestern city.

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Monday, January 07, 2008

Week 17

This week at the big orchestra

Beethoven - Overture to The Creatures of Prometheus
Beethoven - Piano Concerto No. 1
Tchaikovsky - Symphony No. 4
Alexander Polianichko, conductor
Piotr Anderszewski, piano


10-12:30 rehearsal
7-9 rehearsal Spohr Nonet

10-12:30 1:30-3:30

8 concert


8 concert

3 concert (beyond the score)
7 Chicago Bass Ensemble rehearsal

This week's program is repeated again on Tuesday next week.

The Tuesday evening rehearsal is for a performance at the Winter Chamber Music Festival at Northwestern University on January 18. Somehow this mainstay of the double bass chamber repertoire has eluded me up to this point. I look forward to playing the piece for the first time.

There is a concert on Friday, a ‘members of’ (optional) performance in collaboration with the Hubbard Street dance company. As they say, ‘time is money’. In this case I opted for the time.

Myung-Whun Chung, originally scheduled to conduct the orchestra located in area code 60604, cancelled his appearance this week for personal reasons. I know nothing of his replacement but I am very sorry to not see Chung again. There were a few rumors swirling about before the holidays offering up various explanations for the cancellation. I can’t help but wonder if the rude treatment he received during his last visit here had something to do with it. However, since I’ve been scolded for expressing displeasure with anything short of being marched off to my death, and as someone always willing to take criticism to heart, I hasten to add I am happy to play for any conductor with a pulse and enough fingers to grip a baton. And yet, I wish Maestro Chung good health, wherever he is.


Unknown said...

I was looking forward to seeing Maestro Chung and I was disappointed to hear that he'd withdrawn. Can you tell me more about your experiences with the replacement conductor? Hopefully his russian heritage gives the Tchaikovsky a unique sound...

Michael Hovnanian said...

I will comment on the replacement conductor, but to be fair I'll suspend judgement until after at least one peformance.

nocynic said...

Who said I would tolerate expressions of displeasure even if you were being marched off to your death? It is our duty to rejoice!

Michael Hovnanian said...

Thanks Max. I guess it all depends on who is leading the band.

Unknown said...

So I was there on Saturday. Was it just me or did it seem like the conductor was a bit erratic with his beethoven? I enjoyed the Tchaikovsky though....that chicago brass section....rightly famous...What was with the pianist's tendency to plunk on the last notes of his passages? did you find that strange too? or am I being too narrow minded?

I'd enjoy your thoughts on this concert...

Michael Hovnanian said...

I did not play the Beethoven works, but I agree with your assessment of the conductor.