Bass Blog

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

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Week 26

blessed relief

It was not by design I ended up with the halfway point of the year off. That is week 26 out of 52 (although unlike the rest of the world, our orchestra had 53 weeks last year). The ‘downtown’ season is more like two thirds gone. I think originally the plan was to be somewhere sunny, but it didn’t work out that way.

The orchestra played Ein Heldenleben, which, as a bass player I think I am supposed to like because it appears on every double bass audition. Not to worry. As an astute reader and subscriber pointed out, the piece is programmed again next season – December of this year, I think. I wonder if Strauss wrote any other tone poems?

The week was well spent, preparing the Discordia Music tax returns. March 15, the date corporate returns are due, comes cruelly soon for someone with my dysfunctional level of organization.

8 comments:

Yvette said...

Other tone poems? You mean like Also Sprach, Till Eulenspiegel, Tod und Verklarung and Don Quixote? :D

I have yet to do my own taxes.

Brad said...

Don Juan, as well.

Michael Hovnanian said...

Readers of this blog are truly intelligent.

I'm proud of each and every one of you!

Matt said...

Can't forget Der Erste: Aus Italien. Everyone leaves that out. I remember a program back in '86 or '87 with Leinsdorf and the CSO with Aus Italien and of all things Brahms wind serenades.

I think I would be just fine without another performance of Ein Heldenleben. Same goes for Tchaik 5, which is on next years calendar, but I know at least people get enjoyment in playing it - if not listening to it. :)

gdawg said...

anyone other sarcasm-deficient people wanna comment? (besides Matt "I mean what WAS Erich thinking!!!")

Michael Hovnanian said...

Sarcasm in this blog? Never!

Matt said...

My apologies to the Dawg. I should have more clearly signaled a departure from the sardonic to the serious. The point is not only that I could easily go the next 10 years if not the remainder of my life (hoping the latter is greater than 10 years), but also there are other meritorious pieces which may be substituted for these warhorses. Rather than Heldenleben, why not Aus Italien? Instead of Tchaikovsky 4,5 or 6, why not 1,2, or 3? Instead of another performance of Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet, why not The Tempest? I’d love to hear Mr. Combs play Weber over another performance of Mozart – as wonderful as it is. Instead of Dittersdorf or Kousivitsky… maybe that’s a bad example. ;) I suppose sometimes this backfires, as in last season’s performance of the Kodaly Concerto for Orchestra, but I get the impression there is another back-story there about the orchestra’s relationship with Parvo Jarvi

Michael Hovnanian said...

Good points Matt. There are two ways the programming can be deficient.

1) Not exploring fully the work of a particular composer. Even the works not today regarded as masterpieces show something of the composer’s individuality.

2) Ignoring various composers altogether.