Bass Blog

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

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Sunday, December 16, 2007

Unnamed Holiday comes to an Unnamable Orchestra

At a certain time every year the hall is decked with large festive holiday wreaths and other trimmings appropriate to the season. Sometimes the d├ęcor and the concert program achieve a wonderful sort of dissonance, as was the case last week when we played Janacek’s Taras Bulba, based on Gogol’s bloody tale in which the protagonists all end up killed in gruesome ways.

For a number of years Pierre Boulez conducted these festive holiday weeks, and it seemed we were always doing something dark and twisted like The Miraculous Mandarin beneath the mistletoe. I thought I’d put that behind me when I stopped playing the Xmas concerts.

Photo showing the Holiday Wreath crate impeding access to the bass storage room. (Photo redacted to protect the identity of the orchestra and the deity)

View from my seat. (Note the poor attendance for these concerts…)


Unknown said...

Poor attendance by the orchestra, too, from the looks of things.

Michael Hovnanian said...

Nobody wanted to be there. But seriously, I'm not sure we broke 50% full on any of those shows.

eric said...

How come you're on that side of the stage for pops music?

Michael Hovnanian said...

That wasn't a pops concert. the photo shows the stage set up Tarus Bulba.