Bass Blog

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

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Saturday, February 23, 2008

week 23

BARTÓK Piano Concerto No. 3
Pierre Boulez, conductor
Mitsuko Uchida, Piano


10-1 rehearsal
7:30 concert (Uchida/Mozart)

12-2:30 3:30-6 rehearsals

10-12:30 rehearsal
8 concert

9:30 In-school concerts
1:30 concert

8 concert

leave for New York

Last week’s concerts with Uchida playing Mozart were, for the most part, enjoyable. It is strange how playing with such a small subset of the group gives me concentrated doses of things I enjoy about being in the orchestra along with an equal measure of things I don’t… Anyhow, for a few brief moments last week I actually felt my function was something beyond acting as sound absorbent material for louder instruments.

This week, it feels like too much Pintscher and too little of everything else. More than half of the rehearsal time for the concert was spent on the one twenty-minute piece. As of the final rehearsal, Boulez’s Images were a few pixels short of focus. In un-Boulezian fashion, he ran out of time for Debussy at the end of the rehearsal due to too much time spent on Pintscher earlier. (I guess it didn’t help that the entire orchestra had to wait to begin rehearsal until an ‘indispensable’ musician sauntered in ten minutes late…) The Bartok also got short shrift.

The entire dog and pony show goes on the road to New York with concerts at Carnegie Hall on Monday and Tuesday. Due to pricey Internet access at our hotel, I may or may not be able to post anything while ‘on tour’ but I will keep a journal. Although the posts from our fall European jaunt received many positive reader comments it is safe to say that was the beginning of the end of my being able to say what orchestra I play for. To mangle a quote from the old Seinfeld show, like Icarus, I flew too close to the sun on wings of smoked salmon. Fortunately for everybody, breakfasts are not provided on domestic tours.

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