Bass Blog

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

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Monday, March 03, 2008

Week 24

New York Tour concerts

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

BERIO Quatre dédicaces
BERLIOZ Les nuits d'été
Pierre Boulez, conductor
Susan Graham, mezzo-soprano

Film Night
BEHEIM The General
Richard Kaufman, conductor

Saturday March 1
BERIO Quatre dédicaces
Pierre Boulez, conductor

Ars Viva program
Milhaud La Creation du Monde
Martin Concerto for Seven Winds
Bizet Symphony in C
Alan Heatherington, conductor

10-1 rehearsal
8 concert A (Carnegie Hall)

11-1:30 rehearsal
8 concert B (Carnegie Hall)

travel to Chicago


10-1 rehearsal
2:30-5 Ars Viva rehearsal
8 concert (film night)

3-5:30 Ars Viva rehearsal
8 concert

2:30-5 Ars Viva rehearsal
7:30 Ars Viva concert

Sorry, I’m one week behind in posting.

The week began with our triumphal New York tour. It seems a bit silly to call such a short trip a tour, but it’s not a run out, and probably not a residency either. If you can believe it, we get commemorative T-shirts and stickers even for a trip of this length and they refer to this trip as a tour, so tour it is.

The New York audience received Boulez quite enthusiastically before the orchestra played a note, and although suffering from a nasty cold, the Maestro managed his usual self-control on the podium. In contrast to our hometown auditorium, Carnegie’s resonant acoustic always yields up a few (not always pleasant) surprises. At the Monday rehearsal, Boulez was able to give the Bartok and Debussy a little more of the attention they needed. The orchestra seemed more or less on its toes and both performances went well.

The Film Night program had us playing the score to a silent Buster Keaton film. The music, all of which sounded vaguely familiar, was I believe culled from various light classical composers. Playing for a silent film requires a good bit of concentration – the roadmaps are tricky, and it is one of the rare occasions where watching the conductor is almost absolutely necessary; a good test of how well ones synapses are firing. My only regret is that even when we are playing Dixie or Swannee River, we tend to sound like we’re playing Meistersinger. At least we do a pretty darn good Meistersinger.

The Ars Viva program is a pretty interesting collection of material. Although widely lauded as a masterpiece, other than the beautiful slow movement, I find the Bizet Symphony a bit predictable; but not bad for a 17 year old. I don’t even want to think of what I was doing at that age, if I could recall it.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I attended the Petrushka concert, it was marvelous! Many thanks for your efforts, and for the wonderful blog.