Friday, October 5, 2007

Orchestra week!

We had a really good rehearsal in orchestra last night, which means that all is as it should be. We will now theoretically have a mistake-ridden dress rehearsal tonight, a sparkling concert on Saturday, and a more polished but less energetic concert on Sunday.

I have a couple of possibilities for a concert reed, which is lovely (I usually either have a couple or one that is dying, with all of the others questionable), but the one I was playing on last night was slightly aggravating. It's really a perfect orchestra reed, in tone and range and flexibility of volume. I can match Scott pretty exactly, play low notes softly and covered, and project my few important harmonies and such. However, its pitch is oddly unsettled. It didn't change over the course of rehearsal, which is good, but I couldn't quite figure out its tendencies. I was having to specifically adjust just about every note. But I'll work it out today (I wasn't expecting to play this reed in orchestra last night) and all will be well.

I really like my part on the Chadwick, especially since (knock on wood) my reeds are cooperating for all the low E flats and C sharps. I've got some great harmonies with the first and EH, and quite a few spots where I hold out past the first, or play against him with the flute or the clarinet or someone else. It's always nice to have a few bars where I can probably actually be heard.

I have a question: I'm working on Pasculli's two English horn solos based on Verdi's opera Un Ballo in maschera, "Amelia- Un pensiero del Ballo in maschera" and "Fantisia due sull Ballo in maschera," and I cannot find their dates of composition anywhere. If anyone happens to know, I would be very grateful. (I'm also going to ask on the IDRS message board.)

Has anyone heard Georgs Pelecis' Concerto bianco for piano and chamber orchestra? I've heard it described as "like taking a bath in cottage cheese while ingesting spoonfuls of chalk," and I have to admit that I'm now curious.

My oboe buddy in Germany tried my reed. She writes:
That's very interesting, for my ears I got a totally american sound with it. Awesome what a reed can do. It sounds dark but has this silvery thing into its sound. I find it quite hard to play, what I remember from the american reeds I got a chance to try before they seemed to be very easy. But maybe the reed changed through the travel, or the reeds I tryed before were horrible examples. This reed is really nice to play, just in the low register I got some trouble, which surely is because the thread is not very tight and there is a little air coming through it. This might come from the climate change, maybe the cane shrinked or whatever... I think about using a bit nailpolish, as I do on my reeds to fix it. I just wait for the answer of my oboepal before doing anything to it. :-) But I think this will help and the low register would get a boost through it. I like those Chudnow staples, but on my oboe I have some intonation trouble d''' is somewhere up in the sky. lol. from a'' up everything is a bit sharper than I am used to, but this can be handled somehow I think."

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