Friday night’s rehearsal was a good one though at the final segment the orchestra was losing focus and dragging mentally. Two breaks – 30 minutes and 15 minutes make it a very long rehearsal. However, with only two to prepare the program, it’s barely enough even with professionals. We didn’t rehears the Britten Simple Symphony as they’ve performed it before. No soloist either – he will come for the second rehearsal. Having just performed it last week in Valcea, Romania he should be in good shape. I will perform my piano concerto again in Vancouver in June with Ron Fabbro.
Saturday night’s rehearsal was quite productive. I discovered an interesting spot in the first movement that had been puzzling me – on the recording we made in Alessandro at the premiere it sounded like a mistake in the piano. Actually it is a rather striking dissonance created between the descending 5th line in the celli and bass vs. the upward line of the piano. Strange to discover new things in one’s own composition!
The opening movement tempo is better as it’s brighter this time. Last movement seems on the slow side but perhaps rhythmically demands that. It will be something to see with Ron in June. I will also discuss modifications Mauri asked for with him as well.
Amusingly we ran overtime at the Concertmaster and Principal 2nd’s request. Nice to have an orchestra willing to work but 5 hours is such a long period; concertration becomes an issue as it gets closer to the end.
One of the cellists is originally from Vancouver, BC. Nice to have someone to talk to in English. She’s lived in Italy since 2002. She met her Italian husband while playing in a quartet on a cruise ship. Lasted 11years and now is divorced.
Sunday- I discovered my left ankle was swollen – most likely a combination of the plane ride and two nights of standing through 5 hour rehearsals. Fortunately the last time this happened my Dr. prescribed regular asprin which I have been taking.
Sound check was rather shaky and I was not feeling great (perhaps the octopus didn’t agree with me from last night’s late dinner with Mauri?). Vaughan Williams – Fantasia on a theme by Thomas Tallis I put the second small orchestra in back which created some ensemble problems largely due to watching poorly by the musicians.
Concert was very poorly attended which was very disheartening for all after so much hard work. Foote – Suite in E went pretty well. Mauri told the audience a bit about my Piano Concerto. Except for a few slips in the viola section it was a fine performance. Claudio, their Concertmaster, was most complimentary about my music and his parting words were he hoped he would be able to play more of my work again soon. Amusingly they started the concert with two young pianists playing several short pieces – rather odd and annoying.
Second half – in the Vaughan Williams I got a bit too involved emotionally with the music and pleased with things too soon! I made a poor change to 6/8 – my mistake was to be first of several in the orchestra to follow. The second orchestra especially had a bad counting error and got out of sync with the first orchestra. soloists did well for the most part. A fantastic piece that I hope I can get the Oregon Sinfonietta to play well in January. Even the Britten which they know, had several problem spots.
So as always the things you remember first are all the things that go wrong! Claudio reminded me that it was a “strong program” – so at least the musicians enjoyed it – hard to tell if the audience did or not due to small turn-out. A piu tardi!