Sunday 14 September 2008

Sibelius 5

No, not the software, the real thing.

Turned up for a repertoire day on this. Basically, we rehearse all morning have lunch and a chin wag and then play the thing and then go back to the pub.

This straightforward plan was changed slightly in that the conductor, who drive to Central London from Shropshire, got held up around King's X. He was 45 minutes late. In that time yours truly got to sight conduct two movements of the above Symphony. Since my preparation to perform the Horn 2 part did not extend beyond a bit of practice and did not see me rummage around for that 1980s CBSO cassette tape, which I could now only play in my car, that was interesting.

We read through it, as they say. I gained an appreciation of how good the front desk strings are. You just can't really hear them from the back and it was interesting to really hear who does what in the woodwind. Who watches, who doesn't, who is totally reliable, that sort of thing.

I couldn't do anything in any detail as I didn't know the music well enough, didn't know how long I had and it wasn't my shout anyway. Conductors are very territorial, so I scampered back to the back as soon as Mike materialised.

No complaints though.


berenike said...

Seen this?

the bit that caught my eye, as a beneficiary of the free tuition and remarkable ensembles Edinburgh had under the late great Colin O'Riordan:

The reason for this small miracle is Venezuela's music education, known as El Sistema. Started in 1975 by the economist and musician José Antonio Abreu, it offers every willing child, no matter how poor, an instrument and free tuition. Currently, about 250,000 children take part.

leutgeb said...


Yup, I got to play in Youth Orchs free. Now you pay and the Ltd company that runs the former LEA Music Centre recently went bust. Oops.

Then the government complains that Music Colleges give too many places to pupils from independent schools and why can't they lower the standards etc. The answer being that if by 18 you don't have a good grounding in your instrument, particularly a stringed instrument or piano, it is too late. Maybe they don't understand quite how competitive it is to get work as a musician.

Venezuala; the way forward.