Monday 14 December 2009

Divisi double stops

My lunch-time concert went without a hitch. Well, the minibus containig three cellos, two double basses, stools, the electric stage piano for the organ continuo and all the stands arrived 30 mins late, by which time we had unpacked everything else, put all the chairs out and were ready to go. We started playing five minutes after the stuff arrived, which I count as a success. The music was in my ruck sack. After my conducting from memory experience 18 months ago, I never put it down anywhere.

We did the Corelli Christmas Concerto, which has grown on me a lot. He just writes well for the violin and it's very uncomplicated straightforward stuff. You just have to try to play it well.

The Elgar Serenade passed off with only a few raised eyebrows on my part until the last chord of the which was a shock. Listening back to the recording today I heard a G natural in an E major chord. Due to the smallness of the orchestra;, I can tell you that the offending note came from one of two people - the outside second violins to be precise - and given how loudly it was played before sliding to a G#, I have a clear suspect.

Just in case you think I seek out offending players in a Toscaniniesque fashion, rest assured I do not. For one thing this is a school. So whereas out there in the big bad world, there are conductors I choose not to play for and conductors who don't want me (sniff), you just can't work like that in a school. These guys are learning and you can only learn to do concerts by doing them and that means the occasional prang.

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