Saturday, December 06, 2008

A musical couple of weeks

In addition to my usual Thursday NYRO rehearsal, I've had rehearsals (and a concert this evening) with a chamber-sized ensemble at a friend's church. We're playing Saint-Saens' Christmas Oratorio, which sounds like the text of The Messiah but with different music. As a result I've been out late the past three nights. That's cut into my blogging time.

I'm practically giddy with excitement about Monday's New York Philharmonic concert with Gilbert Kaplan leading the orchestra in Mahler's Symphony No. 2. The "Resurrection" Symphony is one of my favorite works, and Kaplan is possibly the world's foremost expert on this piece. His recording of the symphony became a bestseller. I downloaded it from Amazon yesterday morning and listened to it at work. Except for one tiny blip at the end (which happened because of the way they broke up the movements into different tracks) the performance is incredible. If that recording is indicative of the performance I'm going to hear on Monday, I can't wait.

And then there's our big NYRO gala concert next Saturday. I haven't been playing as well as I'd like for the past several months, but this week's rehearsal was my best in a long time. I relaxed, paid close attention to the rhythms, and reminded myself that I know the music. I went into the rehearsal confident that I could be a valuable part of the orchestra, and it worked. I still missed a few notes (most notably in the last movement of the Mahler where the violas have an exposed fortissimo entrance) but I know what I have to work on for next weekend. I'm as excited about playing Mahler as I am about hearing it on Monday night. So it will be another busy week, but with what should be a fantastic payoff.

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