Archive for June, 2010

June 18, 2010

Aida – Acts 1 & 2

Just got in from the band call for tomorrow’s Northern Wagner Orchestra’s rendition of Aida.  I’m not going to be able to practise this myself, but I need to keep an eye on the following bits, ‘cos they’re nasty…

Act 1.

click to see all

This bit is awkward, fast, and generally unpleasant.  And, to make matters worse, you turn the page, and the whole passage is repeated with a minor change – the penultimate note is the high E rather than the low one.  Gah.

(We’ve got a big cut missing the semiquaver runs in the Danza Sacra delle Sacerdotesse… indeed, we’re cutting that whole number.  But, looking at them, they don’t look too bad.)

Act 2.
This is a cut-down version in orchestral terms, so I was slightly surprised to find myself playing a solo with one of the big tunes:

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A double bass tune? Yeah!

Then we cut the ballet, and, before you know it, we’re looking at this frankly gratuitous arpeggio:

click to see all

I’ll write up some bits from Acts 3 & 4, including some double-stopping (hey – I am, after all, the Lone Double Bass!), in the morning.

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June 14, 2010

Beethoven Septet – Tricky bit

I love this piece of music – so many memories tied up with it.  However, there’s just one bit that gives me a slight “urk” feeling when I see it hove into view – that’s this bit in the middle of the third variation.

Yes, it’s nice and slow, but it’s still a little bit fiddly.  And it’s such a good theme – Harmonious Blacksmith.  Still, it’s something else for me to think about for next weekend…

I wonder if the non-aggression pact between the horn and violin is going to hold?  For those who don’t know the piece, the Trio (of the Minuet) has a tricky horn bit, and the violinist has the potential to have set a cracking pace…  but if the violinist does do this, then the horn-player gets the option for revenge by setting his own blistering pace with a pseudo-hunting call at the start of the Scherzo.

It’s too complicated to describe.  Just go and get a copy, or find it on Spotify…

June 14, 2010

"Sonata for Seven", Schmelzer

(Schmelzer?  Who he?  ed.)

(No.  Me neither.)

Schmelzer.  1623-1680.  Wrote a septet for recorder ensemble.  You now know as much about him as I do.  This has been rearranged for a Beethoven septet ensemble (vln, vla, vlc, cb, clt, bsn, hn).

Not much to worry about, except, for some reason, I’m finding this difficult:

But why?  There’s nothing there to worry about!  So why in the name of all that’s sane am I missing that E on the sixth quaver of bar 28?  I’m losing it – it’s the only rational explanation.  And it’s not a good sign for the week ahead, as I’ve got a rehearsal on this (+ the Beethoven septet), and the Northern Wagner Orchestra‘s production of Aida at the weekend, and we’re heading rapidly towards the Leeds Youth Opera‘s production of Faust.  Gah…