What I Did On My Holidays – 2012

Band Camp Report – 2012

It’s good to see old friends, and make some new ones. And see some very old friends for the first time in, oh, 15-20 years…

Aaaanyway. On with the music.


Arrive, unload, drink coffee, natter, eat, and then start the musical week off with a big orchestral session:

  • Mendelssohn’s overture “Fair Melusine”
  • Beethoven’s 4th Symphony


String orchestra:

  • Purcell – Trumpet overture
  • Pachelbel – Kanon & Gigue
  • Mozart – Divertimento K138
  • Mendelssohn – String Symphony 1
  • Latann – Herz & Herz

Big massed cello session, including the (in)famous Bachananas Brasilieras and various other lollipops.

Round the day off with a string quintet session – Dvorak & Onslow op 38. The latter is definitely a double-cello (or double-viola) quintet, rather than a bass quintet. It is named “the bullet”, and the later movements are called things like “fever” and “recuperation”. Apparently, Georges Onslow wrote the quintet when he was recovering from a shooting accident…


Another day, another string orchestra:

  • Purcell – “The Married Beau”
  • C Forster – Suite in G. This is reckoned to be one of the earliest string quartets, Forster having been a contemporary of JSB.
  • Purcell – trumpet sonata
  • Mendelssohn – String Symphony 2
  • Bratton – The Teddy Bears’ Picnic (quartet arrangement)

Then a mixed group:

  • Stanford Serenade in G op 95 – string quartet + bass, flute, clarinet, horn, bassoon.
  • Martinu Nonet – same personnel as the Spohr Grand Nonet (one of each string, one of each wind)

Finally (for me) some big orchestral stuff again:

  • Haydn – Symphony 88
  • Mozart – Aria – “Per Questa Bella Mano”, K612 (orchestra, bass voice, double bass obligato)
  • Schubert – Symphony 5


The traditional “day of rest” – give the wind players a chance to get their lips back in shape. However, there was a big orchestral session in the evening, two pieces of which I’ve never heard:

  • Schumann – Overture, Scherzo, Finale, op 52
  • Bizet – Symphony in C


Lots of string orchestra work:

  • Ireland – A Downland Suite
  • R*tter – A Suite for Strings (apparently just a re-arrangement of the suite for brass…)
  • Mozart – Eine Kleine Nachtmusik
  • J S Bach – Four Pieces from Suite 3
  • Grainger – Molly On The Shore (another expanded quartet thing)
  • Marsh – a couple of things written by one of our number…

And some other stuff:

  • Dubois – Dixtuor – A new one for me. Can’t remember anything particularly challenging for the bass-player.
  • Beethoven – Septet – five of the seven players are from my family.

A free evening. How did that happen? How was that allowed to happen? I’ll have words with Da Management!


Lots more string orchestra stuff:

  • Albinoni – Concerto a cinque in D
  • Ireland – Concertino Pastorale
  • Elgar – Serenade op 20
  • Mozart Divertimento K136
  • Finzi – Prelude and Romance

Some big(ish) ensemble pieces involving piano:

  • Glinka – Piano Sextet (piano, string quartet, bass)
  • Saint-Saens – Septet (as Glinka + trumpet)

Both of these appear to be fairly heavy going for the poor pianist, but very approachable for the rest of us!

Full(ish) Orchestra in the evening:

  • Haydn Symphony 22 – “The Philosopher”. Unusual, in that it’s full strings, two horns, and two cors anglais
  • Mozart – Horn Concerto #2 in Eflat. Directed by the soloist…
  • Mozart – Symphony 29. There was a problem with the parts, so the first horn (whose part was missing, but who had a part for Haydn 45) had to stand and read over the conductor’s shoulder.

Friday – the final reckoning

And so here we are, the end of the week. Just a few things before we go home on Saturday, starting with a Baroque & roll session:

  • JS Bach – Suite in B minor
  • Telemann – Viola Concerto
  • JSB – Brandenburg 4

The Schubert Octet rounded off the morning very nicely.

The afternoon started off with Strauss’s Metamorphosen – the full 23-parter, rather than the septet reduction (or is the septet the original, and the 23 part job an expansion?) Glad I was first bass – the second part is nowhere near as busy, and the third bass has a *huge* amount of counting to do.

More orchestral stuff followed:

  • Mozart – overture “Marriage of Figaro” (insert viola joke here)
  • Bruch – Concerto for Clarinet & Viola – a new one to me. Very enjoyable.
  • Arriaga – Symphony in D. We’re beginning to get tired…

Finally ending the day with a brace of nonets:

  • Spohr – Grand Nonet – the daddy of ’em all
  • Farrenc – Nonet – very easy-going and light-hearted. A good end to the week.


And home…


I’m going to have to get the cello overhauled soon, and start working on that, as I enjoyed the hour or two I spent playing it this year.

I’ve also identified some potential “Practice Notes” posts to write about a few of the works I’ve looked at this week. Don’t rush me, because I’ve also got to play Rosenkavalier over the next couple of weekends, and I need to have a look at the part and get the cuts in first… I may be some time.


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