HelenEdith's Blog

The minutiae of my life, plus website updates and book reviews

Posts Tagged ‘chamber’

Entry for August 07, 2008 – Cataloguing my sheet music

Posted by HelenEdith on August 7, 2008

It is to be hoped that I won’t be all musicked out after Marlowe Music Week, as I’ve got a Music Weekend planned for later this month. I have to go away for this one and I’ve got my accommodation all sorted out as I’m staying off-campus due to missing out on a spot in the on-campus student accommodation.

I’m planning on taking quite a bit of sheet music with me, and this afternoon I had my music down off the shelves to find out what I had that wasn’t in my Chamber Music spreadsheet. I’ve now updated it with everything except bassoon solos. They’re not of particular interest to other players, but the music for two, three and four players is of interest, and that’s what I was updating. Really I should download the database module of Open Office and put it in there rather than on a spreadsheet, but by the time I’ve learnt to use Open Office, that would take a lot longer than just updating a spreadsheet.

While I had the music down, I should have checked whether it all had my name stamped on each part, but I didn’t do that, so it will all have to come down again. The stuff I’ve had for a while is mostly named, but some of the newer stuff isn’t – and it all needs a name on each part before I let anyone borrow it during the Music Weekend!

I got so carried away with this project that I lost track of the time and realised that I wasn’t going to make it to “Party Pieces” tonight. It’s a shame to have missed it, but I’ve been out every evening since Sunday and I really needed a night in.

I had hoped to find time during my week off to edit my pictures from our Yorkshire holiday last October, but there just hasn’t been time. Maybe tomorrow morning… If I go to bed now, I might not have to use tomorrow morning for sleeping, and might therefore have time to look at some pictures. And go to the library. And do some laundry. Yes, there’s plenty to do!

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Entry for August 04, 2008 – Wind Chamber Music

Posted by HelenEdith on August 4, 2008

This evening, ten wind players assembled at Gerry’s and Mary’s place. The assembled company’s instruments were two flutes, two french horns, two bassoons, one oboe and three clarinets. However, one of the clarinets was a C clarinet so that its owner could play oboe parts, making us a standard dectet.

We started the evening off with an arrangement of “La Calinda” by Delius, which was a very pleasant start to the evening. In the course of the evening, we progressed on to Dvorak, and we finished off with Gounod’s “Petite Symphonie”, which generally gets an airing at some point during Marlowe Music Week.

Margaret and I shared out first and second bassoon parts between us, although I got first if it had a significant amount of tenor clef on it because Margaret says that I sight-read tenor clef better than she does. Actually, I sight-read it so well this evening that I played something in tenor clef which was actually written in bass clef. It sounded horrible and we had to stop and go back so I could play it from its proper clef!

We played continuously for two hours and then enjoyed the refreshments which Gerry and Mary provided, before going our separate ways. Most of us will be seeing one another again in the morning for a light orchestra session which is a rehearsal for the Coffee Morning to follow on Wednesday morning.

I must go to bed at a sensible time tonight, as I’ve got to get up in the morning for that! I’ve been late to bed the last two nights and my body clock is somewhere out in the Atlantic. Nytol to the rescue…

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Entry for August 03, 2008 – Marlowe Music Week begins

Posted by HelenEdith on August 3, 2008

Marlowe Music Week 2008 kicked off today. I didn’t get to the coffee morning at the Youngs’ place, but I did go along this evening for chamber music, also at the Youngs’ place.

We divided up into two groups. Three violins, two violas, a cello (and their respective players) plus one pianist repaired to the front room downstairs, while six wind players ascended the stairs to Malcolm’s Den (the former back bedroom) where we proceeded to play some quite obscure music arranged for our combination of instruments. We had flute, oboe, clarinet, horn, bassoon (me!) and bass clarinet. Much of our music was purchased from Phylloscopus Publications, who specialise in wind chamber music and make the effort to publish lesser-known composers.

One of the most successful pieces we played this evening was by L. J. A. Lefébure-Wély (1817-1869) and was Sortie in Eb arranged for wind quintet with optional bass clarinet. It was arranged by A. R. Cuninghame. It is described as lively music, originally for organ. It had quite a fairground organ feel about it, and we liked it so much that we left it on our stands when we went downstairs for mid-session refreshments and played it again later on. 🙂

I did a bit of reed work before going out this evening, and I’ve brought the least good of the three soft cane reeds I purchased recently up to a playable state. I played on it for a while this evening, but it’s still not as good as the best of the bunch, although a bit more playing on it might improve it even without further work with the scraping knife. I also blew my two remaining plastic reeds and decided that one could stay in my bassoon case but that the other needed turfing out. I need to work on that one to try and bring it up to standard.

Even the playable plastic reed isn’t as good as the one that split recently. That one was very well blown in and had mellowed over the years. (Yes, I did say “years”. That plastic reed and I have been together for a good ten years, maybe longer! Having it split is a disaster.) If I play with a band, I will probably get out the plastic reed that stayed in my case, as it wouldn’t be out of place in a band, and might mellow. It’s a little way off being acceptable for orchestral or chamber music use – unless my lip gets so tired I can’t manage the cane reeds – but that’s an emergency! 🙂

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Entry for August 08, 2007 – Wind chamber music

Posted by HelenEdith on August 9, 2007

Wednesday evening saw a collection of twelve people in a house (fortunately a detached one!) on the edge of Blackheath. We were playing wind dectets. The extra two people were Malcolm, who was taking a well-deserved evening off (he\’s the main organiser of the week) and Nick, who played his clarinet some of the time and conducted us for the rest of the time.

Two flutes, two oboes, two or three clarinets, two bassoons and two horns sat themselves down in a circle with their music stands touching around the inner circle and proceeded to work their way through a Raff dectet, and arrangement of Carmina Burana for wind dectet (which definitely needed Nick to conduct rather than play) and two Richard Strauss dectets. Actually, I think the Strauss had twelve parts, as there were two spare horn parts which remained unplayed.

Then Terry, our host for the evening, provided a light supper.

The picture is another one from the coffee morning. My music pad ensures that my chubby chin cannot be seen in this photo. 🙂

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Entry for May 13, 2007

Posted by HelenEdith on May 13, 2007

We were watching something on the Performance channel this evening. The orchestra was the Polish Chamber Orchestra, and judging by the hairstyles, the performance was filmed about 20 years ago.

When we tuned in, they were playing Mozart’s “Eine Kleine Nacht Musik” but they moved onto something else without putting up a title and I didn’t recognise it, although I thought it may have been Haydn.

Did he write a “Farewell Symphony” by any chance? The reason why I ask is that the musicians picked up their instruments and departed one by one. The last to go were the two violin section leaders, who finished the piece, closed their music, and departed. I think the conductor just sort of wandered off afterwards.

Judging by the lack of applause, I would say that it wasn’t recorded in front of an audience.

Or should I say, “I hope it wasn’t recorded in front of an audience!” 😀

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