HelenEdith's Blog

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

Posts Tagged ‘classical’

Entry for August 07, 2008 – Classical Orchestra

Posted by HelenEdith on August 7, 2008

Our Thursday morning session was Classical Orchestra. We had a good turnout, including one lady who comes along and plays the mandolin at the back of one of the violin sections.

We started with the Mozart overture to “The Impresario”, which I didn’t play much of because I was a few minutes late. Margaret had to hold the fort in the bassoon section by herself. The bassoon part was written as as a single part, but it divided at times, so once I had my act together, I was able to add a bit.

Then we moved on to Haydn’s Symphony No.94, also known as the “Surprise”. Arthur, the church warden said afterwards that it wasn’t entirely successful, as his wife, who suffers from narcolepsy, had dropped off to sleep and the surprise bit didn’t wake her. However, from a playing point of view, I think we produced a highly satisfactory rendition.

We took our refreshment break after we’d played Haydn, and then we tackled Mozart’s Symphony No.41, also known as the “Jupiter”. That’s a long symphony, and kept us playing until it was time to finish. I thoroughly enjoyed playing it, but have to admit that the quavers in the final movement, which should be tongued, were played slurred by today’s bassoon section. That was better than struggling with the articulation and getting left behind. Actually, I’m not sure whether I’d manage to articulate those notes properly even if I had time to practise. I’ve never mastered double tongueing on a double reed instrument, and those quavers move really fast.

Many people went on to a BBQ lunch, but I came home for a quiet afternoon.

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Entry for June 11, 2008 – Karen Geoghegan’s Bassoon Recital

Posted by HelenEdith on June 11, 2008

I went to Fulham Palace yesterday evening to hear Karen Geoghegan’s bassoon recital. She is the young bassoonist who reached the final of “Classical Star” last year and who subsequently signed a recording contract with Chandos – which was completely independent from the recording contract prize on offer to the winner of “Classical Star”, which went to a pianist.

I went along to support a young bassoonist at the start of her career and I came away a fan. Her playing knocked my socks off. I think I heard one cracked note in the course of a concert-length recital which included six complete works and a single movement from a seventh piece. Once or twice I thought that another year or two with John Orford may develop extra colour in her playing, particularly when she plays a sustained note, but there’s so much there already that she was well worth the £10 ticket price. I came away with two copies of her CD: one to keep, and one to send to my sister. I probably should have opened them up and got them autographed. They might be worth money one day!

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Entry for August 09, 2007 – Classical Orchestra

Posted by HelenEdith on August 9, 2007

It was Thursday morning, so it had to be Classical Orchestra! It was a good-sized orchestra, and included eight cellos and two double basses. There were no clarinets (this was music written before the clarinet became commonplace) but there were flutes, oboes, bassoons, horns and trumpets. There was also one mandolin player at the back of one of the violin sections.

We read through Schubert’s Symphony No.5 in B major D485, Joseph Haydn’s Symphony 98 (Oxford) and Mozart’s little-known Symphony No.36 KV425. I have to say it isn’t one of the better Mozart symphonies, but the final movement was just about up to Mozart’s usual standards.

We nearly had chaos at one point. People had lost their place and the music ground to a halt and it turned out that the wind players had letters on their parts, the conductor had bar numbers on his, while the string players didn’t appear to have any rehearsal marks at all. It took a lot of discussion to get us all synchronised for the mid-movement restart!

The lady with the mandolin has a trumpet she would like to get rid of and I’d expressed an interest. She brought it along today and one of the horn players (who is also a trumpet player) looked it over for me. He doesn’t think there’s much wrong with it, but suspects that there is an obstruction in it somewhere. Anyway, I’ve brought it home, but wonder whether I’d do better to get Stephen a new or near-new student trumpet rather than spending money on getting the used one fixed.

Most of the assembled company attended a barbecue lunch, but I came home to take it easy for the afternoon. Well, sort-of easy. I’m doing some laundry as I’m running short of clothes! Plus catching up on this blog. I’m having a busy week and there’s lots to write about. 🙂

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