HelenEdith's Blog

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

Posts Tagged ‘mozart’

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 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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Entry for August 06, 2007 – Wind Chamber Music

Posted by HelenEdith on August 6, 2007

This evening we had a group of nine wind players: two flautists, one oboist, two clarinettists, two bassoonists and two french horn players.

We actually played octets most of the evening and the two flautists doubled on the same part.

Donizetti was first up. He was a bit weird, and was followed by a modern French composer whose music was more than a bit weird. We struggled to the end of the piece, missing out the odd repeat here and there, and actually enjoying parts of it!

Then out came the Mozart Serenade in C minor for two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons and two horns. It comes out about this time most years, and although I don’t generally play it in between, I have got to know it. Margaret elected to play first bassoon, and I went along with that. She said afterwards if she’d remembered what was in the Finale she might have given the first part to me to play. 🙂 I think Margaret’s actually in better practice than I am, though, so I didn’t remind her about the Finale when she chose to play first. It’s nice to share the work out.

After that it was the turn of Beethoven, and then we finished up with the Overture to the Marriage of Figaro arranged for wind octet and went and enjoyed the refreshments laid on by the Brocklebanks, whose front room we had been occupying.

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Entry for May 16, 2007

Posted by HelenEdith on May 16, 2007

It was Wednesday today, so I home-worked. I breaks the week up if I lose the commute on a Wednesday, and I got lots of peace and quiet at home – most of the time. Stephen did call out some of the scores from the Mauresmo-Stosur match at the Italian Open, and I did take a break to watch the second set tie-break, which Stosur ended up losing. However, she won through in the end, which pleases me, as I had my Australian hat on. 🙂

This evening I went to my occasional orchestra evening. A group based on the Marlowe Ensemble, but with some extras like myself added in, meets about once every six weeks to read through some of the Classical and Romantic orchestral repertoire. There is no rehearsal about it as it doesn’t lead to a performance. It’s just a group of people playing through some of the orchestral repertoire for the fun of doing it.

This evening’s playing started with Mozart’s overture “Titus”, which warmed us up nicely to attempt Brahms’ Serenade No.1 in D Major. We took a break in the middle of it, as it was quite taxing stuff. I personally didn’t manage to play all the notes when confronted by tenor clef, five sharps, and a passage with lots of leaps in it which went down to the lower end of the tenor clef. All I could do was count the bars and make sure I knew where to come in when something within my capabilities appeared on the stave in front of me. We finished off with Schubert’s “Unfinished” Symphony. We were just going to play the first movement, but decided to play the other movement when we got to the end of the first movement. I’m pretty sure the second movement of the “Unfinished” accompanied the Del Monte Man in a TV advertising campaign a few years ago.

…Which leads us neatly to today’s picture, which is of apples so fresh that they’re still on the tree!

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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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