HelenEdith's Blog

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

Posts Tagged ‘rossini’

Entry for August 08, 2008 – Full Orchestra

Posted by HelenEdith on August 8, 2008

The playing part of Marlowe Music Week came to an end this evening with a Full Orchestra session in our usual church hall, although many people are going to dinner next Sunday to round off the week. I’m awkward to feed, and I’m ducking out of that. I also didn’t make it to “Party Pieces” yesterday evening. I’d been out every evening since last Sunday, and decided that I needed an evening in.

This evening’s orchestral session started off with Schubert’s “Manfred” Overture, and then continued with Benjamin Britten’s Matinées musicales, after Rossini. I’d never seen the music to either of these pieces before, and wouldn’t mind having another go at them another time, but that isn’t really the point of Marlowe Music Week. We don’t rehearse pieces and perfect them: we take the music out of the library, play it for our own enjoyment, and then move on to the next piece.

We did the first movement of Dvorak’s 6th Symphony before the refreshment break, and then played the other three movements after stopping for tea, coffee or squash. The Scherzo was conducted by Nick (Malcolm’s and Sheila’s son) in one. Margaret (my fellow bassoonist) was a bit sceptical about whether we’d manage to read it through in one, but we did pretty well and only had to stop a couple of times to regroup.

As this was the last occasion when we would all gather, after the music was over for the evening, we had a speech from Jim Kelly, who thanked Malcolm and Sheila for their efforts in putting Marlowe Music Week together. He commented that we did it for £10 each, but if this week was put on by an organisation, it would probably cost over £200 each, and if it was put on by the Government, the cost would probably be nearer to £400 each! We did have to smile at the list of personnel that Jim said would be required, but he made the very good point that Malcolm and Sheila work very hard to pull the week together, and that we get unbelievable value.

Malcolm and Sheila were presented with theatre tokens and Sheila also received a large bunch of flowers. Gerry and Mary, who hosted a BBQ, received a bottle; and Arthur, the churchwarden received a small wrapped gift. Joyce, who hosted a lunch and “Party Pieces” usually receives a token of our thanks at her “Party Pieces” evening.

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Entry for June 20, 2007 – Music

Posted by HelenEdith on June 20, 2007

This evening I went to the occasional West Lodge Orchestra, which meets every six weeks or so. I’d home-worked today, and managed to be late getting there. It’s strange how I can get there on time when I come all the way from Basildon and have to contend with the M25, but end up late when I’m only coming from just around the corner!

We warmed up on Rossini’s overture “Il Signor Bruschino”, which I’d never heard before. Then we moved on to Dvorak’s 5th Symphony, but we were playing off old parts which described it as the 3rd Symphony. I don’t recall having heard that before, either. It took me the whole of the first half of the session to get anywhere near warmed up. My recent lack of practice is starting to tell rather badly.

After the mid-evening break, we finished off the Dvorak 5th Symphony. I had the company of Terry, playing his bass clarinet, in lieu of another bassoonist. Terry is great: he can read bass clef on his bass clarinet. We did swap parts mid-way through the Dvorak, though, as there was a bit he reckoned he’d never play it on his bass clarinet. I found that I couldn’t play it on my bassoon either. (Without taking it home to study.)

We finished the evening off with Mendelssohn’s “Fingal’s Cave” overture, which was a very pleasant way to finish up.

In the car on the way home, I was listening to ClassicFM as I often do, and they played a really interesting piece which came about because Michael Collins and Mikhail Pletnev thought that it might be possible to play Beethoven’s Violin Concerto on the clarinet and they went ahead and did it! It was so interesting that I sat on the driveway listening to it and when I eventually came inside, we switched the TV over to ClassicFM to hear the rest of it.

It’s funny how I quite approved of a piece of violin repertoire being filched for the clarinet, and I don’t mind filching the odd bit of cello repertoire for the bassoon, but I don’t like it very much when string players filch our wind repertoire. 🙂

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