This Saturday I am performing with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic. The big piece is Sibelius's Symphony no. 3. Had you ever played Sibelius 3? I hadn't, nor had I even heard of it. Turns out it's a gem - a lovely little 30-minute work with Sibelius's characteristic dark colors and fluid melodies. I'm enjoying myself immensely. At tonight's rehearsal we'll add the guitar concerto - Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez - which is a long time favorite of mine. All in all a fun weekend.
I'm playing principal on this concert, and I'm really noticing the rest of the orchestra more than I do when I play second. That does make sense, as I am now responsible for matching and joining the other winds and the full group instead of just the first oboe. My focus should widen. But in another way it is slightly dismaying. If moving over just one seat to the center can make a significant difference in how I perceive the orchestra, and raise my awareness of the personalities and nuances of the solo players, what is it really like for the audience? They aren't nearly as close to the action as the second oboe chair, or even the back of the violin section. Is all the excitement I feel in the center of the orchestra being delivered out to the seats? Do they get it?