Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Another Bach Story

This has never happened to me before.  Last night we were to rehearse the concerto for our Northwest Indiana Symphony concert this Friday - the gorgeous Bach Double concerto for Oboe and Violin.  It’s a piece I’ve played about a jillion times before and ALWAYS enjoy.  It’s fun to collaborate differently with different violinists, and to hear what they do and to react to their phrasing, especially in the sinuous, sensual slow movement.  And sometimes funny things happen, funny because they weren’t my fault.

But last night I was the only soloist at the rehearsal.  Our violinist had accidentally been double booked and couldn’t attend - so with the conductor and my orchestra colleagues we ran through the Bach Double…single.  

And you know how much I love to perform, and to play in front of an orchestra.  Just drop a hat, and I’ll play a concerto.  And the more soloistic and exposed the better.  But EVEN I have to admit that the Bach Double Concerto is a better piece of music when there are two soloists.  

On the up side, there were no balance problems.  We could hear the oboe the whole time.  

However, it is frequently the case that the oboe line is MEANT to be accompanimental, or is reacting and responding to the violin line, and without him there I just kind of sounded like a crazy lady talking to myself.  Or worse, like a pedant repeating the same meaningless motive as if trying to get it JUST right.  The third movement, which I think of as baroque-style rock and roll, is just plain silly without the fancy technique in the violin.  And that was a little disappointing, really, because I had always thought that I was an equal contributor to the excitement - but no.  I just keep pecking out my little eighth notes and waiting for the cadence.  

I found the experience HIGHLY amusing.  

We’ll have a real run through Thursday night before we perform Friday, and it will absolutely be worth hearing, once it’s completed by an outstanding violinist.  The concert will also feature Mendelssohn’s Thrd Symphony, the Scottish Symphony, which is super fun.  Details HERE.


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