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Orchestral Bassoonists
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April 2007
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This is a link to my youth orchestra's page at the School if Music's website. The photos were taken on the weekend, at our camp at Wainui. I'm just in the woodwind photo. I'm first bassoon and Liz (dazyndara) is second. I think we look pretty good considering how little sleep we'd had ;)

Rach may get into my journal to tidy up this entry, hyperlinks and what not, if she has time and would like to :)

reidmt [userpic]

Two weeks ago, the main office of the symphony where I play burned down. It's by no means a pro orchestra, it's really a great community orchestra that hires out some parts and puts on a teriffic show (I'm an amateur, don't play that well, but am local and talented enough to get by, I suppose). It was a huge, half-block fire started in a neighboring building that spread through a shoe repair and coffee shop, finally hitting our office. I watched from about 4:30 p.m. when I left work (early) on. My wife, who is the director of programs for the orchestra, called; luckily she and our baby weren't there when the fire started.

There's some worry that this will put a damper on, if not our season finale of Mahler 1, the next year and the years thereafter. In almost every way, the organization and its board and supporters seem incredibly strong, but, from outside, it sometimes looks really fragile.

Here are some pics:

This is the whole building:

This is a view of our office:

One of my co-workers took a video from his cellphone as it happened:

Our conductor has posted about this on his blog here.

Hope y'alls are having a good day.


reidmt [userpic]

Last night, our orchestra did its Elgar concert with a guest conductor, a friend of our regular conductor’s out of England. As often as I’ve heard or read about the persons depicted in the Enigma Variations, they have never been as real to me as they became described by the GC.

I don’t remember playing a concert with such a sense of panic since LU did Rite; at least panic on my behalf. And even then, the panic started within the first 2 minutes of the cello concerto, and took until the second half of the third variation to settle. I absolutely cannot stand that feeling, the slipping down the roof with your fingernails not quite catching on the way down. You know that it’s only one story and you’ll probably land on your feet, but the panic when you first start sliding beats that thought out of your head. You know it?

The Elgar pieces were tricky. I almost survived. Some of that shit is hard.

On to Mahler 1! It’s almost relaxing. I’ve actually played the part before, am familiar with the piece, and am going to really enjoy the sound. At least, that’s how I feel now.

Check in again in May.



Cassandra [userpic]

A friend posted this link and knowing all too well how tedious Pachelbel can be for any quintet/continuo bassoonist, I thought I'd share. Forgive me if you've already seen it.

Pachelbel Cello Rant

Current Location: AZ

On Tuesday Christchurch Youth Orchestra had a 4 hour rehearsal, I was the only person who had to be there the entire time, as we stared with Gounod Wind Symphony, and ended with my Gordon Jacob concerto, that's only accompanied by strings. Since I play in everything except the horn concerto this was going to be too much playing on a 5 day old instrument (trial name: Elsie), so I got to play diva and sit out one movement of the Symphony (Sibelius 3, sat out third movement). Now we have another 2.5 hour rehearsal tonight as our concert is on Saturday. I'm all in favour of thorough rehearsal and solid concerts, but isn't this a bit late? The second movement of the symphony was terrible on Tuesday, but tonight's rehearsal and the dress are really just run throughs, so will it improve?

This is the complete opposite to our first semester concert. We were really well rehearsed, but then the conductor went away right before the concert, so we had the concert when we hadn't rehearsed for a fortnight. This time we're not very well rehearsed, except for this last minute cramming. I know the conductor has A LOT going on in his (personal) life at the moment, but it would mean a lot if he could get it together and rehearse sensibly for the sake of the orchestra.

Current Mood: anxiousanxious
reidmt [userpic]

I made it successfully through American in Paris this past weekend, which was a little bit of an adventure. It had a couple of spots that kind of caught me off guard during the read through. It's really not a bad bassoon part, but it was a rental--lose it and you owe $1500.00. It also said "kurz" somewhere, and I don't know enough German to know what it meant.

I'm not really looking forward to the next concert, but Beethoven 6 in the winter, the Enigma Variations, and Mahler 1 in the second half are going to be quite exciting.


Does anyone know how many bassoons/contrabasson are needed in Ravel La Valse or Bartok Concerto for orchestra?

If anyone's played them or Debussy La Mer do they have any thoughts about them? Good music? Fun to play?

Current Location: Chch, NZ

For quite some time Big Betty (a contrabassoon) was my constant companion. Yesterday I had to give her up, it's tremendously sad, knowing I won't see her today, well, actually I might, if Mel takes her to her lesson, but I won't get to play her. It's an especially large slap as Mel has here to play in the Christchurch Symphony this week for an awesome concert that I really wanted to do, and I would have done a better job since I'm thoroughly in practise, dammit.

When the National Youth Orchestra CD arrives I will be able to relive the memories, until then I will be inconsolable.


Current Location: HOME
Current Mood: sleepysleepy

This week I'm playing contra in the Christchurch Symphony for Rachmaninov, Symphonic Dances so I've got the contra (wooop woop woop woop). Since I'm also playing it in three weeks time in the National Youth Orchestra I organised to keep it until then. I thought that since I'll have it for so long I'd get myself some extra music to learn since it's bound to come up in the future, so I printed off the Beethoven 5 and Mahler 5 contra parts, however I'm yet to glance at them! Between practicing for this week, plus NYO (Strauss, Der Rosenkavalier Suite, Shostakovich 10, a new piece by a Kiwi girl, and Gliere, Russian Sailor's Dance), plus Brahms 4 for Southern Sinfonia, which I'm playing the week after NYO finishes, and now adding in Hindemith, Symphonie Metamorphosen for the Victoria University Orchestra that I've been invited to play in before NYO starts, I'm a busy beaver. And that is a long sentence.

Heehee, I just counted up and I will be playing in at least 7 different orchestras this year. Sweet.

Current Location: Christchurch
Current Mood: okayokay

Finally, a place to vent my bassoony spleen without any band related blather. Until there are more members I'm not sure what the point of this is, I just wanted to be able to join a bassoon community where the other members had a more similar background to me, you know, not 19 year olds that didn't know the Mahler 1, Tchaik 5 or Bartok Concerto for Orchestra solos, for example. I may sound like a crazy elitist, but I'm not really, I just don't get the whole American band thing. If you're on the same page as me please join, bassooner the better!

Current Location: Christchurch
Current Mood: hopefulhopeful
Current Music: De l'aube à Midi Sur la Mer - Debussy
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