Monday, January 28, 2013

Post-Concert Receptions

I attended an orchestral concert last night. We are in the process of developing an orchestra and, as I missed the last concert they did due to my heart attack, I wanted to attend this one. The good news is they are coming along nicely. More precision and I noted more fine players than last time, especially in the winds. One of the pieces on the program was Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherezade which is quite a challenging piece for both conductor and orchestra.

Both last weekend and this weekend I attended post-concert receptions and dinners. Sometimes this is great fun, if you know enough people or get into interesting conversations. In the latter case, it helps if you have a particular role to play as this helps people start a conversation. Last weekend I had my songs premiered, so my role was 'composer' and some interesting conversations ensued. This weekend I was really at the concert to evaluate the orchestra's progress, something that is part of my duties as board member. But this is something of an incognito role.

So at the reception afterwards I was just floating around saying very little. Usually I have lots of opinions, but not this time. The reason was that I kept hearing things like "you gotta have a harp, it's essential in Rimsky-Korsakov and Beethoven!" True of the former, not true of the latter. I don't believe Beethoven ever wrote a note for the harp. But it would have been impolite to contradict the speaker and resulted in a pointless argument. I kept running into the same problem, so mostly I just kept my mouth shut and nodded politely while getting more and more bored. I'm not very good playing a regular schlub, I find!

You can find just about anything on YouTube. Here is our orchestra from a couple of seasons ago with the middle movement from the Haydn trumpet concerto. There are now almost twice as many musicians in the orchestra. Last night they did the Tchaikovsky violin concerto in a much bigger hall and did quite a good job of it.

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