Rehearsal Notes, Sep 17
Congrats on our first Tchaikovsky rehearsal! I really thought we had a very good first read-through, and I'm convinced we're going to have an amazing concert in November.
REHEARSAL PLAN FOR NEXT WEEK (Sep 24)
9:30am - 11:00am: Movements 2 and 4 (full orchestra)
11:15am-12:30: Movement 3 without brass (SO brass players go to help Concert Orchestra).
NEW PIECE ADDED TO FALL CONCERT!!
We will be adding Bernstein's Candide Overture to the Fall Concert. Start listening to recordings of this one. Warning: it's FAST! We will have our first read-through of Candide on October 1st. Same part assignments as Tchaikovsky.
Look at a full score. You can easily find the score for Tchaik 5 on imslp.org. Let me know if you need help finding it. It's very important to learn your part in context, or in relation with everything else that's going on in the orchestra at any given time.
Listen to (many different) recordings. Old, new, with conductors and orchestras from Russia, Europe, America.... There's a very interesting recording on Spotify here, with Mavrinsky and the Leningrad Philarmonic. Maybe that can be a starting point for you. I like looking for recordings with conductors and orchestras that are as close as possible to the composer's culture and reality, even if it's many years apart.
Practice slow. Make sure that you're taking in everything that the composer wants. All the information is there: tempo, character, articulations, dynamics, etc. Everything on that page is important, not just the notes.
Use your imagination. As you practice, ask yourself what each section of the piece says to you. Come up with your own visuals and storylines. Think of flavors, smells, textures that the music reminds you of. Try using words to describe the musical gestures and intentions. There's no right or wrong, this part of the process is about what the music means to you.
Reach out. Another reminder: you can always shoot me an e-mail (email@example.com) or come talk to me at the break or the end of rehearsals. Anything from questions about the music to general comments about how you're feeling, what you like/dislike, what you think could improve, etc. I'm here for you. When you e-mail me, I might take a little while to get back to you, but I promise I will!
Tempi. Speaking of reaching out, somebody in the orchestra asked me to give you my approximate metronome markings for the entire Tchaikovsky Symphony. I think this is a great idea and I'll be posting this in the next couple of days. Thanks for the suggestion!
Thank you for reading, and don't forget to check this page regularly for updates and information.
See you Saturday,
P.S. I leave you with a quote by the man himself ;)