SO Reh Notes - Oct 10
What we did on October 7:
9:30am-10:45am: Sectionals (focused on Gershwin)
11:00am-12:30pm: Carlos Kalmar conducted Gershwin, and focused on rehearsal #57 to close to the end of the piece
About swing: Whether to "swing" on An American in Paris has been a point of debate among conductors for decades. There is no "right" answer to this question, and it's a matter of personal taste.
"Swing" is a very elusive topic even for jazz musicians (see this article for a little perspective). Different jazz musicians have different styles of swing, and this is independent of how much they "swing the eight notes." You can swing with straight eight notes too. In other words, the type of swing that we need for American in Paris is much closer to "straight" than it is to say, a triplet figure.
I think swing in this music is already built into the accompaniment, and the syncopations in the melody are enough to give #57 the right character. Now, and this is important: "straight" doesn't equal "square." This music should dance and should never sound "square."
Feel free to email me back with your thoughts, or come talk to me after rehearsal about this.
Plan for October 14:
Harps: We're happy to have harpist Elaine Hesselman come work with you on Saturday (first half of the rehearsal).
Tutti: on Saturday October 14, we will spend the whole rehearsal on Gabriela's Three Latin American Dances. Then, next week (October 21), Gabriela will come listen to our rehearsal and answer questions from all of us.
We will start with Movement 2 (slow sections) and all of Movement 3.
Trumpets: practice (and listen to) movement 3 extra hard this week!
Then, at the end of rehearsal, we will have Scott Showalter from the Oregon Symphony come and take questions from the orchestra (he was sick on Oct 7).
Scott Showalter: President and C.E.O. of the Oregon Symphony