I must begin by telling you all how pleased I was with our focus and progress last week. You displayed a level of maturity enjoyed by only the finest of collegiate orchestras. I was most impressed with how you were able to get to “the music” even during our first reading of each movement of the Bruckner, and how quickly you were able to make noticeable and nuanced changes to you performance.
I hope that you feel that your sectional rehearsals were productive. For the ones that I led personally, I can say that much was accomplished. We will continue using sectionals to work out technical and ensemble challenges this week and hopefully begin the Mozart with UOCO on Wednesday. Although the parts are scheduled to arrive by then, they will NOT be marked at the first rehearsal.
Please continue to be well-prepared for each rehearsal. Look carefully at the schedule and give particular attention to the movements being rehearsed each day. I try to be as specific as possible so that you may focus your practice.
Finally, a word to our string players. As you have already figured out, Bruckner loves the tremolo. Please take care of yourself. Do not play with tension, and feel free to modify your bow arm in rehearsal so that you stay healthy. Some tips – rest your right arm on your leg, slow sown the tremolo at times, take a bar or two off every now and again, move your bow as you tremolo so that different muscles are being used. Play smart, not hard in rehearsal so that you can give your all on Nov. 5.
Thanks for a great week, let’s continue to step it up for week #2.
Thank you all for yesterday’s rehearsal. If you couldn’t tell, I was pretty excited. I really appreciated your focus in our the read of Bruckner #4. It seems that many of us are taking the words of Profs. Pologe, Van Dreel, and Vacchi to heart already. While much practice must still take place, your enthusiasm, musicality, and most important, your ability to make noticeable changes when requested show a maturity I have not yet seen during a reading session. Bravo! I look forward to tomorrow.
Since the war, something strange has happened to the performance practice of Bruckner’s symphonies. More and more, conductors have made the monumental, monolithic aspects of Bruckner’s symphonies the defining feature of the music. At their best, there’s a meditative, intoxicating quality to the mesmerically slow speeds of performances by such conductors as Herbert von Karajan and especially Sergiu Celibidache, but with less accomplished maestros, Bruckner is reduced to a weirdly one-dimensional architect of sound. Too often these days, his music is performed by conductors who unthinkingly take their cue from the slow speeds of the school of performance that sees Bruckner as a pseudo-spiritual-guru, as if the music were a static marble sculpture rather than a living, breathing organism.
…Recent recordings by Roger Norrington, Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Jonathan Nott have revealed a different side to Bruckner, interpretations that make him a human being rather than a self-annihilating penitent.
But here’s the biggest Brucknerian irony of all. You can experience the most dynamic vision of Bruckner in recorded history in performances given by Wilhelm Furtwängler, including some during the second world war with the Nazi-sponsored Berlin Philharmonic. There’s a performance of the Fifth Symphony from 1942 that is still shockingly intense, vital and energetic. For anyone who thinks Bruckner only wrote slow, static, boa-constricting music, this is the performance to hear. There’s an intensity and wildness Furtwängler finds that flatly contradicts the monolithic vision Hitler and Goebbels had of the composer. It’s an energy and fearlessness today’s conductors need to recover in their approach to Bruckner to do justice to the musical and existential revelations at the heart of each of his symphonies.
Tom Service, The Guardian, Thursday 6 October 2011
For those of you accustomed to slow, steady, and ponderous interpretations of Bruckner, read this illuminating article on tempo fluctuation in 19th century music, including Bruckner.
Click to access couton_reflections_on_tempo.pdf
Click under season repertoire and use the drop down menu to access 2013-2014. We have some very excited things in store for next year, including Mozart’s Mass in C with early music specialist, Matthew Halls, works for the newly instituted UOCO (University of Oregon Chamber Orchestra-select players by audition each term), and a guest artist from the New York Philharmonic, Jospeh Alessi.
Parts will go up online during the summer – my goal is by August 15. Download, print, and practice:) IMSLP parts for Bruckner are already linked. I can’t wait to get started. See you in September!
Here are some comments for the Dvorak I would like you to put into your part. I’m pleased with the work you have done on this very short cycle. This is truly a “professional” experience (i.e four rehearsals a dress and concert).
- Bar 11, more cello sixteenth on the first beat, every uses that rhythm as anchor
- Bar 19, shorter 8th notes in low strings
- Bar 37, low strings don’t rush
- Bar 86, one ob.
- Bar 111, more fp in viola
- Bar 114, every true pp except oboe
- Bar 127, L.P. and strings only mf downbeat of reh. 5
- Bar 152, less string acc., delay cresc and don’t get as loud at mf
- Bar 158, challenge yourself to play true pp.
- Reh 7. Better ensemble between horns and strings passing off triplets
- Bar 180, subito p
- Bar 285, same as 158 (true pp)
- Bar 299, better passing off of rhythm between soloist and horns/bsn
- Bar 5-6, pass off quintuplet better between clarinet and oboe. Play even and match.
- Bar 24, true pp
- Bar 27-28, a bit softer from all, don’t cover soloist.
- Bar 57, stronger mf violin I, less volume from everyone else
- Bar 83, same as bar 57
- Bar 95, celli/bass, don’t accent the entrance of the triplet, instead move toward the principal (last) note. This could probably be softer as well.
- Bar 129, shorter, lighter, softer in acc. Strings
- Bar 149, drier pizz, viola a bit faster
- Bar 23- 26 is pretty sloppy, please practice
- Bar 172, less volume please
- Bar 315, shorter/lighter 8ths
- Bar 347, less orchestra, let violin solo and cello soar
- Bar 401-409, less woodwinds
Congratulations on yesterday’s concert. There were truly some fantastic movements and we finished strong. Thanks for your sharing your passion for music with me and the audience. Bravo.
I have tried several new things this year to try to make the UOSO more productive. I would like to get some feedback on what activities you felt were the most helpful in making you perform at your highest level. Please rank these activities by dragging them in order from most helpful to least helpful.
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Antonio de Literes- Acis y Galatea
Xavier Montsalvatge- El Gato con Botas
Performances: April 20 (8pm) and April 21 (3pm) at the Hult Center
*Please note that there are three dress rehearsals (April 17,18,19 from 6-9pm at the Hult Center).
DeLiteres- Acis y Galetea
Montsalvatge- El Gato con Botas
|Olivia Baker – Christopher IvesMark Rockwood- Noah Jenkins
|Christopher Stark- Charlie HankinMichael Weiland- Lesslie Nunez
|Annissa Olsen-Avery PrattC.J. Tatman
||Jennifer JordanRiver Ramuglia
Daniel Pecos- Singer
|UO OPERA0.0.0.0–0.0.0.0 perc–harpsichord
DeLiteres- Acis y Galetea
Montsalvatge- El Gato con Botas
||Rachel HarrisAndrew Carlson