The first rehearsal of the Mozart happened tonight. And now, yeah, I'm slowly starting to believe it's going to happen. Kind of surprisingly, I wasn't nervous at all. Especially considering that, instead of our regular conductor (a trumpet player), we had D subbing in, whose main job is bassoon instructor at the university, and who's always intimidated me a little. But she was enthusiastic, really positive about the piece and everything.
It went terribly, of course. Very dirty, most of the runs and passages, I could tell they weren't clean as I played them. Nothing to do play on with a smile, focusing on tone and phrasing, trying to model how I want it to sound. It's true, I was cleaner than the strings, but they were sightreading, and I've been practicing for months. In some sense, playing dirty, it's kind of embarrassing, like being seen by a girl in your underwear; but if you're doing things right, she's in her underwear too, and you can both smile and make the best of it.
Everyone said nice things, though. They were impressed, unduly I think, by the memorization, which didn't take that much effort compared to trying to learn to play the notes. But when I listened to my recording later, on the way home from the pub, I thought I sounded cleaner than I remembered. Strange, how perceptions shift. I should try listening again in the daylight, and see what I hear now.
Mozart rehearsal excerpt by TFox17