Saturday, February 5, 2011

"Of course, you can't use our bowings"

Mozart rehearsals start the week after next. I'm no longer terrified of the first rehearsal, since I got through a small performance of it the other week, but I have started to practice it again. The "audience" at the rehearsal will be 5x larger than the music club, and all people whose opinions matter to me, so I'd like to be prepared. And besides, it's another opportunity to practice performing under pressure, so I might as well mentally build up the pressure as high as possible.

Of course, the orchestra needs music to play on as well. Our conductor found a set of parts in the library of our city's symphony, and the librarian showed him the parts to confirm that it was "the right" Mozart bassoon concerto. (Is there another one?) Permission to borrow them was arranged, and a rental fee negotiated. Then the librarian added, "Now of course, you can't use our bowings." Interesting the things which people care about: I don't think that copying their bowings would make our strings sound very much like the symphony! But perhaps they just want to encourage us to do our own homework. Or maybe it's just a view into a different universe, classical music's version of IP, an echo of policies like this one, where large companies want to look through your financials to determine the absolute maximum you can afford before they quote you a price to play a piece by someone who's been dead for 200 years. Still, are we supposed to erase their bowings? Will they do that for us? Or are the players just not supposed to look? Are they allowed to write their own in? Not my problem, really, and I have enough to think about.

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