Sunday, February 27, 2011

University symphony concert

Awhile back I wrote about subbing with the university's symphony, but I haven't written about the concert. It was my first time playing in our town's fabulous concert hall, so I was looking forward to that. It was built only a few years ago, in a town that has money but not so many people that it needs a huge classical hall. So the builders could focus solely on acoustics, and had the budget to do. The result is, in the opinion of many proud locals, probably the best concert hall in Canada and one of the finest in the world. I've been to many concerts there, and also backstage, a couple of times when my son was performing, but I'd never played there myself. So just that was exciting. The lead bassoonist performed the whole Mozart concerto. And my teacher was playing contra on Toccatta and Fugue, so it was fun to see him.

The performance went largely fine. Only one big screwup: I was struggling to play quietly enough, in the soft accompaniment to the opera singers. I complained to the first about it after the runthrough, and he showed me some new mute fingerings (the main one I think was for low G, add low E and B-flat keys). I tried it, and it seemed to help. So I decided to use a new fingering, for the first time during the show. Hm, now there's a failure in judgment,  even if the part looks easy. And yep, I got my fingers tangled, resulting in some odd sounds and a look of surprise and alarm from the conductor, for something that was totally unnecessary. The rest was fine, though, a lot of fun. And Tocatta and Fugue, with three bassoons, contra, and a ginormous organ shaking the rafters -- truly a concert to be remembered.

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