Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Serious orchestra again
For the next few weeks I'll be playing a couple of minor pieces with the university's orchestra. I've subbed in with them before, but this is the first time I've been scheduled to play with them. It's a fabulous experience, since the level is so much higher than my usual. First rehearsal was a few days ago, and things went mostly fine. The big repertoire for this show, including the wonderful solo in Firebird, is being handled by their two performance majors, so my job is primarily ensemble playing. But man, playing accurately and sensitively enough to fit in is not easy. I got called out a couple of times, both times for being too loud. One spot is a triple-p 2nd bassoon solo entrance on an open F after a pause, with maybe one clarinet and nothing else, which was both too loud and sharp. Clearly I need to spend some more time on dynamics and reeds. Mostly my practicing focuses on smoothness and beautiful full tone, and haven't concerned myself with how immediately and securely the reed responses when playing softly. I also think it's funny, getting nailed on something that might be the first note you'd teach a new bassoonist. Reminds me of my attempt to find something I could play well, except here, I wasn't able to play it well enough. Just goes to show, the things you think you need to work on, and the things you actually need to work on, may not be the same.