Friday, November 14, 2008

Dress Rehearsal

Last night was dress rehearsal--our first orchestra concert is tonight; there is another one on Sunday.

We played for the first time at the church where we will perform. Because the performance area is small, the cellos are awkwardly arranged. For the first half of the program, I was actually more in the audience looking back at the orchestra, facing the principal cellist, rather than behind her. It was disconcerting. In the second half, when the harpsichord is moved off-stage, we moved back to a more reasonable location. Perhaps a better arrangement of cellos and harpsichord can be found by tonight.

Incredibly, I forgot my nicely arranged, heavily marked up music, in my well-organized notebook. I had been practicing before the dress rehearsal, and put it on my cello chair, to remind me to remember to bring my stand, which was with my flute music (I have different stands for travel and home use). I remembered the stand, but not the music.

Fortunately, the four other cellists were able to help. As I said, we were awkwardly arranged, so it was not possible to share stands, but each of them gave me a full or partial copy of a piece or two, and I was able to reconstruct the program. They were mostly out-dated copies (we are constantly changing fingerings and bowings, and some of the music is in Finale form, so multiple copies are floating around), but I was very grateful that they hadn't cleaned out their notebooks of extraneous papers, as I had.

It wasn't in a notebook, though, and some of the page turns were clumsy. And, in the move from the front of the stage area to the back, I left the two middle pages of a four-page piece at the front. I ended up improvising for two pages, mostly air bowing, but it was ok (especially from the back of the stage).

Other than that, and several spots that are still too fast for me, all went reasonably well, and orchestra sounded good, to me.

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