Tomorrow afternoon will be my first conservatory orchestra concert as a grad student. At first I was a little annoyed about being cast in this orchestra cycle, because I wasn't crazy about playing any of the pieces on the program, but as rehearsals have gone on, I've found that I really like the music.
We're opening with the William Tell Overture, which despite being over-played and having connections to rangers and that sort of thing, I must admit is pretty fun to play.
[The video is only the final portion of the Overture; the first and second sections are lovely but probably less familiar to most listeners.]
In a complete change of color and character, Debussy's Iberia is exquisite. The second movement, Les parfums de la nuit ('The scent of the night'), is beautiful:
(The part at 5:23 is my favorite, but skipping to it would sort of be cheating and probably rob you of the real experience.)
The second movement moves seamlessly into the third movement, which really goes into full swing at about 1:05 on this recording, with the strings plucking away vigorously - and no doubt having quite a bit of fun doing it, as we certainly are in my orchestra.
Also on tomorrow's program is a somewhat rarely-performed work by Benjamin Britten for strings, horn, and tenor, with a rollicking movement also calling for pizzicato in the strings:
And the Hindemith Symphonic Metamorphosis, which I was initially not excited about playing, I've ended up really loving. The last movement is glorious!
For some reason some people came into our second rehearsal on William Tell and videotaped us rehearsing. And my school has put it on YouTube. So if you're curious about how we sounded in the early rehearsing stage, you can watch.
[It's a weird video; it jumps around a lot and is heavy on the low brass because of where the camera was positioned.]