I played a really fun orchestra concert this afternoon featuring a great selection of pieces. It was a unique concert for me because I had never played any of the pieces before we began rehearsals, and had only heard one of them (the Walton) before! In case any of my readers are interested in expanding their musical horizons, I thought I'd post today's concert program with YouTube videos I found of some of the works. (Isn't it nice to live in a time when you can listen to music without having to buy a CD?) I think my favorite works to play were the Walton, Poulenc, and Copland, but I loved the Elgar too, and the Ginastera was certainly a wild ride... so come to think of it, it's hard to pick a favorite.
1) Crown Imperial by Sir William Walton
This piece is full of restrained sentiment and a strong sense of nationalism. An exciting opening theme followed by a beautiful melody:
2) Sinfonietta by Francis Poulenc
This four-movement French work for chamber orchestra was completely unfamiliar to me until just a couple of weeks ago. I think it's a wonderful piece!
4th movement - one of my favorites:
3) El Salón México by Aaron Copland
Definitely a new favorite for me, this piece is kind of hilarious. Listen to it and you'll see what I mean!
4) Cockaigne Overture by Edward Elgar
This work was written to depict life in London, and is by turn both humorous and lyrical. You can hear a nice recording of this work on YouTube in two parts if you're interested:
5) Dance Suite from 'Estancia' by Alberto Ginastera
Most of the movements of this one are rhythmically-driven and at times almost frenzied, but I liked this lyrical movement in particular:
There you have it - today's concert program. Next weekend I'm playing Schumann, Brahms, and a premiere of a new viola concerto. The following weekend it's Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, and Franck. The weekend after that I'll lighten things up with a little pit orchestra playing (Beauty and the Beast, to be specific), then a pops concert the following weekend, and then... then... I get to have normal weekends for a while! (By "normal" I mean weekends where I don't have to work 8-hour Saturdays and 3-6 hour Sundays.) I am really looking forward to summer! But in the meantime, I'm grateful for these busy times in my musical life.