Wednesday, January 15, 2014

lo, and tomorrow was better

Work was much saner today, and I managed to stay on top of things. I didn't have to work late or miss rehearsal.

Pre-rehearsal practice was execrable. I really needed to work on that G# minor scale, but I couldn't concentrate well enough to play through the screechiness, so I still need to work on that scale, in a mighty big way. My cellist friend arrived in time for us to run through some of one piece we received last week, but we made a hash of it.

At rehearsal, I was the only violist. But I was loud, at least at first, and this was a little disconcerting. But I just thought well, fuck it, I'll do what I need to to get an OK tone, and if it's loud it's loud, and it probably won't even really be loud. The first thing we did after the warmup was work on a Boccherini quintet that we're playing as a string orchestra. I know nothing about classical music, but it seems to me that Boccherini had a real way with quartets and quintets; interesting ideas get shared by everyone, even the lowly viola. So of course when it came time for this lowly viola to play something interesting, I thought whoa, how loud, and then decided well fuck it, I'll just play and be loud, because I'm probably not that loud. Later the conductor handed us a new piece full of deceptively simple quarter-notes and half-notes, but it sounded weird, with one particularly dissonant viola note (B natural when the chord is an A major) that sounded for all the world like an attempt to make it look like the viola section had made a big mistake. And it was loud, and I thought, well fuck it, that's what the composer wrote and I'm just going to be loud. Actually, I was pretty happy with my sight-reading, especially considering how tired I was.

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