Monday, January 16, 2006

easier said than done

For anyone who doesn't know this rule yet: Whenever an ensemble member says "We don't need much rehearsal time. This piece looks really easy to put together," run for your lives. In fact, run for your lives, your dogs' lives, and small rodents' lives. That's usually a sign that parts have simultaneous indivisible subdivisions, differing but simultaneous tempos, a ton of notes in your most difficult register, blisteringly fast tempos, or excruciatingly slow tempos. Frequently, these piece have more than one of these hitches to a smooth rehearsal.

So this David Lang guy is one of the Bang on a Can-ites. His piece "Sweet Air" looks pretty easy to put together.

This Debussy Rhapsodie is a piece that I haven't played for a few years. I remember when I first started to learn this piece. I remember being amazed at so many wonderful recordings of the piece. I ended up buying about half a dozen and listening to even more in some available listening libraries. I was astonished that these guys (and one gal) could make the clarinet do such things. When I got the invitation to play this piece on this go-around, I spent the first weeks just studying score and playing a few of the difficult licks very slowly. Two nights ago I finally got around to listening to some of the recordings at which I had previously been so amazed. Poor ensemble, poor attention to the score, intonation problems left and right. (FYI - The Gal's recording was just as amazing this time around...the only one.)

Have my standards gone Up? Have I become a nitpicker? Nah...I just think that some punk went through my collection and substituted 2nd rate recordings for the good ones I know I had. When I find the genius who devilishly pulled off this crime, I'll get you good. (shaking fist at the sky)


Post a Comment

<< Home