Thursday, November 23, 2006

The More Things Change, The More the Stay the Same Loud Crap

Okay, Concert #2 in the bag. So far, the bag isn't exactly something you'd pick up at Saks. It's more like something you'd get at Club Monacco. Let's see if we can get up to Louis Boston by the next gig, eh?

So, the horribly frightening tenor aria from Tosca was played with a bit of resignation. I'll explain: In preparing a piece for rehearsal/concert, I prepare every nuance I can (including playing the occasional right note). Now, that means that I try to take an honest approach to dynamics as well. If Verdi says 'p', I try to play piano. Now, if Verdi says 'p' but it's a solo, I try to take both of those into account. My preparation assumes that everyone else does the same.

Christ...When will I ever learn? One of these days, I'll finally figure out that 'p' means loud. 'mf' means loud too. 'f' means loud. 'ff' means a little bit louder. 'pp' means look like you're trying to play soft (but don't take the bait and actually play soft). And here I am all impressed with Verdi's clever use of dynamic markings in this particular aria. He manages to create quite a bit of clarity so all voices can be heard, if the dynamics are observed religiously. When you find a group that makes playing and thinking about the dynamics as marked a real priority, it's a special thing. In fact, that's when performances tend to sizzle.

Alas, I'm going to have to give up on this bit of kiddie claptrap and just return to what I was doing 6 months ago, just yelling through my clarinet for 2 hours. Nice...

That's not why I continued playing the clarinet all these years.

Whose job is it to demand this prioritization? The conductor's. Am I really going to have to get back into that nonsense just hear some composers played they way they wrote?

I think I should just go to bed before I start throwing ChocoPies around my room. The ChocoPies deserve better than that.

Oh...I'll end on a high (?) note. My old tux pants are entirely too big for me now. What the hell? Have the pants gremlins been sneaking in at night and letting out my tux pants again? I'd better leave out some kimchi for them tonight to divert them.


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