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About community orchestras

Discussion in 'Orchestral Technique [DB]' started by Andy Mopley, Jul 18, 2012.

  1. Andy Mopley

    Andy Mopley

    Sep 24, 2011
    Is it common practice for the conductor and the players to actually listen to a piece (together) prior to playing so to explain the subleties to the players? I have not come across it myself but would think it valuable??

    Thanks for reading!
  2. neilG


    Jun 15, 2003
    Ventura, CA
    No, it's not common practice and probably not the best use of limited rehearsal time. It might be interesting in a semester-long HS or college orchestra setting.
  3. Michael Eisenman

    Michael Eisenman Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2006
    Eugene, Oregon
    Our orchestra has its own Facebook page. When we get a new set of pieces to play, we'll post YouTube links for those who want to hear what they sound like--on their own time.
  4. notabene


    Sep 20, 2010
    SF Bay area
    For me, the most valuable use of limited time with a new piece, is to play the piece from beginning to end, with as few stops as possible. Micro managing without a sense of the whole seems like a waste of time. If you are going to dissect as you listen (together) you lose the sense of the whole, and if you aren't going to dissect it, why not listen on your own time?

  5. I guess it depends what concept the orchestra has of what it means to be a 'community' orchestra... is it bringing the music to the community, in which case just get on with it like any performing orchestra, or is it bringing the community in to the orchestra, in which case educational aspects might be more important.

    But then, the most professional and productive rehearsal set I ever did was with the NZ National Youth Orchestra, under Michael Houston. We were doing Shostakovich 10 (think about that for a minute... a youth orchestra, nobody over 25).

    Late one afternoon, Michael talked to us for 20 minutes or so about what the work was, how each movement fitted in to the overall picture, etc. Then we played it straight through, and that was all the rehearsal for the day. Next morning, we tuned up, and he rehearsed little bits and talked for three solid hours, based on notes he'd made the night before from memory (that's an impressive feat in itself). That afternoon, we played it again and it was very nearly there, and rehearsed a couple more untidy bits. We then played parts of it in the dress rehearsal, and did it for real. Best performance of anything I have ever been involved with.

    Point was, talking about the concept of the work and the interpretation can be helpful.
  6. Phil Rowan

    Phil Rowan Supporting Member

    Mar 2, 2005
    Brooklyn, NY
    +1, same here (and if an orchestra doesn't have that policy I'll still find my own study recordings and, if I can, read along with the score).
  7. Violen

    Violen Instructor in the Vance/Rabbath Method Banned

    Apr 19, 2004
    Kansas City Metro Area
    Endorsing Artist: Conklin Guitars (Basses)

    Best advice i have seen for rehearing in a long long time.
  8. Andy Mopley

    Andy Mopley

    Sep 24, 2011
    Yep, Andrew put it splendidly, I agree...

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