Music, Music, Music
It's been a busy few weeks. A few weeks ago the orchestra whose second violins I lead (and on whose committee I sit) put on a concert of Debussy, Berlioz and Stravinsky. It went amazingly well: sizable and appreciative audience, and musically excellent as well. Emily Mitchell sang the Berlioz songs beautifully.
Then just over a week later my string quartet
took part in one of Edinburgh Music Club's monthly soirees. We've played there several times before, but this time we played an early Schoenberg quartet: not much heard but delightful. From his Brahmsian period.
So now ESO are back rehearsing a new programme, of Sibelius's Seventh Symphony, Poulenc's Organ Concerto, Rimsky-Korsakov's Golden Cockerel suite, and Mussorgsky's Night on the Bare Mountain. We're also due to be filmed for use as a backdrop when Worbey and Farrell appear in the Fringe this summer performing their arrangement of Malcolm Arnold'a concerto for two pianos (three hands).
Which should be interesting....
Finally, a film amd media student called Lisa Gordon contacted me to see whether SHE could film the orchestra for an unusual project. I'll let her explain in her own words:
I would be looking to film you during a rehearsal, and I would be wanting everyone to be playing as normal, but during this piece I would be going round the orchestra (only people who wanted to participate - I understand that probably wouldn't be everyone) and trying to make the piece "fall apart" in a way, giving them graphic scores to read from, handing them broken instruments, possibly swapping instruments, playing music in their ears to distract them. Trying to show the importance of live performance and musical talent in today;s often technology-run music world by taking it away.
So a kind of amalgam of Andy Warhol, Cornelius Cardew and John Cage, with a side order of Frank Zappa (or maybe the Bonzo Dog Band). For various reasons the orchestra wasn't interested collectively, but I passed out her details and I know some members have been in touch. As for me, well, I could hardly resist being at the cutting edge of art, even if it is a very 1960s kind of art. The basic premise rather appeals to me, quite apart from the fun of such an anarchic project. So I have persuade the quartet to allow Lisa to, er, interact with our next rehearsal. We're in between concerts right now, so we're not desperately trying to perfect anything. We can give Lisa a choice between our playing something we already know (such as the Schoenberg, or some light music) or something we're not really familiar with. I must say I'm looking forward to it: the three ladies of the quartet (dubbed "Rob's Angels" by one of their daughters) may feel they're being swept along on a tsunami of Saunders enthusiasm. Not for the first time, and surely not for the last.
Anyway, that's some of what I've been up to recently (and will be up to in the near future).