|Home | About | Journals | Submit | Contact Us | Français|
Another year, which really began last summer when several orchestra members staggered, exhausted, off a late flight from Berlin (where we had played Mahler One in the Konzerthaus) with the November concert already looming on the horizon. But it began even earlier, when two orchestra members met at a Prom; the programme included Schubert's Great C Major Symphony, and both spoke as one; ‘We must play that!’. And last November we did, the orchestra cheerfully disregarding the risks of RSI in the hectic finale (described as ‘a matchless poem of speed’). How would so polyglot a band cope with quintessential Englishness, as in Vaughan Williams’ overture The Wasps? The orchestra lapped it up as it did Dvorak's Cello Concerto. A rehearsal memory is a cello front-desk sisterhood of GP and anaesthetist; each knew that concerto well, taking it in turns to play the solo part to help us work on the piece. And then, Verona–hot and humid in summer; we played in the Teatro Filharmonico, all marble and red plush. We managed the disciplined brash swagger of Verdi's Nabucco overture; we were suitably reticent as we accompanied Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto, and the rehearsals of Dvorak's New World stretched us to our limit. Some of us, almost, dismissed its familiarity (a concert hall cliché!) but that familiarity masked true greatness, and we were on the edge of our seats with bated breath in that aching loneliness at the slow movement's end, where solo violin and cello play into each other's hearts. And so to London, to the Duke's Hall at the Royal Academy of Music, described by a violin playing ophthalmologist from Germany as the orchestra's London home. There we play Shostakovich's Festive Overture; Brahms First Piano Concerto, and Sibelius's Fifth Symphony after the usual hectic rehearsal weekend. Next summer? Poznan. Our programme? Beethoven Nine, no less.