Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Summertime, and the livin' is easy

It certainly has been an eclectic summer, musically speaking! From Tchaikovsky to Michael Jackson to the Eagles and NOW, this week, to famed Baltimore composers Philip Glass and Frank Zappa. I practiced the Zappa music today; it looks like he probably admired Bela Bartok (I do too), as he uses lots of irregular meters, snap pizzicati (where we pull the string hard enough while plucking it to make it hit against the fingerboard of the violin) and glissandi (obviously sliding between notes).

But before we play Glass and Zappa Friday night, Thursday night we FINALLY get to perform Gershwin's Porgy and Bess. We were supposed to do it (three times, I think) in February, but there was that little blizzard or three we had. We lost all of those performances.

I love Porgy and Bess; besides all the wonderful songs that became so popular, there is lots of less familiar music that Gershwin composed in between the songs. After all, opera is mainly a piece of music that just happens to have a plot and characters, right? So while characters are performing some action other than singing, or the strange changes are occurring, instead of just waiting, we in the orchestra play some pretty cool stuff. Actually it is some of the most intense symphonic music that I know of by Gershwin, very moody and dark, action packed. Since we often perform only the songs from the opera, we don't get to play these fairly serious sections nearly as much. I am excited to rehearse and perform them this week.

And to top it all off, Marin will be back (a rarity in the summer!) to guide us through all the music Thursday and Friday. I'm looking forward to seeing her again.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Greg,
    I just found your blog. I woke esrly and I'm looking for some music, as in concerts. But I realize your season is just starting. My sons and I will probablt pick a series soon. They are grown and know what they want.

    I sang in the BSO's Chrus for about 20 years. Best time of my life! Plus, I knew it. I used to thank G-d when I was on stage and realized I was singing with world class musicians (I thought so). Sounds corny, but true.

    I remember your wife Jeanne. But only breifly. She sang in the Altos and we struck up a conversation or two. But then, I think you and she struck up a relationship. I don't remember the year. Very pretty young lady. I'm about ten years older than she is. Of course you and she eventually married.

    I didn't realize until this morning that she teaches at McDongh school. I found that when I goggle her. It just so happens, I live on McDonogh rd. She probably passes my house every day on her eway to work. Say, Hi for me.

    O.K.,back to music. I loved Porgy and Bess. I've been accompanying them for years! My parents were musicians. My mother sang and my Father played violin. We occasionally played together but my father outclassed us by a long shot. He was concertmaster for the D.C. Concert Group. Not the National Symphony. But, he was good.

    That's it. I'll keep you posted as to what we pick for the comming year. Take Care!

    Marian Wasser

    concert Group