Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Rehearsal schedule (2-24-09)

Quick reminder: No rehearsals this week (24th, and 26th). We begin on the Oratorio rehearsals on March 3rd.

Labels: ,

Premier concert w/Beethoven on keyboard...

I wasn't going to post this until after the concert, since you never know what's going to happen. This is a snip from the New Mexico Symphony program notes page for the Beethoven Piano Concerto, which they are doing in March. Now that our performance has past, I thought you might get a kick out of reading their write-up on the premier concert:

"What a shambles it must have been that December night in Vienna. 1808, if memory served. Bloody hopeless patrons, under-rehearsed players, a dim and shivering audience. And which bright spark imagined it a good idea to premiere the Fifth and the mighty Pastoral on the same night? Plus the Fourth Concerto? Plus the Choral Fantasia. Four hours in an unheated hall. No wonder it was a disaster. Nowadays, with a decent agent, a diligent manager--or better still, with an enlightened patron who might dispel the need for these grubbing ten-per-centers... Sir Jack felt for the mighty Ludwig, he truly did."

- from England, England by Julian Barnes

Such were the conditions at the first performance of the Fourth Piano Concerto, during a massive concert devoted to Beethoven's music at Vienna's Theater an der Wein. The concert was marred by a tragi-comic series of accidents. Beethoven was performing the piano solo part but as Louis Spohr recalled: "at the first tutti, forgetting that he was the soloist, he jumped up and began to conduct in his own peculiar fashion. At the first sforzando he threw out his arms so wide that he knocked over both the lamps from the music stand of the piano. The audience laughed, and Beethoven was so beside himself over this that he stopped the orchestra and made them start over again. Ignaz von Seyfried, worried for fear this would happen again in the same place, took the precaution of ordering two boys from the chorus to stand next to Beethoven and hold the lamps in their hands. One of them innocently stepped closer to follow the music from the piano part, but when the fatal sforzando burst forth, the poor boy received such a sharp slap in the face from Beethoven's right hand that he dropped the lamp on the floor. The other boy, more wary, succeeded in avoiding the blow by ducking in time. If the audience had laughed the first time, they now indulged in a bacchanalian riot. Beethoven was in such a fury that when he struck the first chord of the solo entrance he broke six strings. After this incident, Beethoven wanted to give no more concerts."

Sometimes our perceptions of an 'icon' keeps us from remembering that they are simply... human... Here's the full program notes page.

Good job, everyone! R

Labels: , ,

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Musipedia added to Orchestra Toolbar

We've added a new resource to the SEK Symphony Toolbar. Click on the toolbar "links", then "Practice Helps" to find the Musipedia melody search page. Along with the online tuner and metronome sites, the Musipedia will help you with your studies by allowing you to pin down those melodies you can't identify.

You may use your mouse with a piano keyboard interface, or using the "Parsons code", you may locate a melody using the melodic contour.

Other features? Search by rhythmic contour by tapping them out at the computer keyboard, play into your computer's microphone, or use the mouse to draw notes on a staff.

There is also a link on their page to a site called "Melodyhound" which you should also try. Experiment and let us know which ones you like the best!

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Dress Week Rehearsal schedule (2-16 / 2-22)

Here's the rehearsal schedule for the upcoming week:

All rehearsals and the concert is in McCray

No rehearsal Tuesday ~

Wednesday: 7:00 - 9:30


Master classes - 1pm Recital hall – Orchestral Seminar

Viola master class - 2pm ( McCray 211 – )

STRINGS Rehearsal -7-9:30pm McCray

Friday - 7:00 - 9:30

Saturday - 1:00 - 3:30

Concert Sunday - 3:00 (Call @ 2:30)

Labels: , ,

Friday, February 06, 2009

New features on the SEKSO Toolbar

A couple of new features have been added to the SEK Symphony Browser Toolbar (follow the heading link if you'd like to install). We've added links to two sites, the first an online metronome and A440 tuner, the other a tuning web site utilizing a five-octave keyboard. There are also settings for the string pickers. Selecting "viola/tenor banjo" gives you C G D A buttons, etc., and you can loop through the open strings while tuning. You may also select the timbre of pitches, vary pitch by cents, or transpose by semitones.

The web sites open in a new tab/window, so you don't leave a page you may be on at the time.

So, if you have a laptop, and have it handy while you practice or study, consider the toolbar. It's similar to a Google or Yahoo toolbar, but specific to music study and the web site. It even has a great online radio player, but we've padded it with Classical radio stations.

And where on earth is the tenor banjo section, anyway?