13 December 2016

Hard one

Maybe I say this after every concert. This Maruki concert was as hard as anything I've played. It's also the best we've played the pieces (my perennial "she'll be right on the night" optimism). This Maruki concert was the best we've played these pieces. And the pieces were tricky. Saint-Saens Havanaise is a pretty easy read despite frequent changes of time signature and a tricky passage of thirds on the basses. That went nicely with the very capable Georgina Tran playing the violin solo out front. So young, so capable. Then Rossini William Tell overture. Everyone knows this one, especially the stormy, fast, tricky bit, but the work is four parts run in together with several tricky lines (not least chromatic runs at brisk speed and some latin dotted-crochet arpeggio-like phrases that jump into the thumb positions) but to sit on that idyllic pastoral melody or to bounce the two bass parts against each other (one playing on 1,2,3; the other playing an octave up on 1+,2+,3+) was a pleasure. When I got time, I noticed some impressively neat, fast, nicely intoned high strings which were a pleasure. Then John Gould, our leader, taking the solo violin role in Bruch violin concerto no.1. It's always a huge pleasure to play with a true professional (LSO principal viola, retired) and to hear his playing, so well phrased, incisive, intoned. (Mostly we hear his humourous tales of conductors and orchestras at rehearsal instead). Maruki member and ANUSOM graduate Elisha Adams took the baton to lead Bruch (her major was violin performance but she's found a recent interest in conducting). She did nicely with clear leads and I liked when the basses got a big smile for coming in on time after a particularly long count (I guess she was relieved). Then afternoon tea and the big work of the day: Dvorak symphony no.7 D minor. This may be the most difficult work I've played - symphonic in scope, complex with interleaved themes and phrasings, neat but also unpredicted. It's a work you need to know well or read very carefully, and we did it some community orchestra justice. So, another successful and challenging outing for Maruki.

Maruki Community Orchestra performed Saint-Saens, Bruch, Rossini and Dvorak at Albert Hall under John Gould and Elisha Adams (conductors) with soloists Georgina Chan and John Gould (violin).

No comments: