Tuesday, April 7, 2015


Tonight was our regular symphony rehearsal for the Tampa Bay Symphony and we are currently working on Shostakovich's Symphony No. 5 (for Big Orchestra), Aaron Copland's “Lincoln Portrait” and Prokofiev's Third Piano Concerto and this is a difficult concert, so much time is spent on individual practice, although tonight I felt like a complete golem. Just insert key, wind me up, and turn me loose. I never met a pianissimo that wasn't improved by at least playing mezzo forte. This is rather unfortunate, as I'm sitting right up front. Well, shit. Even the principal cellist looked at me. I like to think I'm my very own personal panzer division on the march to Leningrad, but that's another batch of symphonies written by Shostakovich, so I'm just screwed all the way around.

Anyway, we all survived, and on the way home, remembered that I had this really boffo topic for today, but had forgotten to post earlier, oops. But, it's a howler. This is one of those things that makes the rounds every few years and it's a play on bad music that is written by overly-anal composers who insist on micro-managing and writing in every wished-for nuance, rubato dynamic and tempo change, no matter how minute, with no artistic latitude left to the musician. Thankfully, there is less and less of it, but just study this for a moment:

courtesy of and written by:Michael Stump                           

Here is a presentation by the Aurora Music Teachers' Association at the CSMTA Festival. Included are "release the penguins" and "sell the mute". Ha ha.

Last, but in no way the least, we have the “Musician's Theory of Relativity”. This is both a play on words and a sly dig at enharmonics and the confusion they cause, when you're playing in C Major and all of a sudden you find a slap-in-the-face key change to E minor. You just go right ahead and enjoy that puppy; meanwhile, I'm gonna go into 2nd position and pretend I'm playing in C Major or whatever it takes to keep my brain from frying. When you start running into double sharps and flats, you're in Richard Strauss or Alban Berg territory, so don't think you're going to go and leech off of the second violins or the cellists. They have they're own problems.

It is my understanding that Albert Einstein played the violin! I think everyone should play who wants to, but only if they're world-class physicists. Just kidding.

Anyway, it is a short post day. Tomorrow I'm going to talk about George Gershwin and class up the joint for a change! 
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