With Fall comes the new season of Orchestra Toronto and by all signs, it’s looking like it’s going to be a good one! Albeit – the rep for the first concert is a bit of a snoozer for tuba, save ‘The Moldau’. We’re doing R. Strauss ‘Last Four Songs’, ‘Three Nocturnes’ by Debussy, (as mentioned) ‘The Moldau’ by Smetana and ‘The Magic Flute’ overture by Mozart – the last one sans me, of course. Tuba didn’t exist at the time.
The Strauss is going to be beautiful, no doubt, but it’s a total bore to rehearse. The conductor is spending LOTS of time with the strings, and understandably. So much of that rides on them. There is so much more interesting Strauss rep to choose from too.
I’m really looking more forward to the next few concerts. They’ll include the ‘March to the Scaffold’ by Berlioz from his ‘Symphonie Fantastique’. This piece requires two tubas, so you can understand why I’m excited about that one. Though the second part for that movement is nothing to write home about so I’m tempted to play the second part for that to make it more worthwhile for the extra player to show up.
We’re also going to be playing some of Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet as well as some movements from Holst’s Planets. Once again, I’m really looking forward to those concerts. I last (and first) played Mars while in the Ottawa Youth Orchestra. That was a lot of fun. Hopefully we also play Jupiter.
So now, in a week and a day, we’re playing our first concert. I’m using my Eb – for a few reasons. First, the Strauss requires a mute. My only mute at this time fits my Eb. I was interested in playing the C for the Moldau, but honestly, it sounds better on the Eb. There are enough sharps in the keys that they are more like flats and the Eb tuba rings much better with them (despite the E major ending). But I don’t want to feel restricted by mute requirements, so I’m looking into a mute to fit my C. I would have liked to have played Pictures at an Exhibition on my C last year (yes, despite the Eb major ending to the piece).
If you’re in Toronto, I hope to see you at the concerts.