Sunday, March 09, 2008
Mr. Beethoven, If You Please
I had a rehearsal for the Island Chamber Symphony. It's a small group (obviously, since it's a chamber group) and I simply get a gas stipend, not a usual check, but I get a lot of enjoyment out of playing for them. It's the only classical music I'm doing lately, and I feel like it keeps me in check and keeps my classical chops in gear.
We're doing (did, since we had our concert earlier today) Beethoven's 8th Symphony, which has this wicked little cello part in the 3rd movement. And I was sitting up front by myself. So I get through it, and the conductor says, "You know, I've heard Ricardo Muti do this with the Philadelphia Philharmonic and I could swear that it's one cello at that point, and since you did it so beautifully, how about you play it alone?"
I was mortified and excited all at once.
So we try it again, this time me playing the part alone. And it's this little minuet type thing where it's just basically the French horns and myself. And I manage to get through it again and sound not-so-bad.
And you know what happened? Everyone applauded! It was so cool. I was embarrassed and damn proud all at once.
The sad thing? I hadn't practiced the part like I had wanted to. I went in and winged it. And it just came so naturally to me. Which always makes me wonder and regret and wish and pontificate. Should I have been a music major? Where would I be now if I had? Is it too late to go back?