Friday, October 30, 2020

NSO horns rehearsal

 30 October 2020

On 14 March I played Beethoven’s ‘Symphony No 5’ with the Milton Keynes Sinfonia at the Chrysalis Theatre in Milton Keynes (reviewed here in March 2020). As I wrote here at the time, it was an inspirational evening that felt like a bright moment of hope in dark times, but there was a strong expectation that this might be the last live music any of us experiences for quite a while. Since March I have practised playing my French horn at home, I have taken part in several multi-part lockdown recordings and I have pioneered experimental online orchestra rehearsals using the Jamulus software – but I have really missed making music together with other people in the same room. Last night, 229 days after that Milton Keynes Sinfonia concert, I finally got the chance to take part in a real live face-to-face rehearsal. Four of the horn players from the Northampton Symphony Orchestra met at St Mary’s Church in Wollaston, Northamptonshire, to play through some horn quartets. This recently refurbished church provided comfortable surroundings, plenty of room for us to be significantly socially distanced from each other and a pleasantly flattering acoustic. It was really exciting to see each other again after such a long break, and to play music together in which we could make eye contact and co-ordinate timing. We played some simple tunes before attempting a few more ambitious arrangements, including the two pieces we had recorded as multi-part lockdown videos earlier this year (the Scherzo from Shostakovitch ‘Symphony No 10’: and ‘It Don't Mean a Thing if It Ain't Got That Swing’ by Duke Ellington & Irvin Mills: Playing these live revealed quite how much editing we had each done to our recordings! As a thank you to the church, we also recorded a live performance of ‘Silent Night’ which will be used in the St Mary’s virtual Christmas carol concert. With rising infection rates across the country and severe local restrictions already in place in many areas, we were very lucky to be able to get together yesterday evening. I hope we can meet again soon but I’m incredibly thankful we managed to play music together this week.



Post a Comment

<< Home