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paganiniboy

Bartok Music for Strings,Percussion,Celesta info

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Does anybody have neat info on this piece? My orchestra performed this yesterday (only 2nd and 4th movements). Also, about how long do you think does it take for a pro orch to be able to peform it? Our's sounded amazing, but of course had some flaws - a youth orch was performing! Intonation wise we were perfect, and rhythm wise also on the dot, but this piece is SO hard to get down musically for every part; you kinda just want to cocentrate on your part, and thats it, but knowing the other side's part makes it sound even better, dont you think?

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Congratulations on performing a great and difficult work. I had the good fortune to play this under the baton of Dr. Paul Sacher, who commissioned the work from Bartok. We did a mini tour through Switzerland and Italy playing it and other interesting pieces. The orchestra did 6 rehearsals over the period of about a week and a half. But, as you mentioned, with the difficulty of the work, many of the musicians had scores which we would study on the bus.

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It is a cool piece. I'm pretty sure I've played it twice. The first time, I think we had five rehearsals over the space of a week and a half. Now, we pretty much prepare everything in four rehearsals and a concert within a four day period. I prefer having more time to digest, but that's the way it is. We do get the music a couple weeks in advance of the first rehearsal though.

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Sorry to say, I havn't had the opportunity to either play it or even hear a live performance - envy you. From a listerner's point of view the first sections are hard to get into until the tempo picks up. (I'm sure it's different if you're playing it.) From that point of view I prefer the Divertimento.

A piece I would love to play is the Stravinsky Concerto for Strings. Sounds like fun (probably also very difficult).

Good luck to you.

Omo.

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"From a listerner's point of view the first sections are hard to get into until the tempo picks up."

I don't feel that way at all. For me, the fugue in the first movement is sublime.

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No problem with that comment - I defer to your greater familiarily with the music. I will confess to being a fairly late devotee of B.B's music except for the string quartets which I studied (but not played) at music school some 30 years back and was as fresh-faced as our friend, 'Paganiniboy' above.

Omo.

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Well thanks a lot guys, I appreciate you're reply's. Unfortunately it always seems when I post something now adays I have to leave right away to my 'real-world' which is a city away where there is no computer for me. And now it seems the times will be more difficult as my family is moving to texas and i'll move to toronto, so whew its going to be a messy few weeks.

About the Bartok, it was mentioned that the fugue in the first movement was 'sublime', well I completely agree - Bartok was a genius. Although amazing parts, his fuges in the piece, the one in the second movement is extremely difficult (intonation wise) and even more - its hard for the audience to understand this at all. Playing this piece for parents isn't a prime choice, but for musicians, you can not go wrong!

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I fluked finding an advertisement for a concert yesterday that featured the Boromeo Quartet playing all six of Bartok's series in one sitting. (There can't be too many opportunities like that!)

Also had to chance to speak with one of the quartet before the 3 hour performance and asked how they approached the endeavour - something like preparing for a marathon? I thought the reply was instructive:

"More or less like playing two consecutive concerts; and probably a greater feat of concentration for the listener than the performers. The audience brings its own expectations which we may or may not fulfill.

While the first 3 may not be that demanding, Quartets 4-6 are each considerable works in themselves and would suffice for one half of any normal billing. Basically you need to keep up the fluids and take each work one at a time."

As to the performance:

I have been listening to (but never played) these works on and off for 30 years but never took the trouble to consider seriously the evolution of style, technique, content throughout the series. Usually one hears different performances under different conditions, or hardly sit through all six in one session. From that point of view this was a golden opportunity.

Many thoughts occured to me - influences/similarities with Debussy, Ravel, even Marler than I hadn't contemplated before - and connections to Berg and Verese?

Someone afterwards - a much more studied observer than I -suggested the 4th and 6th in particular were outstanding (we had both, by coincidence, listening to recording by the Emerson Quartet beforerhand.)

Committed, convincing. Hats off to the Boromeo!

Omo.

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