Another good working rehearsal and further progress being made in all areas.

A point made by Harold, of taking your score/part with you and just looking through it , marking bits that stand out or thinking through your part is important. I know both Harold and myself spend hours looking through the scores and studying them, comparing them to the recordings we have made and comparing those recordings to the commercial ones available. I realise that some members might not have the time or the dedication to this program that we do, but do this for your own playing development. Within 24 hours of rehearsal I write extensive notes, a few that I share with you here but others that are for my eyes only regarding my own efforts and my role to be a good understudy to Harold should the need arise.

Irish Tune…. The first entries are critical, we get one chance at being together. It’s vital that we breath in together and start the note together at bar 1 bar 33 and bar 49. The entry at 49 is only forte yet there is a substantial lift in volume as more instruments enter, we need to counter this by playing a little below forte at this time and allowing the phrase to grow.

Phantom: letter H practice the articulation of 2 slurred and 2 tongued and watch the key signature
letter M: clarinets need to watch the grouping of the quavers here ensuring that we don’t add a quaver rest into the last group. The soloist needs to be aware of the syncopated phrase in bar 2 it’s not like the melody we think we know.
Letter O: check the rhythm of bar 2 again it’s like the soloist at M the phrase is syncopated not straight like we tend to play it
Letter R: the shot notes are improving but require more breath support and preparation so they can be controlled more effectively
Letter S: upper winds, grace notes need to be together and not detracting from the value or position of the main note
Letter Q: watch the accents in the quavers throughout this section.

Exuberance: much better start and flow into the new tempo at bar 11, possibly some more separation of the syncopated rhythm might help us boost the feeling of freedom here.
The last 6 or so bars need some work on the changing dynamics, the growth to FFF is unique to this phrase as in all other cases it is a short crescendo followed by a reduction in. Volume, here it grows continuously and then we need to maintain FFF over the next 2 bars before an immediate drop to forte to conclude.

The main word at this stage is to LISTEN…. To yourself and your tuning but more importantly listen to the ensemble, it’s vital that the melody is heard and the balance is maintained right across the band.

Lemon Meringue pie: delicious