Thankful

3 05 2009

I had another rehearsal today with a drastically-reduced (5) orchestra; We put Dante’s Theme from Full Metal Alchemist on the lineup right away (I had just completed arranging it at 1AM that morning), as well as The Opened Way from Shadow of the Colossus, and of course, Woodcarving Partita from Castlevania.

We did The Opened Way first, which is the first time I will actually be conducting the piece, as opposed to playing someone’s part (double bass) while simultaneously directing someone else’s performance. Early in the piece there’s this section where the 1st and 2nd violins double each other an octave apart on top of a tempo I would have to describe as “insistent” – it’s a simple part with just half, quarter, and the occasional eighth note, but I got an immense feeling of pleasure listening to it: there’s really nothing like the live sound being generated by players you can actually see.

Dante’s Theme came about as a suggestion by one of the 1st violins – I must admit it took about 3 listenings before the piece grew on me. But grow it did, and I must say I have never arranged a piece as complex and as densely orchestrated as this one in one sitting. I gave a few pointers on how to get a crisp attack on the 1st violins opening 16th notes (spicatto), placated the whining cellos (the tenor clef was obfuscating them to no end), and finally getting the whole thing running. Even from our initial runthrough, the feel of the piece was already there – as one of the cellists put it: “The melody is so…haunting“.

Woodcarving Partita is not really something we will perform as a full orchestra – it’s written as chamber music for a piano quintet – but we rehearse it as an orchestra anyway, getting the frontliners and the understudies ready in one fell sweep. I have to admit I only really heard, for the first time, the difference between the “orchestral” and “chamber” sounds of a piece.

I realize that I am just rambling at the moment. It’s 2AM on a Sunday morning, I’m not really sleepy enough to shut down the computer – I just want to commit to this journal how thankful I am to God for allowing and enabling me to do what I do: my work with students and the orchestra and the music itself.  I am very, very privileged.

Thank You.

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2 responses

4 05 2009
isaaa

OMG DANTE’S THEME 😥
i didnt get to go again T_________T
my dad had to go somewhere and i didnt know til that morning, so no car. im sorry
wow im excited. i just got into fma again and i downloaded the soundtrack. “brothers” is a nice song from it too

4 05 2009
FaithSensei

Sir balik kayo ah 😉 Pasalubong hehe.

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