Musical activities

On Saturday I played in a concert with one of my current two orchestras, the South Cheshire Orchestra. It wasn’t the most exciting programme, but there were two pieces that I enjoyed playing, Rossini’s ‘Thieving Magpie’ overture and Borodin’s ‘Steps of Central Asia’. The first of these has some challenging (and very audible) scale passages for the trombone section, and the second, although not particularly challenging, gave me a chance to use my alto trombone for a change! The concert went well, although we had the usual rather small audience.

Next Saturday it’s the turn of the Middlewich Concert Orchestra, where I’m involved in 2 pieces. Mozart’s Magic Flute Overture is a real favourite. He uses the trombones to good effect, and it’s always good to play Mozart (given that he didn’t use trombones in his symphonies or in some of his other operas, e.g. the Marriage of Figaro). The other piece is Brahm’s 2nd symphony. I like all Brahm’s symphonies, and my only slight issue with the second is that we are underused! But when we do play it is interesting, and (hopefully) effective. I’ll be using the alto trombone for both of these, although I recently read a discussion of Brahms’ orchestration which suggested he intended the first part to be played on a tenor trombone. If that was the case, the players involved must have had very good high registers, since the first part is written in the alto clef for a reason. The other factor might have been that the trombones in use then had narrower bores, and therefore required less displacement of air. Anyway, we’ll see how it goes! I’ll no doubt report back on Facebook and Twitter after the concert.

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