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Thoughts on Janaćek

Today We start rehearsing ‘Cunning little vixen’. I know a little about this piece. It may surprise you to find out that I don’t know the story inside out by this stage. Actually most operas are the same for me. Of course during the run I eventually find out the whole story (Carmen withstanding) but I find that it’s the sound of the music that is important for me. My job is to provide the colour of my sound into the collective soundscape/music that accompanies the story. Therefore if I have my own interpretation of the story perhaps I’ll start doing my own thing in the pit. It’s important to do this as that would muddy the coherence of our collective music making - guided by the conductor. Tomas Hanus in this case.

Tomas is a brilliant Janaćek interpreter anyway so I’ll go with him. What this means in practical terms for me of course is that he allows me to play loud. So he must be right!

For any student orchestral musician earring this it’s always a good idea to keep in mind that your role is to create sound that contributes to the whole. A bit like an individual brush stroke in an oil painting. Yes you can use expression and sensitivity however the sound colour, ensemble, balance and blending are, in tutti, paramount.

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