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And so it begins

February 14, 2012

Beethoven for Valentine’s Day . . . how romantic.

At least it would be if it was an actual performance, and not just rehearsal with the Symphony.  Rehearsal was on for tonight, then it was off, and then it was on again once our conductor looked at the calendar and realized it’s only five more weeks until we perform Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and maybe we’d better not cancel rehearsal after all!

I’m ok with it though.  We need all the rehearsal time we can get.  Beethoven’s Ninth is huge!  It’s not often a community orchestra can attempt such a piece and I want to do it justice.  I happen to know that the choir has had their music since December and they only have to sing the 4th movement.  We have to learn the first three as well!

My symphony just played our annual Vienna Ball fundraiser event last weekend.  It only required four celli though, so I opted out of playing.  I was a little burned out after two concerts in two weeks back in January and I really wanted to get a head start on the Beethoven.  I discovered a wonderful little site called the International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP) which is a community-built library of public domain sheet music.  We’re talking all the individual parts to practically any symphony you can think of!  Of course I didn’t discover it until after I paid $2.95 elsewhere to download the 25 pages of the cello part to the Beethoven.  I figured three bucks was worth it though to get a headstart.  At least, that was my intention.  There was that feeling of burnout, then I went to Rootstech, and well…I didn’t actually get around to printing it out or practicing until yesterday.  And then the printer wouldn’t print.  I had to resort to reading it off my laptop last night and scrolling down after every three lines of music.

This is the piece I’ve been dying to play for years, but at the same time it scares me.  It’s just so huge!  I can already identify a couple of heinous sections that will probably have me pulling out my hair in the next few weeks (so remind me I wanted to play this one!)  And maybe I should reserve judgment until after rehearsal tonight, but overall, I think the biggest challenge will just be the endurance aspect of it.  I’m not in the best playing shape at the moment, and big huge pieces like this are just hard to play from beginning to end.  I’m not a runner, but I imagine it’s a little bit like running a marathon.  At least I’m very familiar with the piece which always helps when practicing just the cello part.  I’m excited to put it together.  It will be like getting to know an old friend.  Five weeks of intense practice and rehearsal might not turn out to be so bad!

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