Warning: Ranting Lies Herein! Ranting of the good sort, not angry ranting though. :)
Okay, so we're playing this, and I'm really excited, because I've been wanting to play it for a while! What a coincidence!
So this piece actually a telling of the Romeo and Juliet story in and of itself, telling the story with music, rather than words. Sometimes I actually prefer listening to this to reading the play, because the sheer emotional scale of the music is overpowering to me. If you close your eyes, you feel absolutely enveloped in the music, and it goes through so many different emotions! There is a sense of nervous tension almost ever present (even during the famous love theme), and explosive anger and conflict. And there is, I think, a very palpable feeling of helplessness present at certain spots too. Starting around the 15:30 minute mark in the video, the anxious tone grows and grows, until the previously quiet and peaceful, but now soaring and lush love theme returns. This should be a joyful moment, but something in the music sends the message that something is very wrong. The immense timpani rolls make it feel like you're helplessly afloat on a stormy sea.
Of course, I have a rep for being very melodramatic, but hey! This is some of the most emotional music in the world, so I'm in my element here!
Anyway, we've talked about the emotional aspects, so now howabout more on the technical side. This piece has very good parts for pretty much everyone in the orchestra. The brass are totally righteous and can show off really well, the bassoon part actually, is really neato too! The part for violin sounds like so much work, it's very virtuosic. I mean, just listen to the more strife-y parts of the music, and you'll find yourself wondering how they're doing that! The Flute/Piccolo parts are considerably easier, but definitely not easy. There's a lot of coming in on the right beat, and runs fer dayz. But really, it's so much fun to play. The Flute/Piccolo parts are so beautiful (yeah, even the Piccolo gets in on the lovey dovey action!) and I find myself getting totally lost in the music. And that, my friends, is my favorite thing about Orchestra! Well, getting lost in the music, and the occasional free cake when the conductor's birthday lands on a rehearsal night. ;)
Just kidding, stay frosty, my friends!
Music actually starts around 2:00. :)
Next Up: La Mer: From Dawn to Midday on the Sea by Claude Debussy