Last week we had two shows at the Brott festival. On Friday we played The Poulenc double piano concerto, Beethoven's Choral Fantasy, Beethoven 5, and a premiere of a piece written by one of the professors at the college we were performing at for that concert, Redeemer University College. I played 1st on the two Beethoven pieces and 2nd on the Poulenc and the new work. I had never played or heard the Choral Fantasy before this concert cycle... it's a very strange piece, which starts with an extended piano solo which then goes into the "Finale" which constitutes most of the piece. About 3/4 of the way through the work, the choir finally comes in, and the main theme is a kind of prototype of Ode to Joy. Verrry strange... also a scary 16th note passage near the beginning for 1st bassoon! It all went great, though, and the concert seemed well-received overall. Here is a review of that show. Then on Sunday, we played Bruch's Violin Concerto, a piece called Martlet's Muse written by the Maestro's father, Alexander Brott-- which, strangely enough, is about McGill University-- Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante for violin and viola, and Pines of Rome. I played principal for Pines and second for everything else. I'm pretty sure I nailed the opening lick :P but it's kind of hard to actually tell! That concert was especially fun because the orchestra had to bring in extra musicians, so there were plenty of new people. I had recommended my friend Kevin, who was in NYO for the past 2 years with me, so he came in to play contra and did a great job. The soloists for the night were Martin Beaver on violin and Nicolò Eugelmi on viola, and they both did masterclasses the next day for the strings. During that same time the brass had a masterclass with horn player Chris Gongos, and the winds had a masterclass with flutist Leslie Newman.
Today we have a day off, and my housemates and I went to this crazy produce place! It's called Fiddles Wholesale Produce, and it's operated in this warehouse out back of a residential house. They just have a warehouse floor and two giant walk-in freezers, and you fill a cart and a guy with a calculator figures out how much you owe (cash only). It's way better quality than the supermarket and about half the price-- I didn't tabulate everything that I got but my housemate Lara did, and for $30 she got: 5 peppers, a bunch of bananas, an avocado, sweet potato, onion, 5 nectarines, an orange, 2 pints of baby tomatoes, basil, grapes, green beans, a kiwi, a pint of blueberries and a big container of raspberries. I got a similar haul, including a giant thing of lettuce that will keep our six-person house well-fed, salad-wise, for quite a while.
For the next week we have a bit of a break on the repertoire, since it's two pops shows. The first one is Frank Sinatra, and the second is a SECRET. I'm not kidding, I actually can't tell you. I can tell you to come to the show after that, though, which is Broadway, and the one after that, which is three different versions of the Romeo and Juliet story-- Prokofiev's, Tchaikovsky's, and the Symphonic Dances from West Side Story. You can browse the concerts here.