January 29, 2009



Dottie: So let’s talk about all these amazing brass goings-on for tonight and Saturday’s concerts. The audience is going to get a huge surprise for their eyes and ears, right?

Flo: The Gabrieli is a really amazing brass fanfare from the 16th century, for a mixture of brass instruments (trumpets, trombones, bass trombone, horn and tuba)! Makes you feel like you’re in some kind of Renaissance church, where it was originally meant to be played. The audience will see that these players are going to be split between the stage and in the hall itself (!) in 2 groups of 8. An awesome sonic experience. Super boomy. Chip Ross, our principal timpanist will also be onstage. He sets the tone for the “announcement” of the fanfare. You know how those cool drum rolls give you chills?

Dottie: You mean there’s no orchestra, just brass and the timpani? What’s the rest of the orchestra doing?

Flo: They’re backstage having coffee. J Not really.

Dottie: OK, so it sounds like there’s this kind of “call and response” thing between the two groups. Kind of like a battle of the bands…?

Flo: Well, sort of. It’s an “antiphonal” effect, and the audience is gonna love it! And there’s more to come later in the program.

Dottie: The Janacek Sinfonietta?

Flo: We have12 trumpets, two bass trumpets, 6 horns, 4 trombones, 2 euphoniums and a tuba. It’s huge. Combine it with the rest of the orchestra and the chandelier starts to shake!

Dottie: Are they playing in different locations too?

Flo: They’re on different risers on-stage so the effect will be tremendous.

Dottie: I saw all the photos in the media about violinist Leila Josefowicz, who’s playing the Beethoven Violin Concerto. So what’s she really like?

Flo: She’s great. Smart, but very down to earth. And she’s already a fan of Java’s, so we love her, right?

Dottie: Absolutely. A girl after my own coffee, uh, heart. I understand that the Beethoven Concerto is really passionate and expressive. What’s this about her writing her own cadenza?

Flo: It’s kind of like a “riff” - a chance for the soloist to show their virtuosity. She’s written her own cadenza for this concerto, which is awesome - most soloists these days play cadenzas written by other people. She’s unique and not afraid to put her own musical interpretation out there.

Dottie: I’m at the bottom of my coffee cup, so that’s it for now. See you at the Theatre!

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