APO players’ rehearsal and practice wiki

The APO players’ practice and rehearsal wiki captures information from rehearsals, to help any players who couldn’t make a given session, or to help those who were there remember what happened! The source of that information is YOU – the APO players. Send us your observations on Facebook, Twitter, email, the comments box below, or use the white sheets at rehearsals, and Andrew will transcribe it onto this page for everyone to see.

Notes from listening to the RD5 recordings are in blue.

Debussy
We identified there are some markings missing/different from the critical edition I’m using. Here’s a list of what I’ve picked up, so far, for you to add to your parts (plus some other general notes). Sorry for the lack of French letter accents:
  • There’s lots of subtle phrasing dynamics, and little pushes and pulls that aren’t marked. I can’t spell them all out, but I’ll write a few in this list. Starting with figure 1. Strings, you can listen to Caroline’s flute line and lean towards the bottom of her phrase (on the third crotchet beat), then come back and almost stop, so that the second bar is just as magical a pp entry as the first, rather than it going straight through. The nature of the phrasing is that we’ll probably push and pull those first two bars of the flute line, then enjoy the extension to the mini-phrase as it resolves into the oboe solo). I’ll sing this in rehearsal so that it makes more sense, as we’ll do it each and every time this phrase is played (except at figures 8 and 9, which are the exception).
  • Four before figure 2, something similar. On the string parts, it just looks like the scrubbing continues through the bar line, but have a listen to the way the wind players crescendo up to the bar line, then magically fall back to piano to start the next phrase. You don’t need to do the big hairpin they’re doing, but you can lean as we go through the bar, then come back just before we hit the bar line and really place the first beat of the next bar.
  • Four before figure 2, I’ll probably conduct this in 3 dotted crochets, to allow the phrase to develop, complete with the amazing hairpins. Back to quavers bar before 2.
  • Violas and outside cellos, mark yourselves up to piano in the second bar of 2 and enjoy the quaver movement. Then everyone mark a little pull back at the end of the bar, so we can all rephrase and place the 3rd bar as a new phrase.
  • 2nds, violas and cellos, mark up the 4th bar of 2 to start at piano and again, enjoy the hairpin over the quaver movement.
  • Little pull back to end the phrase at the end of the 5th bar of 2. Not much, just enough to place the start of the next phrase.
  • Mark a ‘cedez’ (slower) in from the last beat of two before figure 3, with ‘au mouvt’ (a tempo) at figure 3 itself
  • Strings, the pizz in the second bar of 3 should be piano (not sfz, which the one two bars later is)
  • 3rd bar of 3, eyes out for a little pull back to end the phrase (so Caroline, keep an eye on my upbeat for where to place your grace notes). Same deal going into figure 4, but not so much pull back (probably).
  • Figure 4, I’ll probably go into crotchet beats, showing the quavers only where required.
  • 3rd bar of 4, 2nds and cellos please start your crescendo from mp. Next bar, 1sts please join them at mf and crescendo all the way up to forte at the top of the phrase.
  • Back to quavers bar before 6, until the 5th bar, where I’ll only show them sparingly (back to crochets)
  • Add a ‘cedez un peu’ (slow a little) in the 4th bar of 6. We then carry on at the slower tempo (but in crochets)
  • Teeny pull back at the end of the 4th of 7, just so we can all crescendo to the bar line, but have enough time to place the pp in the 5th bar,
  • There’s very little room for you to squeeze it on the part, but the 5th bar of 7 is marked ‘en animant’ (gradually becoming more animated). There’s no need for any huge speed up, though. The music will take us along there.
  • In the ninth bar of 7 we move it on just a tiny bit more with a ‘toujours anime’
  • 6 before figure 8, slow it up with a ‘cedez un peu’ for that bar. I’ll beat it in quavers, then stay that way until figure 8.
  • Strings, 2nd bars of figures 8 and 9 – the exception to the phrasing of the opening theme. Though it’s not marked, listen to the way the flute (and oboe, second time round), diminuendo into the 3rd bar, and just pull back your dynamic to ppp (which gives you an excuse to grow the hairpin more in the 3rd bar)
  • Bar before 9, just a slight pull back to the bar line (this is an Andrew addition)
  • The ‘retenu’ into figure 10, I’ll show the last three quavers to try to help the clarinets and Tom, but also so that we can all be as together as possible on the bar line.
  • Figure 10, yes, ‘Dans le 1er mouvt’ (at the very first tempo), but please also add ‘avec plus de langeur’ (with more languidness). I’ll beat it in crotchets, especially as we’ve 3s (flutes and oboes) against 2s (front desk 1sts and cello leader solos).
  • Two before 11, although the time signature is still 4/4, I’ll be beating it like 12/8 (a 4-beat pattern each split into 3 quavers)
  • Bar before 12, I will stay in triplet quavers, slowing up, so strings with duplet quavers, you’ll need to fit them in after the second quaver of each (dotted crotchet) beat. If this doesn’t make sense in writing, don’t worry – we’ll rehearse it!
  • In the first bar of 12, the only movement is from the harps who have duplet quavers, so I’ll show duplets in this bar (as it’s very slow and I don’t want them to have to guess the tempo). I’ll revert to 12/8 beat (4 beats each split into 3 quavers) in the next bar, particularly to help the horns and 1st violins move off their dotted quavers. Again, don’t worry if that makes no sense – it worked fine in the first rehearsal. 🙂

Samara

Rehearsal notes (including comments from Laura):

  • Bars 3-4 – Mel (cello) please could you add a little diminuendo to help the handover of the line to the oboe?
  • Bar 5 – Elysia please mark up Fl.1 to p crescendo to mp
  • Bar 6 – the wind staccato can be very short. To help get the string pizz together – it’s worth remembering that  semiquavers are quite slow at this speed.
  • Bars 7-9 – everything drops away in the texture here. That’s the intention, in case anyone is wondering what’s meant to be going on!
  • General comment about A (and a lot of other places) – there’s just quite a lot of rushing going on. This will probably settle down as we rehearse, but try to approach it from a mindset of there being plenty of time to play all the notes and to make it successful we need to retain composure.
  • We may start the official poco rit marked in bar 15 a little earlier, so keep ’em peeled.
  • Cellos in bar 25-28 make sure this is sotto voce (but very together). We may cut down to half the section.
  • If you can’t hear the violin solo in bar 34, you’re probably playing too loud.
  • It’s useful to know that D to E is about opposing duplet and triplet rhythms. Thus, be really disciplined with whichever you have, so we really hear them opposing accurately.
  • Keep letter E flowing (it slowed down – probably my fault)
  • Scrap the rall at bar 75.
  • Crescendo to fp in 92-3 needs to be huge in strings and brass, please (it looks like a fairly inconsequential marking on the page, but needs to be big!)
  • Big change! I partially misinterpreted Laura’s instructions about the divided tempo section at bar 94. We’ll go over it in rehearsals, of course, but for clarity of all the divided tempi bits:
    • Bar 94
      • I continue conducting at 63bpm (or thereabouts) for the benefit of everyone but the oboe, cor anglais and triangle, who play their material much slower (we’ll have to think about how we coordinate those parts). When the other players reach the end of their printed material I continue conducting at 63bpm (in 9/8) so that everyone can either repeat the last notated bar of their passage or the boxed material, at the point where there is a line drawn through the next bar).
      • Only after the cor anglais solo has finished to I then stop beating and everyone diverges tempo for 5 or more seconds in bar 100.
      • Once we’re ready to start at the double down arrow, I will do a double-handed gesture as previously agreed. But anyone counting rests needs to know that I will beat a lot more bars than are notated before I stop conducting, then restart with the double hand gesture.
    • Bar 103 works in the way we agreed:
      • I conduct the oboe, trumpet, double bass and glock at 72bpm
      • Everyone else repeats their given cell at their own independent tempo until the next cue (each individual’s tempo should not change)
      • I stop conducting for at least 5 seconds at 107
      • I start conducting again with a double-handed gesture at 108
    • Bar 109 works in the way we agreed:
      • I conduct the horn, trombone and first violins at 72 bpm
      • Each clarinet and bassoon repeats their given cell at their own independent tempo until the next cue (each individual’s tempo should not change)
      • Strings enter one by one with staggered entries and maintain independent tempi until bar 116
      • There is no point where I stop conducting, on this occasion. I simply bring everyone together at bar 116 with a double-handed gesture (people who play in 116 and 117 have a difficult transition back into a common tempo to make the material in those bars hang together, so we’ll practice that particular transition a lot!)
  • Bar 139, exponential crescendo (leave most of it towards the end of the crescendo)
  • 141-142 much quieter and listen for Mel’s solo in 142
  • 146 fps in horn and trombone should be very quick ones, please
  • 146 the flautando (up on the fingerboard, basically) should be quite broad and waltzy
  • 153 – cello harmonic should sound as notated. So an E an octave lower than what you were playing last time (Laura apologises for the notation error)
  • Rumble – go for the accents, placed with accuracy
  • 173 – 2nds and violas are back to ord.
  • At letter M, the harp will be the (eventual) focus, so everyone else nice and quiet. Flutes mark it down a touch, please.
  • 2nd violins’ Bartok pizz on first beat of 199 needs to be spicy (and really together)
  • 1st violins before N, try not to stress about your high B flat. Just needs fast bows and really bring out the bow changes.
  • Bar 270 – violins and basses please add slurs to this phrase, and the same for all strings in bar 275.
  • Q – strings pure tone here to create something quite ‘glassy’ (senza vibrato). Same for 1sts at 276
  • We’ll add a small pause at T, to allow everything to quieten sufficiently before the clarinet entry off the second beat.
  • Laura has clarified that we can have a pause on the very last beat to allow the strings to fade to nothing.

To help with my preparation for Samara, I’ve produced a click track, so that I can try to set the right tempi. Of course, Laura has said that the metronome markings are approximate, and we’ll not play too ‘metronomically’, but I thought it might be useful to post a link to the click track here:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/140mcR8VYRy1gLKWJArm1gN4eEEkejKT-/view?usp=sharing

Unlike most click tracks, the downbeat in each bar is signified by the lowest clave sound, the upbeat by the highest, and the other beats by a middle sound. Obviously, you don’t have the advantage of the visuals in my notation programme to find where you are if you get lost, so here’s some references:

  • A – 0:31
  • B – 0:59
  • C – 1:38
  • D – 2:03
  • E – 2:21
  • F – 2:57
  • G – 3:59
  • H – 4:14
  • I – 4:22
  • J – 4:46
  • K – 5:07
  • L – 5:25
  • M – 5:44
  • N – 6:09
  • O – 6:42
  • P – 7:25
  • Q – 8:11
  • R – 9:05
  • S – 9:57
  • T – 10:15

Elgar

  • A lot to sort out after listening to the rehearsal day 5 recording, much of which is down to heads stuck in copies and ears listening only to your playing. A good first step in remedying this is to mark up your parts such that you have greater awareness where needed. Please check you have all the markings below.
  • We need to work on a confident start to the piece, both in the accompaniment and the first violin entry. I think a key to this piece is to think of it a lot more simply and rhythmically.
  • First violins – we need to articulate the three repeated note pattern in the tune a lot more, and give it some phrase.
  • First ‘verse’ (until repeat marks) is all players, but from the upbeat to the repeat is a solo for Mel and front desk of the other string sections, please.
  • Bar 10, pair of glasses for slight hesitation on the upbeat to bar 11
  • Bar 13, pair of glasses as we enjoy the crescendo and sf into bar 14
  • First time bar, plenty of time for (Mel’s) upbeat into the repeat
  • Some time in the second time bar, too, but at letter A, poco piu mosso
  • 6th of A, enjoy time up the crescendo, so a much delayed second beat (basses particularly watch for the pizz) in the 7th bar. Time in the 8th bar then back to the speed of A again
  • Glasses leading up to bar before B, then the bar before B itself I’ll show 4 quavers for the ritardando, with a long hold on the last of them (1sts you have to just listen, watch (me and Mel) and feel your way  into your semiquaver upbeat to B
  • Unmarked pull back into D, then light
  • Between D and E there’s obviously a stringendo, but once we get to the height of the con fuoco 2 bars before E, we’ll rein it back in again with the dimuendo (tempo as well as dynamic), to restart the phrase piano at E and the really move it on.
  • Rit in 4th of E is quite dramatic and 6th bar of E will be 4 quavers with a prolonged 3rd (so lots of time for diminuendo) and again, those with the semiquaver upbeat (violins, 2nd horn, 2nd clarinet) have to really feel it.
  • 3 before G, I’m not detected a crescendo from the 1st violins.
  • Don’t forget we’re going into the Wagner with no break, so arrange your music accordingly!

Wagner

  • Plan your music layout and page turns! The music has been supplied in two parts: the Prelude on one sheet and the Liebestod on the other. Certainly for the strings, and possibly for other parts, the music runs over two pages for each and folds out to an A3 sheet. The transition from the Prelude to the Liebestod is silent, so rather than have to change from one big sheet of paper to another, which will create a lot of noise, plan to keep the parts folded and turn at an appropriate point during the music. The same applies for the transition from the Elgar to the Prelude. No fiddling around with music during these joins, please!
  • Cellos, there’s plenty of time to make the string crossing between the first two notes sound smooth. It mustn’t sound tentative and the second note must be in tune. It’s so important, so please practice it for five minutes to be really confident.
  • Be careful counting rests at the beginning of the Prelude. It may not be immediately apparent from your parts that some pauses are measured in the music (which I’ll mainly beat, albeit very compactly), whereas some are written pauses. The gap between the first two phrases, for example, is seven (quaver) beats. The 2nd and 3rd gap is 4 beats, then just before letter A is a pause, with another at the end of the second of A.
  • As a general rule, hairpins that look inconsequential on the page are massive, and usually exponential. Perhaps unhelpfully, there isn’t usually a dynamic at the top of them. My message is – go for it! The first one in the cellos, for example, needs to come to a desperate forte. The strength of the ‘Tristan’ chord played by the woodwind depends on how much crescendo the cellos make, and it should be a strong moment (even verging on the sfz).
  • Hairpins in the 3rd of A (violins) and 4th of A (flutes, oboes, clarinets – tricky tuning!) need to be very strong, right up to the end of the note length, so coming off abruptly on the 5th beat.
  • 5th bar of A, we’ll take time towards the end of the bar to really set up the ff in the next bar, so please insert a pair of glasses in your part towards the end of that bar.
  • 6th of A, chord tuning. Rehearse.
  • Two before B, 1st violin entry, much more crescendo and pesante feel. And in tune!
  • 2nd and 3rd of B, cellos need to articulate the repeated B, then lean all the way through the tie right into the first beat of the next bar, only then beginning the d 
  • Passage after C, those who have the motif with the dotted rhythm and an opening hairpin which then goes back to piano on the downbeat, we need to take time and care with it to make the hairpin and subsequent piano work. Crucial to this is extending the dotted quaver and leaving the the semiquaver later. This enables you to place the downbeat better. Don’t rush through it. This also applies to the 2nds and violas at the end of the 8th bar of C. Even though we’ll have moved with great passion through the accents (belebend means ‘animated’ or even ‘stimulated’, in this context), we still need to take care at the top of the phrase, before rallentandoing back to the original tempo in the next bar. Pairs of glasses, please.
  • Before E, let’s (me included) make sure we don’t push the tempo too hard. It still needs breadth (particularly on crotchets, which we tend to fall off too easily).
  • One for Mr. Pettinger on the timpani – without spanking it too hard (probably some soft stick) please mark up the top of your crescendo to forte four before G, saving the last bit from mf to f for the last beat of the bar before. Remind me and we’ll take a moment to brief what I want from it!
  • Letter G – big trumpet solo, Alison. Much more sound needed and a huge crescendo! I will cue you. 🙂
  • Violas, we’re going to milk your ascent into H for all it’s worth. Keep ’em peeled.
  • Fifth of H – look at the tuning.
  • Cellos, similarly, we’ll milk your phrase into the seventh of H, with a huge pull back into the forte. Tasteless, but oxymoronically delicious
  • The Liebestod needs to be played like you’re in the pit with a soprano on stage above you. Anything that’s interesting (like every time the first two bar phrase happens) needs to be brought out of the texture regardless of the dynamic, or articulation. For example, top line cellos need to have the edge on the other lines at the very start, to add colour to the bass clarinet. Even though it’s pp. Don’t play ppp! The next cello line needs to have more edge than the other lines, due to the very important movement down in the (notated) last two demisemiquavers (which, if any of the cellos or violas (that follow) are in doubt, confirms that the notation is measured demisemiquavers, not scrubbing clarification – we worked out in rehearsal that it definitely is trem. – the notation of the demisemiquaver passing notes is just to show where in the rhythm they fit in). Same principle for the top violas two bars later. Wind players are used to playing at a ‘solo’ dynamic, or even a section ‘soli’ dynamic, but strings we’re going to have to work on it. Especially in the concert version where you’re not complementing the soprano – there is no soprano – you’re it!
  • First bar of the Liebestod – I can’t hear the movement of the second cello line at the end of the bar. It needs to be audible and precise.
  • Three before Ff – the crescendo needs to be led by the cellos, who need to do more of it. If you’re tremming or holding onto a chord and can’t hear them, you’re probably too loud.
  • Ff, moves on, as suggested (Etwas bewegter)
  • Pull back for rephrase at the end of 7th of Ff, then a tempo next bar
  • 6 before Gg we need to marry up the 1st violins and flute.
  • The section from 8th of Ff to 3 before GG has all those lovely turning moments (in sequence: clarinet, oboe, flute and 1sts, then 1sts on their own). These need to be brought out of the texture, and as a general rule there needs to be a drop in dynamic from everyone else. However, there are lots of other interesting bits with their own very specific dynamics that need to be observed. So, make sure you assiduously adhere to the dynamic marking in your part and don’t get drawn into any dynamics that aren’t yours. It’s a busy texture!
  • Again, for the avoidance of doubt, the notation for the strings (except basses) at Gg is demisemiquavers, not scrubbing. It’s very important that these are accurate – and difficult to do, I imagine!See note above – it is trem, and where passing demisemis are notated, you continue scrubbing, but just placing the passing note in that precise part of the bar.
  • As mentioned in rehearsal, the 3rd beat of the fourth bar of Gg needs to be exquisitely placed, then the next bar’s 3rd even more exquisitely placed with the most haunting pp. So expect just to take a tiny bit more time over the last part of the 2nd beat in those bars (again, hard when you’re playing demisemiquavers, but who said this piece was meant to be easy, right?!).
  • Bar before Hh, bit of a pull back, pair of glasses, might show the last four quavers (especially helpful for flutes and CA to place their grace notes as late but as audibly as possible before the next beat). – lots of people clearly blissfully unaware of this in the recording!
  • Hold off the climax for as long as you can before Ii, the 3rd of Ii, and even more before the 5th of Ii!
  • Some extra dynamics to mark in at Ii for everyone except flutes, 1st oboe, cor anglais, violins, violas and cellos: as discussed and rehearsed on the afternoon of RD5, these weren’t really happening. Please ensure they’re marked in.
    • Descrescendo from 2nd beat down to piano in second bar (and repeat this for the 3rd bar into 4th)
    • Exponential crescendo from 1st beat of 2nd bar back to forte in 3rd bar and up to ff in the 5th bar, but more like a sfz with a really sudden diminuendo
  • Balance-wise from 5th of Ii, 1st flute, 1st and 2nd oboes (the latter particularly for the 6th bar of Ii) and cor anglais, don’t dimuendo too much until the 7th bar, then only come down a bit.
  • 10th into 11th of Ii – as discussed during rehearsal, a real change in colour and approach needed from the violins here, from what’s just been played. pp dolce!
  • Remember that only the oboes tie over the penultimate to final bar. Don’t be put off by them (and oboes, don’t stop playing!)

Ravel

Asie

  • Two before 1 is in quavers (a split 3 beat)
  • Bar before 1 – Sarah, let’s discuss a strategy for that horrible bit!
  • Into figure 1, more diminuendo down to the last note, especially from oboe (yes, I know it’s hard!) – if necessary, don’t make the last note as short and try to fade off that once you’ve got it to sound
  • Figure 2 beat in 6 quavers. Violas, you have to get your heads around playing across the beat for your 2/4 (essentially, second note comes between second and third quaver beats, last note between the fifth and sixth). This is now in dotted minims, with occasional quaver upbeats to help clarinets and flutes.
  • Clarinets – almost inaudible after figure 2 at the moment. Mark it up to mp and play to the back of the hall. Strings, don’t rise to meet them – stay pp!
  • Flutes, you’re very late getting onto your tied note that starts the quaver before 6 (on the recording it started some time after 6!). Also, please lift the end of that note (it is marked staccato) and tongue the triplet semis that follow (the slur can be ignored – the cor anglais does that for you!)
  • Trumpet entry after 6 needs to fit exactly with the flute phrase described above – let’s rehearse this (please remind me!)
  • Figure 6 beat in 2 dotted crotchets
  • Bar before 8 in quavers to control the rall.
  • Violins (but all strings, really), remember that the vibrato needs to be very small in this piece (and the Debussy). In the seventh bar of figure 8 I can hear some very wide 2nd violin vibrato and it sticks out!
  • Five before 9 – violins, there are still many badly-tuned E#s. Mostly flat. Make them brighter (in pitch, not sound!), and 1sts, by the time you’re left on your own at the end of the phrase it can be much quieter.
  • Clarinets – your entry after 9 can have more of an accent (it’s accompanied by a pizz on the second violins) and have more sound generally.
  • Figure 11 – just need to start a bit steadier. Balance-wise, can the picc be a bit brighter, please? Also, flutes and clarinets, try to make sure the sound of the triplets doesn’t get lost – they can sound perky going to the staccato quaver at the end, finishing with a bit of a hiccough!
  • End of the 3rd of 12, please add a pair of glasses to allow Karen a breath before the last quaver beat (so flutes, just delay your entry just a moment and give it plenty of time)
  • I suspect strings can be quieter 3 before 13. Let’s check the balance and be ready to adjust.
  • Beat breaking into quavers somewhere in the rall. in the run up to 13
  • Be careful not to rush the 7/8 and 6/8 bars before 14. The quaver speed stays the same, but something in our heads convinces us it needs to be faster. It doesn’t!
  • I have decided that Figure 15 will definitely be in quavers. Everyone who moves off a dotted crotchet first beat to a crotchet, please be careful to a) not move early and, b) sustain the crotchet for its full length.
  • Figure 16 is a bit of a mess for the strings – let’s rehearse it. Main problem is making sure the crotchet trems in the last bar of each phrase don’t move early.
  • Second bar of 18 – need to check the horn tuning – remind me!
  • Figure 19 is all a bit tentative – let’s look at it.

La Flute enchantee

  • Horns (1 and 3) – tuning is suspect 4th bar of figure 1. Can you take a look at it?
  • Figure 3 just needs to be a lot more muscular in the strings. It sounds like you’re scared of it at the moment. Just GO FOR IT! YOU ARE THE BERLIN PHILHARMONIC!
  • The end of the third bar of three needs managing: I will beat out the triplet crochets and show (with my left hand) the last quaver so the violins and violas can portamento up to it with confidence. Wind – when you see that indication, don’t mistake it for me bringing you off. You need to hold your chord until they’ve finished playing that last quaver. I will use both hands to bring everyone off, after which we helpfully have a meaningful comma before we start the next bar (Lent).

L’Indifferent

  • The 9/4 bars are beat in a split 4-beat pattern (2+2+2+3)
  • The 3/2 bars are beat in 6 crotchets, but in a pattern of a split 3 (2+2+2), as opposed to the 6/4 which is the normal pattern of 6 (3+3)
  • Figure 3, I promise I’ll actually take note of the performance instruction and go slower than the previous tempo! Please keep an eye on me, violas.
  • SECOND bar of 3, we’ll take a lovely long time on the 4th crotchet beat (for a breath). We’re making a nice hairpin there, anyway.
  • Flutes, clarinets and horn (3), we need to agree on the triplets at the end of the third of figure 3. Let’s work it out together.
  • Figure 4 – I’ll mark time, probably indistinctly, at the beginning of each bar for the first three bars (obviously giving something clear for the pizz. on the first beat!). The next meaningful downbeat will be for the fourth bar, where the strings come in.
  • Fourth of figure 4, we need more lean into the 5th beat and for it to be in tune. One to rehearse.
  • Basses two before figure 5 – seems to be some confusion. Let’s rehearse it.

Saint-Saëns

  • What we found in the first rehearsal is that playing this piece requires a lot of control, but for it to sound like it’s on the edge all the time. It’s a mental battle to keep it exciting (playing it in a moribund way means it’s really dull!) whilst retaining composure. It doesn’t need to go too fast, but all our mental energy needs to go into keeping its momentum going and it sounding fast!
  • In support of the above, our biggest enemies are ties and rests. Our brain takes too long to process these, so physically we get behind. Then there’s two options: I accommodate my beat to the dragging (ending in the piece grinding to a halt), or I mercilessly plough on at the tempo (about crotchet = 120). The problem with the latter is that as super-aware players, you become aware you’re behind the beat and either panic, becoming unstuck, or play all the notes much faster in an attempt to catch up. Either way, the ensemble is screwed! So, please come off ties early and anticipate rests. There’s no time for thinking!
  • Absolutely no pull back in the last bar of the 4/4 going back to the 2/4. It ploughs straight through.
  • By now, everyone should have listened to the piece enough to manage the tempo changes. It would be disappointing to hear the most common errors associated with the halving of the beat, from this point on in the rehearsals.
  • The ending – my decision is to add a tie over the bar line (for wind and brass) to the printed last note, then finish with another crotchet on the second beat of the last bar, sfz. Please write this in.

15 thoughts on “APO players’ rehearsal and practice wiki

  • September 29, 2018 at 1:32 pm
    Permalink

    My score arrived today (Dover miniature edition). Disappointingly it has no bar numbers so I have been copying them in from the Universal Edn on IMSLP. In the process it is obvious that the Dover edition has lots of mistakes*.

    One that jumped out is that Mahler’s later addition of the bass clarinet to bolster the bassoon sound in the 3 bars before 10 (Mvt 1) is missing in our parts/Dover score, which is why perhaps I can hear it in recordings but not in rehearsal!

    Mahler’s own score with his markings is available online here: http://curiosity.lib.harvard.edu/scores/catalog/8-002402630 (see page 14).

    * mistakes in the sense that Mahler changed things later. Given that he was still fixing Beethoven when he conducted hi, it seems a safe bet that there would be many more changes if he were to hear it today. And indeed he did say to conductors that they shouldn’t draw back from changing things after he had died. A living rather than a definitive score!

    Reply
    • September 30, 2018 at 10:11 am
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      Ah, thanks, Charlie! I wondered why Emily looked a bit puzzled when I referred to that bit, during rehearsals. I’ll drop her a note.

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      • September 30, 2018 at 8:04 pm
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        Ahh sorry if that went totally over my head in rehearsals! I only have a bassoon cue 3 before 10 – do you want it?

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        • September 30, 2018 at 8:07 pm
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          You’d have done bloody well to spot it! Yes, please. I have a photo of the notes if the bassoon cue is not clear enough. Sorry to add more semiquavers to your part. 😀

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  • September 30, 2018 at 9:07 pm
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    Haha that’s fine, I’ll have a good look at it tomorrow

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  • October 2, 2018 at 7:30 pm
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    Bar before fig.8 in the 1st movement: do you have some of the horns playing in that bar? The score I downloaded from IMSLP has only the trumpets with quintuplets at that point (bar rest for all horns).

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    • October 7, 2018 at 6:41 am
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      Nope – no horns in my score. Am I looking at you hopefully there, then? 😀

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  • October 7, 2018 at 6:51 am
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    Capturing some notes from a white sheet (from a member of the woodwind) quickly in a comment, so they can be transferred upwards into the main notes, later (my comments in brackets). Really useful to know what players feel needs work, especially just ahead of sectionals!

    Movement 1
    – 5th bar of Figure 4, tuning needs work (I agree, though it can be quite nasty and even a little bit out of tune for effect – it’s that sort of writing)
    – Figure 27, tuning and balance needs work (and I’d add to that ensemble, at Figure 50, too)
    – 5 before Figure 72 – piano! (YES!)
    – Figure 74 – swirly thing, together. (I’m not so concerned about this, as long as it’s not before where it’s meant to be (as that’ll mean we can’t hear the harps’ gliss.))

    Movement 2
    – Dovetailing of material between Figures 5 and 6 needs work (agreed!)

    Movement 6
    – Tuning at the end, especially during dims. (yes – a big challenge, especially the comma before Figure 31!)

    All the quiets *quieter*! (I’m not sure this is necessarily a problem in general – I’d always rather wind soloists played up and were heard, but will ask Robert to work on balance during this morning’s sectional.)

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  • October 11, 2018 at 1:46 pm
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    Hello! A white sheet was handed in to me from 2nd violins (thanks Chico and Karen!), plus notes I’ve made, combined and listed below. Cheryl also helpfully sent me a link to a webpage of Mahler translations – if you plan on playing other Mahler symphonies it might be helpful to bookmark! http://www.orchestralibrary.com/reftables/mahler2gloss.html

    First movement
    – At the start, most trem entries for 1sts and 2nds (and sometimes vlas) have upbeats either from the crazy cello scales, or the trumpet fanfares, so we need to be aware of these and wait for the downbeat not come in with the upbeat. Examples:
    * 1sts entry 5th of fig.3 has upbeat from trumpet (the triplet fanfare Da-Da-Da-DAAAAA bit!)
    * 1sts & 2nds fig.6 has upbeat from trumpet (same as above)
    * 1sts & 2nds 7th of fig.6 has upbeat from cellos (crazy scale)
    * 2nds & vlas 4 before fig.7 has upbeat from cellos (crazy scale)
    * 2nds fig.7 has upbeat from both cellos (crazy scale) and trumpet (fanfare)
    * 1sts 5th of fig.7 has upbeat from both cellos (scale) and trumpet (fanfare)
    * 1sts & 2nds 6th of fig.8 has upbeat from cellos (scale)
    * Vlas 4 before fig.9 has upbeat from cellos (scale)
    * 1sts & 2nds fig.9 upbeat from trumpet (fanfare)

    – 10 before fig.5 for 1sts and 2nds – Andrew mentioned in rehearsal and in the wiki he is beating this in 3 (triplet minims). In case it’s not clear from the part, we come in on his 3rd beat with our own crazy scale.
    – In 2 at 8 bars before fig.7
    – In 4 at 11th bar of fig.10
    – In 2 at fig.29
    – In 4 at approx 5 before fig.34
    – The print in the 1sts and 2nds part misses the slur the bar before fig.45
    – 1sts and 2nds – entry after fig.50, in Chico’s words which I fully support, is ‘mental – totally practice this bit!’
    – Fig.74 the first note is a single quaver, not trem.
    – Fig.75 first violins isn’t scrubbed despite your leader often mistakenly doing this… sorry!

    Second movement
    – strings in our graceful melodies, leave the semiquavers (eg at the end of dotted rhythms) later, especially when followed by triplet quavers to really make the difference in rhythms. Andrew suggested thinking of them almost as a grace note.
    – Fig.10 sense of moving forward from here
    – Fig.12 1sts and 2nds have an insanely quick mute on and off fiasco (and violas too?). Suggest leave the mute out, especially as 2nds and violas have an important line here. (1sts just have to keep it down!)
    – Fig.16 is a bit rubato, then back in time at the 3rd bar.
    – Fig.17 1sts it’s difficult and needs avid watching for the tempo, so it’s high on my practice list to get to know better so I’m not fixated on the notes instead of the beat!

    Third movement
    – In the flugelhorn sections, where the strings have crazy divisi instructions, anyone who has a moving inner line needs to be heard (1sts I’ll be changing the divisi here to address the balance)

    Fourth movement
    /—–3—–\ __ __
    | | | | | | |
    O O O O O O O
    Three crotchet triplets, two pairs of quavers, in the septuplet bars. Andrew will beat 3 crotchet triplets followed by 2 crotchets. That was way too much fun to draw, surely I must have other things to do!

    – 4th bar of fig.3 has 2 pauses and a rit, followed by a tempo in 4th bar of fig.3. Not all parts have this marked in (eg 1sts just have a block of rests) so worth noting to help count.

    Sixth movement
    – 2nds (and other strings?) morendo fig.11/12?
    – Don’t forget the big comma/pause before fig.31

    Reply
  • January 19, 2019 at 9:14 pm
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    Debussy, Four before figure 2, you mentioned dropping to p next bar – does this mean us too? (Looks like continuous crescendo in our parts)

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    • January 19, 2019 at 9:58 pm
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      Did I? That’s strange. I think I was probably talking about the crescendo in the previous bar from the oboe, clarinet and bassoons that goes all the way up to the barline, then falls back to piano in the fourth bar before 2.

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  • January 27, 2019 at 8:52 am
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    Debussy, bar before 10: My score has pizz for the 1st violins and inside violas (four semiquavers), based on a handwritten correction by Debussy in the proofs. Shall we do that?

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    • January 27, 2019 at 9:11 am
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      Let’s check my score, later!

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  • January 28, 2019 at 6:47 pm
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    Bacchanale: ref your point about the last bar which mentions wind and brass. Do you want perc (most noticably cyms & BD) to play on this 2nd beat also (instead of the written 1st beat)?

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    • February 1, 2019 at 9:52 am
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      Yes please!

      Reply

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