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Orchestra Procedues (FM question or others?)
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Oliver
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November 5, 2011 - 11:26 am
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I find it very difficult to play with a metronome but I figured out why.  There is no phrasing allowed which I would automatically associate with any given piece of violin music.  However, I then realized that a large orchestra is also constrained by everybody being in sync.

Who bears the greatest burden?  The conductor?  The players?  Or is everything worked out in rehearsals?  Or maybe everyone already knows the piece from other recordings?  And how much influence does a soloist have in the final overall interpretation? 

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
November 5, 2011 - 10:05 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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Oliver said:

I find it very difficult to play with a metronome but I figured out why.  There is no phrasing allowed which I would automatically associate with any given piece of violin music.  However, I then realized that a large orchestra is also constrained by everybody being in sync.

Who bears the greatest burden?  The conductor?  The players?Or is everything worked out in rehearsals?  Or maybe everyone already knows the piece from other recordings?  And how much influence does a soloist have in the final overall interpretation? 

It depends. Some conductors are so great that they actually get to bare the burden. Others are so bad that the orchestra has to take over. The concert-master usually takes responsibility when the conductor is bad. If the musicians are good enough they listen and feel each other.
We do usually know the pieces before the first rehearsal but we learn them quickly regardless. Most professionals read music as fast or faster than you read text.

A great orchestra doesn't really play music like a metronome unless the piece is of that nature. Often we feel the same fluctuations and what we didn't agree on before a rehearsal we usually agree on for the performance.

A soloist has a great influence. The orchestra is supposed to follow the soloist completely.

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pky
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November 6, 2011 - 1:16 am
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Fiddlerman said:

The concert-master usually takes responsibility when the conductor is bad.

How? Conduct in place of the conductor while he/she is still on the stage? or everybody just follow him/her?

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Chinny
Perth
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November 6, 2011 - 4:11 am
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Everyone has to look at the conductor but listen to the concert master. Normally if the concert master is leading then people just listen to them and play accordingly. They dont typically conduct the orchestra to my knowledge anyways.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
November 6, 2011 - 6:32 am
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pky said:

How? Conduct in place of the conductor while he/she is still on the stage? or everybody just follow him/her?

It always depends on what you're playing and what part is important but the orchestra looks at the concert-master for directions. Sometimes the concertmasters bow movement and sometimes body language (slight arm, or head movements for example).

We don't really need a conductor either if we look at each other and listen intensely. The "moving" parts in a symphony often determine tempo. Often a conductor follows the orchestra instead of fighting and controlling them. The conductor gives ideas and direction. For example if the tempo is too slow the good conductor can conduct slightly ahead of the beat to speed it up. If he conducts large and distinctive beats to try to control, there could be chaos as some play with him and others don't notice.

The important things that a conductor show us are entrances, tempo changes such as ritardandos and accelerandos, extra dynamics, his on the fly phrasing ideas and general tempo. Mostly we play as we did at the rehearsals. Often when you hear a professional orchestra there has been very little rehearsal on certain sections and a lot spent on details and ideas. Sometimes we even perform sections that we didn't have time to work on and no one knows.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
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Oliver
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November 6, 2011 - 9:04 am
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I have to be impressed that an orchestra the size of Malmo could pull off well coordinated performances on a routine basis.  Or, perhaps, the caliber of musicians is equal to the challenge.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
November 6, 2011 - 10:29 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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Malmo and a lot of other orchestras in Europe contain musicians from all around the world. When I played with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra there were only three native Malaysians.

Considering that there are only about a dozen great orchestras with good salaries here in the USA the musicians are almost forced to go elsewhere or find a second source of income to supplement the playing portion. Last year I played in 8 different pick-up orchestras and about  40 weekend weddings (Chamber music) to make ends meet. If I had not worked in Europe as long as I did I would not be able to maintain this. On the bright side I am playing up to 4 weddings a week now 🙂

Either means that more people are getting married or they really appreciate our wedding music.exactly

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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Late bloomer
Dallas Texas
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November 6, 2011 - 11:41 am
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Talking about orchestras, I listen to a lot of orchestra music. Second to strings the brass section is my favorite. But all the instruments great and I like listening to them all.

Which brings me to the conclusion that being a conductor has to be very fullfilling because its like you are playing all the instruments at the same time. 

While everyone else is focused on their part , the conductor is the beneficiary of the overall product.  Receiving the sound even before the audience.

I wonder if anyone reading this has had an oppourtunity to conduct , even on a small production? Would love to hear of any experiences.  

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