I was bracing for the inevitable tsunami of activities and responsibilities to suddenly hit me once the KWS season started on the 15th, but my first week on the job was for the most part remarkably similar to the month of unemployment that preceded it. The orchestra reconvened after its summer hiatus for two days to rehearse and perform a season preview show, but since then there’s been nothing else and there won’t be until later this week. I feel like I’m on day 5 of an extremely long weekend. This feels too easy… it must be a trap!
Honestly, I’m glad for it. There’s a mountain of music to learn in my future and it’s good to have time to catch up. Kitchener is lovely – after a year in Toronto the atmosphere here feels remarkably laid back. I can channel my inner hobo by wandering along the tracks a couple blocks down from my place and I’ve met some awesome cats in the neighbourhood. My colleagues in the orchestra have gotten me hooked on squash (not the vegetable), which it looks like might be a weekly feature in my life. Good times all around.
Next up in the schedule is our fall gala and our first subscription concerts of the season this weekend, featuring Natalie MacMaster. The scherzo from Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 3 will be on the program, one of those all too rare pieces that’s actually as fun to play as it is challenging. Maybe the reason I think this is that I’ve always had a fetish-esque love of extended articulated 16th note passages. Other composers gave the bassoons equally extensive opportunities to go nuts with the double tongue, but Mendelssohn had the decency to score it lightly enough that we can sort of be heard amidst the tumult. His metronome marking is also pretty civilized. It’ll be a good warm-up to get ready for Beethoven 4 next week!