Arcangelo Corelli by Peter Allsop

By Peter Allsop

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If you are seating 14 violins, and if the leadership qualities you need are present in the right individuals, you might arrange the two sections (in terms of technical ability): Violins I: 1 (concertmaster), 2 (assistant), 3, 5, 8, 9, 6, 7 Violins II: 4 (principal), 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 Similarly, seating violas and ’cellos, you might build some strength into the back of each section: 1 (principal), 2, 4, 5, 3, 6 Arrange the basses in order of ability, working to achieve a blended sound from them.

Many things about the work will be clearer to the orchestra once they hear the singers. It is wasteful, in fact, to try to do too much without them. Talking: What to Say, and What to Avoid The ¤rst rule for working with an orchestra may be this one: don’t talk much! In the beginning, it is a good idea just to walk up and start into the music. Do not take time to say how happy you are to be there, or what a wonderful piece of music this is. Simply tell them whether you are beating it in 3 or in 1.

Then move the stick gradually slower, and simultaneously increase the size of your beat; at the right moment, begin beating the subdivision. They should follow you. ) Fermatas are quite different with orchestras. Many choral conductors continue to move the beat hand during a fermata in order to encourage the choir to maintain breath support and tone quality. This only confuses instrumentalists. With a fermata, an orchestra conductor stops until the preparatory beat for the next sound. And remember to watch the orchestra at such moments, as you do the choir, to gauge when the strings are running out of bow, and the winds out of air.

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