We had our first LSO performance tonight, featuring a mostly Sibelius program. We opened with a piece called Last Round by Osvaldo Golijov which is a tribute to Astor Piazzolla. The first movement was played by only nine string players, and as I am principal viola, I am one of the nine. It went well, especially considering the decreased rehearsal time for this concert (we usually have a Sunday rehearsal which didn't happen this series, and I missed Monday's rehearsal because I was flying home). Then we played an excerpt of Finlandia, and a different tone poem called Lemmenkainen and the Maidens of Saari, both by Sibelius, and then finished up the second half with Sibelius' Fifth Symphony. While there aren't a whole lot of "licks" that require careful practicing to get the notes right, the counting is rather difficult, especially in the Symphony.
But it all went well, and I'm happy we get to do it again tomorrow night. I like playing with a symphony that has two concerts-- most of the orchestras I've played with regularly these past years only have one performance, so it's nice to get to have fun on stage twice!
Brazil pictures this weekend, so stay tuned!