On Fire?

This week I am rehearsing with the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra. We rehearse every evening, Sunday-Thursday, with concerts on Friday and Saturday. I am quite tired, but enjoying the experience.

One of the pieces we are preparing is Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony, so the concert is dubbed "Five on Fire!". This is the piece that made me fall in love with music. When I was a sophomore in high school, I was accepted into the Senior orchestra of the Greater Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras (now called BYSO). I still played violin back then, but even at the back of the second violin section, rehearsing this symphony every Sunday afternoon was special. I sometimes wonder had it been a different piece, something less... wonderful... if I would have ended up where I am today. We are so impressionable at that age, and Tchaikovsky left a mark on me. To this day, I love love LOVE Tchaikovsky. I even don't mind playing Nutcracker a dozen times during every Christmas season. Tchaikovsky's music is just so passionate and wistful and powerful.

Since high school, I have played "Tchaik 5" many times with various ensembles. All of those times, I've experienced a fairly standard bowing for the first movement--- the LSO's conductor, however, has asked us to do bowings that feel foreign to me. At first I fought him, because it felt and sounded so wrong (I still have the BYSO version emblazoned on my musical soul!), but now a few days in to rehearsal, I see where he's going with them. And they're growing on me.

And so, I too am growing, as my understanding of this work that I hold so dear is also evolving. Such is the power of music!

Happy practicing.