You take your shoes off to jump on the trampoline

The Eastern Music Festival orchestra, under the baton of Christian Knapp, performed “Redline Tango” a few weeks ago. I got the parts back today. Being rented orchestra parts, it’s accepted that the players can write essential information on their part, provided it’s in pencil, and is info that might be helpful to future players of those parts. Often it’s just bowings for the string players, and other times it’s little slashes to indicate where the pulse is within a complex bar.

Above my name, one of the viola players wrote, “I shall slay this man with my bow.” Funny, I admit, but when I was in school, the viola players were the best — always up for a challenge, and excited to play anything that wasn’t just off-beats or accompaniment.

When did violists become so wussy?


charles says

Man, I have written many, many funny (and evil) things in rental parts! The best was a couple years ago we did a piece that was co-commissioned by the Oregon Symphony and the St. Louis Symphony to commemorate the Lewis and Clark expedition. It was called "Corps of Discovery". Now wait - at the premiere, our music director, who is Austrian, was giving a few remarks before we began the piece, and he pronounced it "corpse" of discovery. You can guess what happened after that...
Yes, that violist has the same look that skateboarders do after they break their arm - just a hint of a smile, but too cool to actually let loose with it.

asil says

Damn. If I had known that composers actually saw their own parts & the things written in them, I would've gone crazy writing them comments. And Charles, I hated that "corpse." Why did it piss me off that the audience kind of liked it?

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