It’s been a busy week for some with Prelims (mocks) and Competition Festival concerto class preparation. I have just about finished mine; tomorrow is my final French one. There was also great excitement in my school on Tuesday for the arrival of François Leleux, a world renowned French oboist, who gave masterclasses during the day. He was in Scotland to perform with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra – I saw the Edinburgh concert this evening!
I’m not sure how well I did in my subjects. At least they’re not the real thing!
A little French revision for essays… I didn’t manage to use any useful phrases for the actual practice paper because I couldn’t remember any.
Tonight was the highlight of my week! The programme: Pulcinella Suite – Stravinsky, Oboe Concerto – MacMillan and ‘Italian’ Symphony #4 – Mendelssohn. Conductor: Thierry Fischer; soloist: François Leleux.
The concerto is extremely spritely, lyrical and rather funky. The opening riffs played by the violas are still in my head: da-da-da-Da-Da da-da-da-da-Da-Da. What’s interesting about the first movement is the structure; the second section is an exact reflection of the first section; it’s completely reversed, mirrored. Retrograde? I think that’s the term.
Leleux was incredible x 100. I had had a sample of his musicality on Tuesday in the masterclasses, when he demonstrated or explained ideas, but tonight his performance was music of the kind I had never seen or heard before. He said to us that,
“Playing an instrument should be mother tongue; it should be completely natural and an extension of your self. (That’s why you’ve got to play every day and practise your scales *demonstrates a series of light-speed scales with perfect articulation*) So when you see notes on a page you know exactly what do to with it.
and he completely embodies those elements. I learned a lot from what he talked about that day and also from watching the concert tonight. His final gesture was his stunning encore – Melody from Orpheus and Eurydice (this may be incorrect!) by Gluck. Unforgettable.
On a completely different topic: guess who said hello?
Riyoko! She sent a postcard to school, for the pupils and the teachers and everyone else. See how’s she’s getting on by clicking here. I do miss my old pal.
Concerto Class on Saturday. I’m playing Mozart G major – I hope to the heavens that my semiquavers will develop some elegance overnight.