On Sunday I’ll be playing with Harlow Symphony Orchestra in what I can only describe as a truly scrumptious programme: Weber’s Freischutz Overture, Brahms Violin Concerto and Dvorak’s 6th Symphony.
The overture is infamous among hornplayers, but for those who don’t know it, there’s 9 bars of introduction to an extended section for solo horn quartet, the 3rd and 4th horns start and 1st and 2nd horns join a few bars later. It is technically not very difficult writing, though the 4th horn really does have to be strong on the low notes. It is just mindblowingly nerve wracking, especially when it is nearly always going to be the 1st thing you play in the concert.
The Brahms violin concerto is a lovely piece, the horns aren’t too busy, though there are quite a few very long low notes for 1st and 2nd – luckily I escape this for this concert as I’m on 4th.
And then Dvorak 6 – probably my favourite of Dvorak’s symphonies. I have a very long history with this piece, it was the first symphony I ever played in a youth orchestra, and it was on a tour to Austria. What concerns me about this piece is that it is the 1st time I’ve played it since that tour – not in itself a problem – but it is what it reminds me of that is more worrying. Whilst we were on this tour one of the cellists beacme very ill and died. So playing this piece again, on the very same part as on the tour, will no doubt stir things in me. I’ll let you know how it goes and how it felt.