Beethoven Eroica - May 24, 2012

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May 24, 2012

Beethoven Eroica - May 24, 2012

Edwin Huizinga (violin)

I’m wondering what all the clicking noise is by my feet and realize my flip flops are flopping around in excitement. Yay yay, I’m a little boy waiting for something exciting to happen! Well, kind of – except I just showed up at work with Tafelmusik and Bruno Weil is about to give the downbeat to Beethoven’s Third Symphony.  It’s going to be a good day! It’s hard to explain the relationships between conductor and orchestral player, I mean they are all so different, and so unique, and there are so many variables …  All I can say is working with Bruno is pretty special. It’s practically impossible for me to discuss my relationship with Bruno because it is made up of so few words: the first couple of years that we worked together, I don’t think I actually got enough courage to even talk to him. He’s a quiet man, and I’m a farm boy. But the music flows deep. Just yesterday in rehearsal it came up that the music couldn’t be described in words, and some beautiful things in life are the same. It’s a pretty amazing scene – the first rehearsal we read down the first movement and talked about one little bar – about 185 bars into the piece – and we were reminded that it was simply a crescendo from pianissimo to piano, and nothing more. Yes, it’s all about the little things. We can all play Beethoven – I mean, I would hope – there are some pretty stellar musicians in the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra. But it’s about how we tell the story, and I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a great story on Thursday evening in Koerner Hall. It’s a family thing too – the relationship between the orchestra and Bruno goes back almost two decades. I myself am a relative stranger to the overall lifespan of the group and their relationship, except for the fact that I had 6 amazing summers working with Bruno in California [at the Carmel Bach Festival, where Bruno was Music Director from 1992 to 2010 - Ed]. So, sitting surveying the orchestra, I can feel that everyone is in it to make the music happen. I guess I’m bringing this up because that’s not always the case. A hundred percent of a collective of people really ‘giving it’ for the music, that’s where I think Tafelmusik really makes it happen. I mean that’s really the only way to work with Bruno. He’s constantly weaving his story around us – the architecture of the symphony is all figured out and we’re along for the adventure.  In the second rehearsal of the day, after our lunch break – which I basically just spent on the phone with a friend talking about how great it is to play Beethoven with Bruno – we moved on to the Mendelssohn Italian Symphony. Part of the incredible rehearsal period with the Maestro is also the research he shares with us – he quotes letters written to Beethoven, from Beethoven, to Mendelssohn, from Mendelssohn, for example – June 1831 – about the Italian Symphony Mendelssohn writes and says something like: “all they seem to want is noise in Naples,” discussing one part of the symphony where there is just a lot going on and a lot of noise to describe the Italian chaos. And then Beethoven’s reaction to a bad review – I wish I had the quote, but it is something along the lines of , “I don’t know why you write such a bad review of my symphony, I mean I didn’t read it, but I can guarantee that the only people you will hurt from your review is your own newspaper!” I guess that confirms Beethoven was a rock star in his day? I sure think so.