Thursday, July 21, 2005



We are into the fourth day of rehearsals for Mitridate and I feel like Celia Johnson at the end of 'Breif Encounter'.

Wolfgang says:

"Thank you for coming back to me"

but my heart is still battered and spinning from my encounter with Monsieur Rameau....

Mozart was fourteen when he wrote this opera, twenty years after the eighty year old Rameau wrote Les Boreades. Jeunesse and Sagesse side by side. Rameau had clearly, in his old age, abandoned himself to child-like wonder and playfulness and thus a profound work of art was born. The pre-virile Mozart, however, seems to be thinking that he is going to be a very serious composer indeed.

So off we go, this vehicle called the orchestra, most of us caught somewhere between jeunesse and sagesse ourselves, on our two month voyage with a very young genius. Bodies are already flagging from interminable rows of sub-inspirational crotchets. In the bathroom the women show signs of stress and debilitation.

Heads are jammed in chin-rest position, necks in braces. Legs are bandy from cradling baroque cellos too forcefully for too long and knees are buckling when straightened. The zovirax is out of many a handbag and rashes are being compared:

"I only get outbreaks when the bass-line is pants and I'm bored out of my brain"
"Mine always come when I have an overwhelming, catholic guilt-ridden desire to snog my desk partner."
"My desk partner is so fat I have to bow round his stomach. Don't think I'll be snogging him along the Salzach."
"I am about to tie my gut strings around the throat of mine - jabbing every bloody note in such a macho fashion that all I can think about is how he.......yeeeuk"
"Yeah. The conductor did say he wanted it virile but not like a serial rapist."
"There's a great word for that in German. 'Rammeln'...."

And at the hint of something which sounds like his name I am back to pining. I climb the steps back up to the hall, turn to the right page of identical looking blackeads with stems, check where the tonic and dominant are in E flat major, put bow to string and fantasise about the singing the 'air des matelots' au milieu des fleurs.


Blogger Maggie Ann said...

Hearing you speak from the inside as it were, of the orchestra is so interesting. A foreign language to this 2 year cello student but like a music score itself.

1:48 AM  

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