November 08, 2005

Symphony Orchestra rocks

You know when you get a tune stuck in your head, and no matter what you do you can't get rid of it? I'm like that right now. And it's all Symphony Orchestra's fault.

I've fallen in love with Tchaikovsky all over again tonight, and realised why he's one of my favourite composers ever EVER. His 5th symphony is in our repertoire this term, and it's fab. Makes me weak at the knees just thinking about the second movement. His orchestration is absolutely perfect. I'm listening to the Pas de Deux from The Nutcracker, which is one of my favourite pieces of music, and my most favouritest ballet ever. It's wonderful. Glass of red in my hand, listening to this. Fantastic.

But then we get on to the rest of the repertoire. Karl Jenkins' The Armed Man; A Mass for Peace, and Bernstein's Symphonic Dances from West Side Story. The Bernstein I can tolerate. It's even quite good fun in some places, and it's great to see the brass enjoying themselves for a change. But The Armed Man…

Never did I think it was possible for one man to make so much money from 16 bars worth of music. It has so little direction and is so utterly dull. However, my mum does really love it, and she'll be coming down to see it, which will be nice since I havn't seen her (or been home!) since August.

My shoulders ache from playing the viola, but at least I'm happier tonight, which is cool. And I've just received possibly the best text I could ever imagine, and ever time I read it it makes me smile even more.


[contented sigh]

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  1. :) Utterly agree. Have you heard Gergievís recording of the Fifth with the VPO? Stunning. Superbly imaginative and brilliantly performed. Yours to borrow! And Karajanís Sixth is one of the most devastatingly beautiful recordings you will ever hear. Thatís also yours to borrow, but only if youíre bloody careful with itÖ And yes, The Armed Man is another example of charlatanism that the likes of ClassicFM and my mother fawn over sickeningly (do all mothers of a certain disposition like such things?). Itís terrifyingly mediocre. Angrily so. Dismal in every way. Yes.

    And you must whisper what that text saidÖ

    Glad to hear youíre happier today. :)

    09 Nov 2005, 06:00

  2. Oh, the Fifth is fantastic; Tchaik is also my favourite composer ever :) The Sixth is far superior, though – the sheer emotion underlying the entire symphony is so compelling. And it has fantastic bassoon solos throughout (particularly the opening one!).

    At the risk starting a torrent of abuse in my direction… :p The Jenkins is much better when put together with the choir (as is the case with most choral music, of course). I enjoy listening to it, and as a piece it's more about the overall sound and effect rather than the interest of the individual parts. Which, I agree, are dishearteningly awful. It may not be the most musically astounding piece of music ever written (and God knows it's not), but it does sound good :)

    But anyways, I'm glad you're enjoying UWSO and (roughly half) the music we're playing – it's why we exist after all! :) And hopefully you'll find a little more inspiration in next term's repertoire: Beethoven 9, Faurť Req., and Mahler 1 for goodness' sake! :D

    See you soon

    09 Nov 2005, 23:00

  3. You minger. Why am I not in your favourites?????

    Luv ya.


    09 Nov 2005, 23:04

  4. Sarah

    I agree about The Armed Man…it's pleasant enough but not really of any musical value. I don't think it can be all mothers that like it though as mine has lots of taste and she will probably agree with me when she hears it. She's a Radio 3 lady! Next term should indeed be fabulous though.

    (By the way it's Sarah Barbour if anyone's confused!)

    18 Nov 2005, 23:16

  5. The Armed Man seems to have little going for it other than having been recorded in a studio with the echo turned up high… in fact, these days most religious music seems to have to be presented on cd or radio as though it is in a religious building of unncompromisingly vast size… It's the music, stupid, not the atmosphere! I suppose it's all part of the style over substance thing… sigh.

    22 Nov 2005, 15:09

  6. Juicy

    The Armed Man sounded (from sitting in the choir) pretty good tonight, and while I agree that there is far too much repetition (is there a movement that doesn't do it like 5 times?) it does have some nice bits (especially if you sing soprano like me…Sarah tells me the alto part is very dull. Luckily for me I can't sing below middle C, therefore I get the nice tune bits and the cool high notes)
    It's easy, and seems to have caused little problems so I guess it will be a solid performance come Sunday (I'm not cacking myself like I was over the Rachmaninov Bells)

    Oh and I'm not on your favourites either. That's shocking Molloy. Everyone knows I'm cool and therefore should be on all the favourites on all the blogs in the world ever. Get it sorted wench!
    Love ya x x

    22 Nov 2005, 21:56

  7. Chris

    Hi. I want to join the orchestra this year well anyway I compose in my free time and would like to know what the intrumentation is in the warwick syphony orchestra, normally. like how many bassoons, trombones, if there’s an english horn, etc. etc. would really help me out thanks people c u.chris

    05 Sep 2006, 17:20

  8. Hi Chris

    You can get the information you need from the Symphony Orchestra Exec; their email address is exec (at) You might also want to check out their website,

    07 Sep 2006, 12:34

  9. nhgv

    22 Nov 2007, 01:40

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