This has been my month in music – not including covering and scores I’m preparing for future months. It is just the music that I have actively conducted. The list is roughly chronological, seemingly random, and certainly eclectic. It gives a clear idea of the odd soundtrack that has been running through my head in the last 31 days. In any given hour of silence, an internal hum flows almost seamlessly from Copland to the Can Can, from Mozart to Sinatra. It can get very confusing.
Conducted in Performance: Handel’s Messiah (Complete); Bernstein – West Side Story Overture; Gershwin – Crazy Girl Overture; Rat Pack Pops – way too many songs to count – about 20; Pictures at an Exhibition (5 movements); Three Cornered Hat (Jota); Poulenc Sinfonietta (4th movement); Mozart 40 (1st movement); Red Pony (Finale); Dvorak Symphony 8 (2nd movement); Abels – Outburst; The Typewriter; Mendelssohn – Violin Concerto (1st movement); Hoe Down; Khachaturian – Waltz from Masquerade; Morton Gould – Tap Dance Concerto; Can Can; It Don’t Mean a Thing; Mozart – Jupiter (1st movement); Mozart – Aria and Duets from Marriage of Figaro and Magic Flute; Offenbach – Barcarolle; The Cat Duet; Faure – Masques et Bergamasques; Pergolesi – Stabat Mater
Currently, I long for some time with just one piece or even just one composer. (Heck – I’ll take one time period, or even one genre). To dive into one sound world intensively for a few weeks would be glorious. I could explore timbre, articulations, historical references, and dynamic ranges. I could read intriguing biographies on the composers, study the performance practices, and truly take the time to research editions.
But alas, such is the life of the associate conductor. And, you know, it’s just fine. There are a few benefits to this wide spectrum of repertoire. I can draw connections between Messiah and Mozart. I can use Mozart to inspire my work on Faure (Faure probably did!). Highlighting silences in Dvorak reminds me to be patient in the long rests of the Pergolesi. Listening to the swing of Sinatra helps me relax into the jazzy rhythms of Abels.
For now, however, I’m looking forward to the next three hours of my life. All Vaughan Williams – all the time. Then, this afternoon: music from Pixar films, Mozart Requiem, Kiss me Kate, and William Grant Still Afro-American Symphony.