We had the honor of getting a sneak preview of the Artosphere Festival Orchestra performances while sitting on stage as they rehearsed this morning! Under direction of Conductor Corrado Rovaris, the orchestra prepared Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92 for Friday night’s Evening of Beethoven concert at the Walton Arts Center.
With a “buon giorno” and a raise of his arms, Rovaris gained the full attention of the orchestra and the rehearsal began. They played through the entire piece once, and then went back to perfect sections in order to express the emotion that Beethoven wanted to convey to the audience. Rovaris described what was wanted by the musicians through a series of arm movements, humming sequences, facial expressions and a few words. The musicians would listen intently to his instruction then play the notes even more beautifully than the first time.
Sitting on the left of the bassoonists and clarinetist, in front of the trumpets and timpani and behind an array of strings was an amazing experience. The musicians that created the full, put-together orchestra sound were heard individually on stage. It goes without saying, that the individual sounds were just as wonderful standing alone as with the entire group.
It was interesting to hear the conversation that emerged between the woodwinds, brass, percussion and strings. Call/answer sections were frequently featured that included a group of woodwinds and a group of strings. The woodwinds would let their reed vibrations ring through the hall, answered by the sharpness of the bow against the strings.
From our vantage point, we also saw the visual aspects that go into a performance. Rovaris acted as a type of choreographer for the bows and fingers that controlled the instruments’ sounds. The musicians also mimicked Rovaris’ facial expressions to add to the meaning behind the music.
After the musicians had perfected the emotions that they are to perform for the audience tomorrow night, Rovaris concluded the rehearsal with a flick of his wrist and baton.
This series of Artosphere Festival Orchestra performances is a must-see! For more information about the concert series and to reserve tickets for the festival events visit our website, or call the box office at 479.443.5600.