02 February 2018

Oakland Civic Orchestra: Overture to Hansel and Gretel

Well, OCO now has one more concert under its belt with only two pieces this time. The main piece in last weekend's concert was Mahler's 4th Symphony but that is not "up" yet --- meaning our really wonderful videographer has not managed that yet! The overture was Humperdinck's "Overture to Hansel and Gretel" and it was conducted by Shannon Houston, our Associate Conductor. Because we are an amateur orchestra whose players all have day jobs, we all get the chance to do things which stretch us. Thus, Shannon is a fine violinist who most often plays principle second with OCO and is learning conducting at the same time. (Speaking of being stretched, our videographer is actually one of our bassists, Carol de Arment. Carol is teaching herself the in's and out's of videography and in the process of putting together a long piece chronicling the 25 year history of OCO!) Remember to enlarge to full screen!

Addendum: apologies to Carol deArment! She sent me a link to the first movement of the Mahler this morning --- probably not long after I noted the symphony was not up yet! I also said above that the music we play stretches us --- and in ways which are hard to quantify. In speaking about this program Marty, our conductor, did a little quantifying; she said had waited to conduct Mahler for 25 years! That is partly dependent on having an orchestra that can do that technically, but it is very much more a matter of being a conductor who can help them do that! It takes its own kind of stretching to lead an orchestra to play difficult music and to do so as an ensemble which has come to share in the conductor's (and the composer's) musical sense and artistic vision. Getting there, to whatever extent we do that, is really hard work! Ultimately it is usually joyful as well. In any case, here is the first movement of Mahler's 4th symphony.