My very first experience in hearing Music for Prague took place summer of 2010 at Interlochen's Arts Camp when the World Youth Wind Symphony, aka WYWS (pronounced "Why-Whis"), had performed it. Yes, the same performance as the recording we have available here on the blog! I was there!
It was my second summer working at Interlochen as an Ensemble Librarian along with six other librarians. We were each assigned at least two or three ensembles. It was our responsibility to make sure the music was all accounted for, clean of previous performance markings and on the stands early enough for the students have the chance to take a good look at it.
The high school students that travel to the wilds of northern Michigan stay for six weeks and perform a concert at the end of each of those weeks. That's right. Each. Week! Music for Prague in one week?! Under the baton of Mr. Gary Green, Director of Bands at University of Miami and coolest southern dude ever, these students worked hard in rehearsals every day to put this piece together. As you can hear they were very successful.
Now that I have experienced the rehearsal process of this piece, in a month as opposed to a week, I have found that the piece is much more than a bunch of crunchy chords with various trumpet and trombone fanfares. For my ears to get past the chaos Husa conveys so well, it has taken a few thorough run-throughs of the recording. During rehearsals I have found it hard to distinctly hear what everyone is playing. Concentrating on my syncopated rhythms, counting measures upon measures of long tones and tuning those stratosphere flute notes ends up distracting me from the various elements of the piece. But with all those listens, I am well aware of what is happening around me now.
Come out next week and enjoy our Prague program!