"Symphonies of Winds": A Workout for Winds and Brass
Check out this very interesting article from Anthony Tommasini of the New York Times, reviewing a recent concert presented by Jonathan Nott and the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra at Lincoln Center.
The ensemble performed Stravinsky's Symphonies of Wind Instruments, which UMWO will be performing on our November 4th concert. In Tommasini's view, the choice to add this incredible piece to the program might have been a misstep, partly because of the quick-paced nature of the festival and limited rehearsal time available for the orchestra. He criticizes the performance as "lacking continuity and forward thrust."
This is a very accurate description of why this piece is so difficult to perform well- with the piece's rapidly shifting segments of what Stravinsky refers to as 'litanies' of like instruments jumping in and out of the conversation. It can be very difficult to present to the audience a complete and congruent thought that continues to move forward in time smoothly. In order to achieve this, it takes a certain amount of time to explain to the ensemble what the goal of the piece is, and to, as best is possible, understand Stravinsky's true intention for the piece.