Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes – Bob Lauver

A very unusual week shaping up for the PSO.  This morning’s rehearsal
began with an announcement (that was preceded by 12 hours by an e-mail)
that Spano was pulling out this week due to bronchitis.  Bob Moir
quickly communicated that the past three days had been full of frantic
activity to address the situation.

He then introduced the cover conductor for the week, our
Concertmaster Andres Cardenes.  Every week that we play a concert there
is a person hired by the PSO whose job it is to be ready to step up to
the podium in precisely this type of situation.  Andres is that person
this week.  Our two staff conductors (Associate Conductor Dan Meyer,
and Assistant Conductor Laurence Loh) are both in demand elsewhere,
usually one of them would be the cover conductor (that is one of the
duties of the staff conductor).

Andres began the rehearsal with some nice words for everybody which
served to settle us.  Having such a huge change is stressful for
everybody and it was nice to have that acknowleged out in the open so
we could get on with the task at hand, preparing a great concert for
our audience. 

The program got a serious overhaul, to the joy of some…..the
disappointment of some.  The John Adams piece was replaced by Dvorak’s
7th Symphony.  Personally, in the Adams I was excited to see how my
rather ungratifying horn part was going to fit in with what I’ve heard
is a very good piece.  Maybe ungratifying isn’t the right word because
you really don’t get a true feel for a part until you’ve played the
work with the full orchestra.  In the first movement of the Adams,
there are a couple of pretty cool lines that get into the horn’s lowest
register that were fun to work on, but the second two movements are a
typical "Adamsian" use of the instrument as a pitch and rhythm
generator which isn’t so fun to work on, but creates some kick-butt
energy in the music.  The benefit here is that when the piece gets
worked back into the schedule it will have the advantage of some

Likewise, a well-known and frequently performed work has a great
chance this week to be truly spectacular.  The music literally was
dropped onto our stands this morning, so all the preparation that the
audience will hear will have been done in the day-and-a-half before the
concert.  The Dvorak will hopefully benefit from a degree of
spontenaeity that it might not have if the parts were available from
the library several weeks ago as our repertoire usually is.  I’m
looking forward to the weekend’s concerts.  Hopefully the last minute
changes won’t decimate the audience.

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