April 21 Rehearsal Blog

Hi All,

Please listen to the following recordings from Thursday’s rehearsal with your part in hand:

Ticheli 1

Ticheli 2

Ticheli 3

Awayday

Listen carefully for passages in which we are rushing, most noticeably the opening section of Awayday (it stabilizes shortly after rehearsal 2), and in the first/third movements of the Ticheli.

 

 


13 Comments

Will Gregg

April 26, 2016at 3:54 pm

Ticheli movement 1:
Opening is a bit unsteady then stabilizes. With few exceptions, sections are internally consistent but there is often rhythmic dissonance between sections (e.g. between woodwinds and low brass). The opening theme is repeated throughout the movement and seems to groove better each time- we need to focus more on locking in from the beginning. The horns have substantially improved their sound in their exposed sections and it really comes across. Rhythmic dissonance comes back up as the ensemble speeds up coming out of measure 152. Some sections rush and others are left behind and drag. I think that people are focusing on their parts due to fast notes in this final stretch, so it is even more essential to get your eyes and ears out of your stand and lock in.

Ticheli movement 2:
Clarinets sound great in the opening. Blending needs more work as additional voices come in, some intonation issues between sax/clarinets. Overall I feel like we are managing to be a lot more musical in this movement- we are getting a lot more of what is on the page. Flute solos are sounding really good, some of the supporting voices should back down a bit more to let them come through. Overall, the ensemble seems a lot more tentative/less confident around 109 but we get past this as more unison voices come in and dynamics increase. The arrival at 147 was kind of anticlimactic. 163 to the end has good dynamics/balance.

Ticheli movement 3:
Opening is getting there but could still be more percussive/separated. We come across as a lot more confident overall in this movement -we need to strive to get there with 1 and 2. The trumpet fanfare is sounding better but is still coming apart a bit rhythmically. The chorale in the low brass is starting to blend really well. I think 250 to the end is getting there but is running into similar issues that I cited for the end of movement 1.

Nathaniel Fisher

April 26, 2016at 1:43 pm

Ticheli 1
We seem to be pushing the tempo right at measure 3-4 but then we become more steady. We slow down a bit when we hit the triplets at 18 and throughout that section. I think we may have sped up a little bit on the off-beats two before 61. It seems that we rushed through m. 139. I think we ever so slightly rushed through the last few measures.
Ticheli 2
I think this movement, especialy the slow parts, is really beautiful, however there were little tuning issues throughout and I feel like you can hear in the recording how expressive the material could be, but we are not fulfilling that expectation. As for tempo, there was nothing I thought that was noticeably bad sounding. There were little fluctuations during some parts, at the beginning and in different parts before m. 41 for example, but I think these fluctuations can contribute more to the movements musicality rather than detracting from it. The 3/8 section did not have a lot of tempo change, but things seemed a bit off and out of sync in general there.
Ticheli 3
We sped up a bit around or a little after 47. The big chords at 103 were almost beautiful but weren’t quite in tune and tone quality was a little rough. The big chords at 237 could have been better in tune. We slowed down a little at the end and it didn’t sound very together. I feel like this movement sounded cool, but the band wasn’t really gelling together and actually making music.

Awayday
The beginning doesn’t sound as exciting as it usually does; that motif should always be really exiting and wild, but it was not at all throughout this recording . We speed up a little in 4. Like in movement 2 we aren’t really investing in 9 and 10, kind of just playing the notes. Rushing around 15. Rushed into 29. Rushing a little in 39 and 39 too.

yl748

April 25, 2016at 11:16 am

Ticheli I:
(m.2) The clarinets’ repeated Eb’s beginning sound too loud and aggressive already, so the the flutes in m. 3 and 5 aren’t able to add to the sound, since everything is already so loud and accented. (m.8) We have to make sure to >p by beat 3. (m.15) I didn’t know the flute line overlapped with percussion line until listening to the recording, so that’s great to know! (m.29-30) The mp isn’t heard in the flutes; beats 2 and 3 should be gradually softer. (m.74-81) The trumpets sound a little messy, especially compared to the preceding woodwind line; the following line should be an echo, in terms of style. (m.83-94) Woodwinds should bring down the non-accented notes, rather than focusing on stressing the accented notes. The mp sub. in m.94 was not there. (m.101-102) Listening to the xylophone for the molto stacc. eighth notes would give a reference for how short they need to be. (m.109-116) Bassoon, piccolo, clarinet sound lovely~ (m.158) The brass, especially, should lock in to the new tempo more quickly.
The first movement has come a long way, but in order to showcase the accents or the parts that stand out, we need to focus on playing less of the other parts, instead of playing the stressed parts even louder.

Ticheli II:6)
(m.2-6) Though alto sax is of more importance here, I think it’s too loud compared to flute and oboe. (m.15-16) The 32nd figure is messy 🙁 (m.26-27) I always think that I am tonguing hard enough on the repeated notes (flute), but after listening to it, I’ve learned I could tongue even harder. (m. 73) The pick-ups into m. 74 was not together at all. (m.84-109) The “hairpin” dynamics in the flutes need to heard. (m.126-144) The moving eighth notes should go somewhere – to the peak of the measure, or the held note, on which there should be a noticeable diminuendo into the next measure. (m.155-156) There needs to be even more separation between the first and second notes, so that these measures contrast with the slurred lines in the following two measures. (m.164-165) I need to count my rests here… came in m. 165 too early..
There are some very beautiful moments in this piece, but this movement – especially – needs more attention to dynamics, as there are no stark differences in style, such as molto stacc., as in movements 1 and 3.

Ticheli III:
(m.1-18) I thought this intro sounded pretty good. (m.25-27) The transition into 12/8, however, was a little unstable. (m.60-75) There were noticeable dynamics, but the accents were not there. (m.100-103) The woodwind run sounded pretty good. (m.103-116) The line in the trombones needs work on intonation, as it is very exposed (esp the C and D in m. 104). (m.117-127) The sixteenth notes into the held note in the woodwinds need to start louder, so that fp is really emphasized. (m.165) The flutes rushed the triplets leading in m. 166. (m. 200-213) The style was matched quite nicely here, and the piccolo embellishments sound lovely, and it’s nice to hear that because in rehearsal, I feel like I’m too buried in my music. Listening for parts like this during rehearsal will allow me to be more out of the stand. In m. 211, the eighth notes were not together. (m.233-236) The trumpets need more stability in these measures. (m.267-269) While there is a big crescendo, individuals need to stay inside the color of the sound. Out of the three movements, I think 3 is the most ahead.

eag248

April 25, 2016at 11:04 am

Ticheli 1 sounded somewhat frantic to me. The tempo seemed right, but it sounded like we were scrambling to keep up. Some of that may be a byproduct of our short, hammered style, because it was less noticeable in the smoother parts. Our sloppiest parts were the changing meters, ending with the offbeat accents in the low brass.
In Ticheli 2 the sixteenth note accents in the sax solo sounded a bit compressed again, then right after, in the three-sixteenth note pickup section, everyone seemed to be on a slightly different tempo, which made it sound messy. As we progressed, it sounded like we were getting tired and losing focus. Fortes were kind of blaring, and articulation didn’t seem as precise.
It didn’t seem like we really agreed on the tempo in Ticheli 3. We seemed a little behind, like we were resisting the tempo we were at. In the changing meter section, the quarter notes and dotted quarters outplayed the melody, so something needs to happen there to make the melody more noticeable. The chorales in general seemed out of tune.
I heard mostly tuning and tone quality errors in Awayday, but maybe that can be chalked up to being tired at the end of rehearsal.

Tessa

April 25, 2016at 10:33 am

Ticheli mvt 1:
I feel like for the first few measures we aren’t quite locked into the tempo yet, so it feels a little messy and not purposeful enough. The dynamics, especially of the fortepianos, need to be a lot more dramatic. At measures 103-105, I could hardly hear the flute’s low F so we definitely need to play that part louder and articulate it stronger. I think that during the last few lines of this movement, people who have long notes should play quieter because even though it’s the ending and it should be dramatic and the dynamics are loud, the sound is becoming kind of muddled and it’s hard to hear the moving notes. Also, the last few bars didn’t sound totally together, I think mostly because of the timpani.

Ticheli mvt 2:
Again, fortepianos should be much more dramatic. I think for measures 62-75ish, in addition to the big crescendo throughout that whole section, we could do more dynamic shaping for each individual phrase so it doesn’t get too repetitive and lose its sense of movement and purpose. The buildup to 147 sounded a little disjointed for some reason, like we weren’t all locked into the tempo or weren’t landing on downbeats together.

Ticheli mvt 3:
The trumpets triplets near measure 26 aren’t together, and in general in this piece it feels more like we are playing notes individually and not paying attention to others as much so our internal tempos aren’t really aligned. I think this may because it’s a fast tempo so we’re focusing on our notes and rhythms and stuff, but it comes across as rushed and not together sometimes. We definitely rush at 85 and don’t make it as dramatic as it could be, and instead it’s a little harried. Also, the last note sounds a bit too brash and aggressively loud.

Awayday:
I think as a band this piece sounds pretty good, although confidence and staying in tune in exposed sections does need to be worked on. Individual sections need to do work and there are obviously some tempo issues, but it sounded a lot better than I thought it would. I think most of the problems in this piece are fairly obvious ones, like tuning/tempo, and can be worked out pretty easily.

dlandz

April 25, 2016at 9:23 am

Ticheli movement 1
What first comes to mind when listening to this is the style of the movement. I feel as if its not frantic enough. The musical elements are intentionally scattered all over the place. However, the way that we’re playing it does not feel intentional. There’s a lot of rhythmic discontinuity instead of dynamic changes. So while the ensemble stayed together for the most part, the places where it was supposed to be frantic and exciting came across as dull and sloppy. The clarinet’s high F’s are still too piercing.
movement 2
The opening sounds great except for a few intonation issues. Make sure that when playing soft and slow, the pitch doesn’t drop from lack of air support. The hits in the second section are not together. Especially the last one at 56. We all need to watch better 73 and Clarinet intonation is off at 81. In the new section it makes sense that its a bit shaky since we haven’t rehearsed it much. But there were way too many
missed notes. At 147 the triplets are not together between sections. I also felt the arrival at 15 was a bit lackluster. The fade out to the end was nicely paced.
movement 3
The biggest thing is that it takes everyone a few eighth notes to match tempo when they enter. So a lot of the entrances are shaky and not together for almost a measure. The pulse at the fanfare at 85 was all over the place for the entire section. 134 had the same eighth note problem as the opening. 177-215 is sounding nice. Too much clarinet sound at 215. The lead into 237 was sloppy, I couldn’t tell if we were slowing down or not. And, there was an overly-brassy trumpet sound poking through at the end.
Awayday
The main issue that I can hear is when a particular section is exposed, we can hear all the notes played with bad tone. So a lot of sections just sound less confident. That and the obvious wrong notes that still need to be fixed.

rhb263

April 25, 2016at 12:04 am

My initial reaction upon listening to all 4 recordings was that, shockingly, I thought they sounded significantly better than my memory from rehearsal would indicate. Most of the time when I heard us cut off in the recording I wasn’t even immediately sure why we had stopped. Nevertheless I noticed a few places that were out of tune, rushing, etc.

– In Awayday between 32 and 33 it was obvious that we were rushing, and again just before 41.
– Measure 104 in Ticheli movement 3 was noticeably out of tune in the recording
– In 123 I noticed that my part sounds like it was dragging (despite me having written in my part in big print “DO NOT DRAG”. I’ll work on that.
– Xylophone in measure 187 in Ticheli movement 3 was rushing.
– Measures 58 and 152 despite me thinking I was playing FF, do not at all sound FF in the recording.
– In measure 234 in Ticheli Movement 3, I have a crescendo in my part but I did not hear it in the recording. I’m assuming others also have a crescendo but I could be wrong.
– The downbeat of measure 250 was not at all together, although it was the second time.
– The last four measures were not very together sounding but that’s a known issue that I probably don’t need to point out.

Other than that I thought everything actually sounded rather good – movement 1 in Ticheli I didn’t hear anything that I clearly thought “wow that sounded horrible”. I think we’ve come a long way in the past couple rehearsals and finally playing all the way through the two pieces helped us a lot.

vmuthuraj

April 23, 2016at 10:51 pm

Ticheli mvt 1:
m. 38 and 39 rush noticeably in the upper woodwinds and xylo. I think that when we’re trying to play those notes aggressively, we end up also rushing. When the same kind of figure comes in at m. 131, it also rushes. Since the xylo is playing there, it should be like a metronome for the woodwinds. Many of the dynamic swells are there (for example m. 55 and 145), but I think the softer dynamics could be softer. I think the crescendo in m. 169 could be more exaggerated as well for those who have it. The 16th notes in the timpani part seemed to drag a bit in m. 170, but adjusted themselves eventually. Overall, the band sounds much more confident than it did a few weeks ago.

Ticheli mvt 2:
The sounds of the entire movement seem to float, really evoking imagery of the moon in the sky (at least for me). I really love the brass chords from m. 11 to 14; they sound menacing, but subdued. The piccolo and trumpet are still not together at m. 19; from what I can hear, it sounds like a matter of internally subdividing the 16ths at a slow tempo. The woodwinds could sound even more aggressive on the 16ths at 41; maybe try articulating to imitate the “pointy” sound of the glockenspiel there. The section from m. 84 to 109 sounds a little flat (dynamically); perhaps adding more shaping to individual phrases would help. Measure 147 is a big arrival point, and feels like the climax of the movement for me; the melody don’t sound quite as excited and intense as the accompaniment and percussion; we sound like we’re just playing the notes. We could improve that by playing with a more decisive tone (and playing the rhythms cleanly). Overall, I’m really enjoying how this movement sounds.

Ticheli mvt 3:
Something I hear in this recording, and notice pretty much every time we rehearse this movement, is that those with more sustained notes tend to drag, even if people with 8th notes are keeping good tempo. This comes down to really watching James and listening to the instrument sections with the “metronomic” function. I like the tambourine bit from 31 to 33. The upper woodwinds rush a bit at m. 34. The trumpet rhythmic line starting at 45 gets behind, I think because they’re not getting off the 8th fast enough for the 16ths. They are better with that rhythm at m.59. The sax lick at m. 58 is impressively together, but it rushes toward the end of the measure. Measure 77 is supposed to be an arrival point, so we could use more crescendo in m. 76. I think the tempo also drags there, which is why 85 sounds faster. I think the xylo is rushing a bit at 93, which pushes the upper woodwinds with the melody to rush as well (there are a few other spots, like m. 138-139, and m. 185, where the xylo tends to rush 8th notes). The brass has a nice rich tone in the chorale section at 105, but could use more dynamic swells. Measure 117 should sound more like an arrival, which could happen if those with sustained notes in 116 would lead through their notes. Measures 237 to 250 could probably use a little less woodwind (which sounds really clean btw) and little more brass (which again sounds nice and rich). The timpani is pretty much right on at 250, but when the toms join in they’re a bit behind the timpani; I guess really watching James and anticipating that entrance (while accounting for the time it takes the mallet/stick head to actually reach the drum) would help with that. Measures 256-264 usually tend to drag a bit, so everyone playing there should really be on top of the tempo. Measures 264 onward sound exciting and triumphant; maybe the last note could be even louder. This recording sounds much better than last week’s, which sounded quite slow. I think we’re really starting to capture the excitement that Ticheli wrote into this movement.

Awayday
The upper woodwinds really run away with the tempo at rehearsal 1; we’re probably overestimating how fast the 8th notes should be. The woodwinds also rush the 2nd and 3rd measures after rehearsal 16 (specifically the clarinets I believe; I hear the clarinets finish that run before the flutes, who play the final note of that run right on the upbeat of the second beat of that measure). Rehearsal 17 is one of my favorite spots in the piece and it sounds pretty tight. The upper woodwinds rush during the 3/4 after rehearsal 23, even in the measures leading up to 25. I think the trumpets and trombones are rushing their melody a bit at 32. I think we’ve really come a long way on not compressing the 8th notes that are at the beginning and other moments in the piece. Rehearsal 41 onward also sounds good; it didn’t rush this time, and the ending sounds decisive. This is one of my favorite pieces that we’ve played all year, so I’m glad we get to play it some more.

    jspinazzola

    April 24, 2016at 10:06 am

    Thanks, Vineeta! You’re absolutely right about the tempo issues in Ticheli 1 and Awayday. Both just have to relax and “groove.” In movement 2 of the Ticheli, the melody at the climax (m. 147) sounds lackluster because of the light tonguing of repeated notes of the same pitch (the beginning of every slur), and uneven dynamic shape. We need to follow the melodic contour, toward the downbeat of the 2nd bar.

erickimsh

April 23, 2016at 9:29 pm

Ticheli mvt1: The melody seems to be weaker than what it needs to be. There have been major improvements, but I think the sound is not coherent enough on certain parts because we are not confident enough. The sixteenth notes and triplets are sometimes not clear and muzzled. Trumpets have seen major improvement, but the overall brass section needs to be much more confident. Woodwinds sometimes have a tendency to be too shrill. Rhythmically, the ensemble still needs to polish it, but there have been dramatic improvements.

Ticheli mvt2: Some of the long notes are not in tune, and when we enter into the sixteenth note triplets section, there are still many places where we need to be together but are not. This is critical, especially at the measure where we have a dramatic ritardando. Brass needs to express dynamics better; they are doing it, but it is not satisfactory. The last page sounded surprisingly better than expected, considering the fact that we have barely rehearsed it. I think some of the issues at the end occurred just because we were not as familiar with that part as we are about in the first half of the movement.

Ticheli mvt3: This section is very fast, and some of us are rushing even faster. We tend to compress the shorter notes in a hurry. Percussion seemed a little uncoordinated compared to the other 2 movements, and this is a major issue since the percussion section plays a major role in this movement. This is notable especially at the last page when the winds were confused in terms of the tempo. However, winds need to work as well. Lower brass could play louder while woodwinds need to be together, especially on the attack of the notes. This is still a major progress from the very beginning, but much work to be done.

Awayday: Overall, this rehearsal was the best it has sounded during this semester. Overall, rhythm and pitch are coming together, but there are still improvements to be made. Percussion needs to be much more precise and accurate. It is better compared to Ticheli mvt 3, but again, percussion also plays a major role in this piece in terms of rhythm, so it is necessary that they improve. Brass seems to lag behind on certain spots, and woodwinds are out of tune on some of the higher notes. The softer section needs to improve much more. These parts are very exposed, but we are not confident in these sections, causing them to sound weak and unpleasant at times. Still, the fact that the overall rhythm and pitch were not lost is a major improvement and a positive side to look at.

    jspinazzola

    April 24, 2016at 10:36 am

    Thank you, Eric, for your thoughtful comments. (Yes, we will spend time on the final portion of mvt. 2.)

hbk35

April 23, 2016at 7:49 pm

Ticheli Mvmt 1: Clarinets and Saxophones need to match articulations in the beginning triplet phrase. The triplets vs. eighth notes part still sounds unnatural both times it occurs. Perhaps if the trombones played louder it would sound intentional? French horns need to work on their exposed parts. Maybe a softer dynamic would make their part sound better within the sparser texture. Kudos to the trumpets. They are much improved.

Ticheli Mvmt 2: Clarinets started with a beautiful blend. I could surprisingly use more flute. Low Brass could be more dramatic on their bluesy sighs. It sounds like something that would be heard from the Paul Whiteman band, where it needs to be more Duke Ellington. In this recording, it sounds as if the clarinet and flute’s difficult rhythmic figures (that I’ve worked so hard on) sound more like “backgrounds” to support the soloist. Is this true? If so, it is important for our interpretation. Trumpets sound a little angry instead of glorious in the middle section. Perhaps they can relax and allow their trumpet to do the work? We will hear him no matter what because of the register. We need to practice the last page and a half as we have never rehearsed it extensively. Many of us sound surprised as we hear which direction the piece is going. By that point, a lot of the woodwinds could feel their chops giving up, which is why clarinet and saxophone intonation seem a little off. The reoccuring running figure at the end could probably be more blended into the glorious, sonorous chords.

Ticheli Mvmt 3: Clarinets could do more with the hairpins at the beginning. Percussion, (sounds like a bongo?), sounds a little sloppy. Tempo in the middle changing meter section sounds so rushed. Brass intonation during the chorale is iffy at times, which could ruin it for a more experienced audience member. When altos join the chorale, they need to produce a darker tone to match the brass. I don’t think I should be able to tell it’s an alto. Snare drum needs to be tighter on its accents. Before the long runs in the woodwinds and the return of the chorale, the band finally sounds relaxed and beautiful in the exposed woodwind section. Snare drum roll is so uneven.

Awayday: I think this beginning section is the best it has sounded this semester. Percussion needs to have a drum kit feel and it sounds like individuals. To be honest, the hot mess sections are whenever there is a combination of the brass playing a rhythmic line, the woodwinds having difficult passages, and the percussion keeping time. The solution starts with the percussion. Without a solid foundation, it is near impossible for the brass to play anything rhythmically correct. The percussion seriously caused the falling apart before the drum break. The cymbals offered no sense of time; they were played as if they were setting up ambiance. In my opinion, not to sound like a pessimist, I think we should consider playing it at a more reasonable tempo so it grooves. Perhaps the sense of “groove” will help the percussion know how their part fits.

    jspinazzola

    April 24, 2016at 10:32 am

    Thank you for your comments, and critical listening.

    Regarding Awayday, the tempo I’ve chosen (128-132) is already under the marked tempo. The groove you mentioned must come within that tempo, and, as you said, percussion must be the foundation. We are beginning with Awayday in a sectional tomorrow night.

    Ticheli, mvt. 2: I’d like to answer your question: What complicated “background figures” do you mean (perhaps subordinate to the soloist)?
    Yes, we will spend time on the final section of the movement.

    Ticheli, mvt. 3: The big comment here, I feel, is “relaxed.” Now that the technique is solidifying, we must relax into the tempo (especially in the mixed-meter section, where the tutti rhythms are easier to play).

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