by Jorma Panula
Choice of repertory and contact with the orchestra. In choosing repertory one must take into account the level and working efficiency of the orchestra, which depends upon, among others, the following things: Circumstances of rehearsals and concerts such as space, acoustic and whether or not it is a concert hall or all-pupose space, etc.; regular conductor; intendant; tours; take notice of orchestra ‘divas, concertinasters, principals, librarian, organizers, and stage manager; make sure that the parts are in good shape in every possible way!; arriving to the location is orientation.
In front of the orchestra. Opening words; work order; “product description” of the work at hand.
Beginning. Commentary in words and gesture – posture – wait – hands – wait -speech when needed, ready into motion! Decide whether you will run the whole section or in parts. Will you conduct like in performance or rehearsal (exaggerated gestures). Use your ears and eyes, remember what happens both in the playing and reaction. Ready with your expression, gesture, words.
Stopping. Why do you stop? There begins the rehearsal!! Possible praise and criticism. To what extent do you listen to concertmaster, principals and players’ comments?
Rehearsal method. Broad or precise approach? By section, stand or individual? Do you demand alertness from others? Missing instruments is your ability to arrange and improvise.
Coffee break. Time it in a suitable moment. Decide whether you use the break for rest, work, contacts (see above) or talk rubbish. The orchestra’s fatigue or concentration depends on your efficiency!
After the rehearsal. Decide how you will use the next rehearsal. Agree on rehearsal times and other details with possible soloist or choir. Be ready for surprises: change of program, change of soloist, change of rehearsal times, etc. How do you use your spare time?
Dress rehearsal and before concert. Do you want audience at the dress or how de prepare if it is already sold? Review the dress in your mind afterwards, figure out possible confusion in advance (unclear transitions, rhythm, intonation problems, other technical problems) but concentrate only on the message of the composer. Rest: no extra work, no noise, no alcohol, etc!!
Concert. Are you considerably nervous before a concert? Why? There’s the whole problem! Are you unsure? Why? Don’t try to be more than you are, it shows. Breathing – yoga- relaxation. So ………