Symphony Orchestra 11/16/11

We are two weeks away from our concert. Where do we stand? In class, we recorded several of our concert pieces, without stopping. This will give us a snapshot of where we are and what we need to do in order to have the best performance possible.

Assignment: Listen to the audio files, then make constructive comments. This self-assessment can help everyone learn and understand where we need to go from here.

Notes: Your comments should be SPECIFIC. General comments like “good” or “bad” are not helpful. Please mention specific measure numbers when commenting. For instance, “At measure 35, violins could have played louder,” or “I really think that cellos had excellent intonation on their melody at measure 65.” Keep in mind the goal is to constructively comment and listen in order to make us better!

Note: If you are using Google Chrome, issues with listening to audio files have been found. Please use Mozilla Firefox, Safari, or Internet Explorer.
  1. Have your sheet music and a pencil handy to reference.
  2. Listen to the audio (see links below)
  3. Make specific comments for the piece using the “comment” link below.
  4. Be sure to leave your first name when commenting so that you get credit for your answers!
Sample Formatting:
CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL – Your comments here…
Audio Files
Chr. Festival Nov 14 (excerpted)

28 thoughts on “Symphony Orchestra 11/16/11

  1. Definitely could be more together on the tempo changes. First violins need to not rush on the eighth notes and count at 2. Number 6 everyone needs to look up for the tempo change. Watch the key change at number 12. 2 measures before 14 to 15 needs work.

  2. Beginning sounds good up to two before 2.
    It sounds like we all rush from then on till we get use to the tempo.
    At 3 we missed a good amount of notes at the transition.
    5 Sounds a lot better than it did. Until 8 before 6.
    At 6 we really messed up.
    8 Sounds alright but not good enough for the concert. at the end towards 9 we lose it.
    The first violins sound off at 9.
    12-13 sounds good.
    Sure do not have the sixteenth notes before 14 down.
    Ending sounds to squeaky not clean notes.

  3. General Comments:
    Stronger start at the beginning, play like you mean it
    Watch for the tempo changes at different sections
    Watch the key signatures, they change a lot (Intonation)
    Play more of the dynamics – bigger diminuendos
    I can’t hear any of the sforzandos – more piano after an initial attack

    At 2, firsts need to play piano, we’re not the melody here. Relax and don’t get tense, that causes the forte.
    Watch the style of the pieces. Each section has a distinct style.
    Two note phrasing at 4-6
    Watch the tempo! Always look up and listen – make sure we’re together!
    At 8, we need more softer sounds. We’re playing at almost mezzo forte the entire section. The pianissimo section especially should be emphasized.
    Shorter at 10, off the string if you can
    At 14, emphasize the hairpins. More diminuendo and crescendo on triplets
    Watch intonation everywhere!
    Look up at the end! The tempo is fast, so we need to work harder to stay together!

    Overall, we have a lot of work to polish this piece up. And seconds really need to step it up, I could not hear you guys at all.

  4. Christmas Festival
    –measure 5, Seconds work on intonation
    –pay attention to the dynamics at measure 10
    –We are speeding up at 1 measure before “2”
    –Work on intonation at “3”
    –Count at “6”, we aren’t together!
    –More staccato at “5”
    –More vibrato at “7”
    –Watch intonation at “7” there is a key change!
    –Intonation at 6 before “9”
    –Be sure to count at “11”
    –Key change at “12”
    –Intonation at 4 before “13”
    –Intonation, work on shifting 3 after “14”
    –Accent more at 8 after “15”

    Overall, we really need to work on intonation! There are some tricky spots in this piece, so be sure to practice and work hard!! 🙂

  5. Beginning: watch intonation

    Measure 10: could be a more dramatic sfp

    At allegro: 1sts should watch for intonation and make sure your not rushing

    End of 4: could have more dramatic sfp

    6: be sure to subdivide

    8: All sections should watch intonation and subdivide. Violins especially watch for intonation here

    9: all sections watch for intonation here

    11: 1sts be sure to memorize the pizz part here. Also watch for the key change

    13: watch intonation especially at the divided parts (1sts)

    4 measures before 12: watch intonation. We all need to be better together.

    14: High notes for 1sts need to be better in tune

    End: we could make the accents stronger.

  6. Measure 6: Everyone needs to watch for that allargando and cellos need to watch the C#
    Measure 10: sfp!!!!! We NEED to make a bigger deal with this. It should really grow into measure ten! Right now you can’t tell it is there by just listening.
    The Allegro: Violins do not rush! Right now tempo is all over the map. We need to watch Mr. Riegel and settle into a tempo.
    After rehersal 2 11 bars: Cellos watch the intonation of the C#, B,D, E, E, A passage. Right now it is very out of tune.
    L’istesso Tempo: More dynamics is needed! Also take note of the key change!! There were a lot of F#s and C#s still. That can not happen!
    Andante con moto: Watch Mr. Riegel for the tempo. Do not slow down here just because it is soft. Remember piano is not a tempo!
    Ending of the Andante section: Watch all of your sharps!
    Rehersal 13: Violins watch intonation!
    Andante non troppo: More cello when we have the melody. We worked on this today so it should be better!
    The last measure before the Allegro vivo: Cellos and violas watch intonation!
    15 measures from the end: Cellos….we need to get this in tune. It has sounded better these past few days…keep it that way!
    Overall, we have a long way to come in 6 rehersals. It is very clear that not everyone has been practicing and working out the hard parts in their music. We need to perform our best at the Celebration Concert to showcase the orchestra department at Darby! Practice over Thanksgiving Break and really learn your parts so that we can put it all together in the last week!

  7. First violins, do not rush at number 2! We need to subdivide in our heads.
    Everyone, let’s make a bigger crescendo at number 3, five measures into number 3, and two before 4.
    Back off sooner at number 6, and first violins, play louder since you have the melody.
    Watch intonation around number 8, and make bigger swells with crescendos and decrescendos.
    Don’t rush the pizzacado at 11.
    Of course, practice 14-15 intonation, but make sure the crescendos and decrescendos are more exaggerated, as well.
    Great work, guys!

  8. Christmas Festival: Cellos need to play with more confidence and strength throughout the piece, and at times the violins are to overpowering.

    Overall i thought it was good but we still need to work for us to play at our full potential.

    • Good observations… but be more specific– what made you think it was good, and where in the piece did those things occur? “At times the violins are too overpowering…” where in the piece did this happen?

  9. Measure 6 felt a little rushed entrance

    passage 2 was not together

    passage 6 was rather messy with a little bit of intonation problem

    measure before passage 12 wasn’t payed at all in the 1st violin… (heard nothing)

    passage 14 and 15 was not together… intonation in the 1st on the high notes.

  10. There were lots of places where everybody could have been more in tune and/ or together. Such as at rehearsal 3, 1st violins could have been more in tune, more together and match styles more. Also for 1st’s after rehearsal 5 with the 2 quarter d’s (4, 8, and 12 measures after), those styles need to match more, some were short and some were long. For 2nd violins, at 6 before rehearsal 6, that could have been more in tune. For the rest of the piece, I think everybody just needs to watch the conductor and watch the key signature!

  11. beginning- make sure were coming down to piano
    1- dynamics, the sfp could be more exaggerated
    2- started out not so bad, but really pay attention and keep in time with mr riegel. we’re not all together.
    3- key change!! we’re pitchy, tone is a little off.
    5- down to piano, and then towards the middle we need to stay together better.
    6- um.. watch inotation it gets prettty pitchy. also keep in time with mr riegel and pay attention to dynamics. learn your parts here!! be in tune!!
    8- sounds a little scratchy?
    11- good for the most part together! 🙂 just start off confident!! 🙂
    12- starts pitchy, then we need to play together!
    14- pay attn to dynamics, the sfp and 1sts watch the high notes… getting a little iffy.

  12. at 1 make sure we all watch for the tempo and stay together! /but way to start the piece off! great!
    same thing at 2. this parrt is very noticeable when we’re not together! WATCH MR. RIEGEL!
    intonation in all parts at number 3
    BEWARE OF SHARPS AT 8 and 10!!!
    I liked the pizz at 11! very nice!
    i also liked the entrancee at 12. very smooth.
    15 is going to fly by so we all must watch!
    very nice ending! way to stay together at that part!
    overall i think we can really work on more dynamics and a little intonation. WE CAN DO IT:)

  13. – At the beginning, the notes could be played louder and more crisp: they all have accents on them
    – Throughout the WHOLE piece, there are barely any dynamics played other than a general loud or a sort of quiet. We should work on more expressive and exaggerated dynamics along the phrasing of passages
    – Violins at rehearsal 2 (and throughout the piece though especially during non legato parts) need to SUBDIVIDE and keep steady and together, we are rushing
    – We could definitely do a lot of work on phrasing and overall playing wih a good tone throughout the piece
    – We need to work on switching styles and switching keys from each section of the piece to the next: for example some notes after rehearsal 4 are too long while we are really out of tune at rehearsal 7
    – After rehearsal 14, we really need to work on the phrasing and where we play the dynamics; there needs to be a crescendo and decrescendo on the triplets while the tremelos should be piano. Overall, that section needs to sound more confident
    – Everything after rehearsal 11, like the beginning can have a more crisp sound with the accents more exaggerated
    – The end of the song is ok, but we all need to be looking up so that we stay steady and together. In general, i think we can be a lot louder too (it’s the grand finale!)
    – All in all, we have our work cut out for us before the concert. The most blatant things, like intonation and playing together really need to be fixed soon so that we can have time to work on other issues like tone, phrasing, style, and dynamics before the concert

  14. Violins- Stronger entrance at the beginning!!!!
    Cello and 2nd Violin, Section 2- Need to count, its starting to rush because we aren’t listening closely.
    2nd Violin Section 3- Intonation!!!!!!!!!!!!!! watch out for the B flats and C sharps!!!
    2nd Violin, Section 5- Needs to be louder!!!!! With shorter bows. Stay together!
    Violins, 6th and 7th measures after Section 6- intonation.I heard a couple of out of tune notes from the 1st violin. And C sharps for 2nd Violin.
    ALL- The pianissimo 12 measures before section 9 needs to be more quiet.
    2nd Violin, 1 measure before Section 9- Intonation for A on the G string needs to be fixed.
    ALL- 4 measures after Section 14- Not together!!!!!!!!!
    ALL- 3 measures before 15- This part really needs work, no one is together, everyone is starting at different places.
    Overall, I think we’ve come a long way, and everyone has improved on this piece quite a bit. Especially since we did not have very many rehearsals. 🙂

  15. 3 measures after 1: the whole orchestra could get quieter and have a bigger crescendo.

    At number 2: first violins sound like they are rushing

    At number 5: 2nd violins need more work and need to stay together with the firsts.

    At number 6: stay together and WATCH.

    More work is needed at the end of the piece and overall it still needs more practice.

  16. we started well and sounded confident
    measure 10: the sforzando piano could be a bigger change in volume.
    all sections could work on playing together at the allegro before #2.
    work on intonation overall at #3.

    at #4 and #6 need to work on watching for the tempo.
    good accents at 9 after #6
    cellos need to make stronger accents at #13
    cellos need to work on intonation 1 before #15
    cellos also need to watch after #15 for the tempo.
    overall i think we need to work on watching for the tempo changes and intonation in some spots.

  17. 4th measure of the piece: There needs to be a bigger contrast between the piano dynamic and then building up to the forte.
    Rehearsal number 2: The syncopated beats need to be together between upper and lower strings.
    Rehearsal number 3: Violins need to be more in tune.
    Rehearsal number 6: Again, there needs to be more contrast in the dynamics!
    Rehearsal numbers 8 through 11: Yes the key signature is tricky, but we still need to be more in tune.
    four measures before 14 til the end: Everyone needs to be more together and match style on the sixteenth and eighth notes and triplets.
    I would definitely like to see more contrast in dynamics overall.

  18. Christmas Festival:

    We begin strong (1-3), but I think there could be a greater change in dynamic from 4-7. The piece says Piano->Forte, yet are change in intensity is not nearly so noticeable. This seems not so much due to lack of skill as lack of implementation. We’ve shown ourselves to be capable of expressive playing when we choose to be.

    4 Bars before [2], Cellos/Basses need to get the Low-High D progression down, and ensure that the notes do not slur together into a blue of sound. From what I understand, each of those notes are accented. Articulation makes all the difference. Intonation on the final D must be in tune

    1 before [2], at least in the bass section, I’m not certain if the pizzicato is supposed to resonate or be cut short during the rests.

    4 after [1] the sFp should be more noticeable

    [2] to [3] We all tend to wander from the beat; pay attention to others, and continue to subdivide throughout the piece

    [3]-[4] Intonation.

    [4]-[6] This had a bit of a more uplifting spirit about it. Good intonation and we stuck together

    [6]-[7] Again, playing together remains a problem. We cannot stop playing to regather ourselves in-concert

    Immediately before [9] Not playing together

    At this point, the number of times we’ve begun playing individually, as opposed to as an orchestra, is staggering and beyond mentioning again. Beyond anything, I’d say that’s what we must work on most

    [15]-end. Cellos/basses seem mildly confused by what’s going on here and – again – need to stick together.

    6 after [14] Played the triplets in a fairly nice manner – they sounded nice, at least.

  19. -The Beginning of the piece is ok; we need to work on intonation.
    -We need to watch all of our tempo changes; this is when we should look up if we are not sure.
    -At Section 3, 2nd violins need to be careful and watch out for B flats
    -2nd violins, we also need to play with more confidence because it is hard to hear us!
    -Everyone should be counting so that we don’t rush!
    -At section 6, it sounded like it was rushed, so we need to subdivide and work on some intonation.
    -Exaggerate the sfp more!
    -Don’t rush the pizz. at measure 11. We need to pizz. together.
    -We definitely need to work on our dynamics; so watch for those.
    -At the end of the piece, look up so we end together and stronger!

    Even though we still need to work on some things, we have come a long way, especially since we did not have as many rehearsals as we did for the Spaghetti dinner concert. Everyone needs to practice their parts because it is not fair to everyone else that practices if you do not know your parts as well as you should.
    Great Job! I think we will do great!

  20. Violins aren’t together on their very first entrance
    First violins rush very badly at 2, not together at all
    Listesso Tempo is out of tune
    5 Is well done
    6 fell apart
    Silent night could be a more in tune, more together and get quieter
    First violins at beginning of sleigh ride is out of tune
    16th notes aren’t together until after the tremelo
    Tremelo + triplet rhythms are out of tune, and is not together after that

  21. Christmas Festival.

    The beginning sounded weak and intonation needs to be worked on.
    Violins rush at 2.
    Seconds need to count better.
    At 6 we need to subdivide
    Before the allegro towards the end we sounded very bad.
    Overall we need to practice a lot.

  22. end of measure 3 – more decrescendo!
    end of measure 3 to 6 – seconds, accent the eighth notes more!
    measure10 – more of the Sforzando, we sort of stay at the same volume
    at the allegro – we started off together, but then lost it. Don’t rush the eighths!
    at the l’istesso – Watch Mr. Riegel to find the tempo, because it sounded like no one was really sure
    8 measures before section 6 – more of the Sforzandos violins!
    end of section 5 – watch Mr. Riegel!
    section 6 – I think we could start off even quieter, its not quite piano yet
    last 2 measures of section 7 – seconds could do more of a swell on the slurs and watch intonation on the g sharp
    at section 12 – check the key signature!
    section 14 – once again, do more with the Sforzando on the tremolos
    more of a crescendo on the second set of triplets
    lower strings intonation on the last few measures
    section 15 – where did the seconds go? Play louder!
    I liked the ending! It was strong and together 🙂

    Over all, I think we just need to watch Mr. Riegel for tempo changes and just make sure we know what key we’re supposed to be in!

  23. Mr. Riegel,

    I confirmed the bug in Google Chrome browser. It won’t play the MP3 files. Optionally students can right click on the file and save it to their hard drive to listen with a program such as iTunes or Windows Media Player…

  24. I think the intonation at the beginning of the piece sounds great, especially the high notes in the first violins. Also, nice pauses right after 1 and 8. However, there should be more of a cresendo right at the climax.
    Secondly, at 2 the violins are having trouble staying with the low strings. More dynamics can be used at 3. Intonation and notes must be worked on at 12.

  25. Measure 10- there needs to be a bigger crescendo
    At practice number 2- the first violins are rushing, watch Mr. Riegel and follow him, not the orchestra
    At the L’istesso- everyone needs to watch and count to stay in tempo
    At practice number 6- The first 4 measures needs to be quieter to make a bigger difference for the higher octave
    At practice number 8- It might just be me, but I think there needs to be more feeling at this silent night part
    8 before practice number 14- we need to count and subdivide and the sixteenth notes could be more clean and precise
    3 measures after practice number 14- we need to pull the 8th notes out more, and be together on that leading to the tremolos

  26. Overall, very nice. A couple comments..
    -We need to make sure to watch Mr. Reigel at all tempo changes, especially at Allegro at 2 and 3 before 14.
    -Intonation needs to be better at 6, 8, 15.
    -Basses!! Intonation on the higher notes in 4th position, like the high E after 15. Also, we need to make our part stand out more at 13-14, along with the crescendo on the triplets before 15!

  27. A Christmas Festival:
    4 after 1: we need to make the sforzando-piano more prominent, it just sounds like we’re going down to a mezzo-piano with a crescendo
    7 and 8: our notes need to be more in tune and song-like
    8 after 12: we need to do the sforzando better
    14: cellos need to be louder at their melody, we need to be quieter on the tremolos, we need to pay more attention to the crescendos and decrescendos, and we cannot rush the triplets

    We also need to watch Mr. Riegel at EVERY tempo change and we need to subdivide

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