Otra Vez

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Last week I posted photos of the activities going on outside of the concert hall for the On Stage at Powell tango night, featuring Cortango Orquesta. This week, thanks to photographer Joe Schmidt, here are pictures of the show.

Claudia Cortes and Mauro Peralta
Claudia Cortes and Mauro Peralta
Cortes and Peralta with the full Cortango Orquesta ensemble
Cortes and Peralta with the full Cortango Orquesta ensemble
Left to right: STL Symphony musicians (aka Cortango Orquesta) Melissa Brooks, David DeRiso, Chris Tantillo, Asako Kuboki, Cally Banham
Left to right: STL Symphony musicians (aka Cortango Orquesta) Melissa Brooks, David DeRiso, Chris Tantillo, Asako Kuboki, Cally Banham
Cally Banham and Adam Maness
Cally Banham and Adam Maness
Cortes and Peralta
Cortes and Peralta

Musicians from that evening who are not pictured: Symphony flutist Andrea Kaplan and Cortango pianist Adam De Sorgo.

Blithe Spirit

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I asked St. Louis Symphony piccolo player Ann Choomack about the level of piccolo anxiety that Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 8 induces in her. The whole Symphony No. 8 is a music of extremes, but the dual piccolos (the other played by Associate Principal Flute Andrea Kaplan) are especially noticeable since they play high above the other instruments cries and shouts, shrieks and murmurs. The piccolos are definitely heard. They are exposed.

Left to right: Ann Choomack and Andrea Kaplan are done with their day of Shostakovich piccolo duties.
Left to right: Ann Choomack and Andrea Kaplan are done with their day of Shostakovich piccolo duties.

Choomack was remarkably blithe about her role in the Eighth. “The solos really aren’t that difficult,” she told me at a break in Wednesday morning rehearsal. “Other Shostakovich symphonies are much harder. The tutti, however,” when she and Kaplan play in unison, “is another story. It is all so high.” Just then, Kaplan let out one of those high high notes. “Like that,” Choomack laughed.

One Note

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More from my discussions with musicians who are the “inner voices,” or play in supporting roles in the orchestra. This from Jennifer Nitchman, who plays with Principal Mark Sparks and Associate Principal Andrea Kaplan in the flute section. “My job is to make Mark and Andrea sound as good as they can. For example, when they stop to take a breath, I may play louder for that one note, as loud as if they were both playing. Then I immediately go back to blending with them on the next note.”

 

Jennifer Nitchman and Mark Sparks
Jennifer Nitchman and Mark Sparks