Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
SyncMan

How much rehearsal time does an orchestra have on Live-to-Projection concerts?

Recommended Posts

My reason for asking this is that I went to two Star Wars: Live-to-Projection concerts at the Kennedy Center, Washington, DC—A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back—with the National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Steven Reineke.  I was disappointed with how the brass section handled the playing of Williams outstanding notes—they were not pronouncing the notes as sharply as they should be.  Other orchestras I’ve witness on stage did a better job at them—the Baltimore Symphony and the New Jersey Symphony.  I would think that if Maestro Reineke have heard these wrong notes that he would work hard in having the brass musicians correct them, but, to my ear, he didn’t and just let them get away with it.  I’m wondering if it may be the lack of rehearsal time the orchestra may have been given that is causing the problem.

Incidentally, during the intermission of the SW-ANH performance in New Jersey, one of the French horn players volunteered to greet the audience and I asked him how much rehearsal time the orchestra had in this program.  He said that they had two 4-hour rehearsals—one rehearsal a day—within 7 days before the first public performance.  So I’m wondering if other orchestras have a different procedure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And bear in mind that most orchestras aren't used to play to such exact timings are required by a live to projection concert. Compared to studio recordings, live performances are prone to mistakes anyway (most live recordings edit them out by combining takes from multiple performances), and playing unfamiliar music in an unfamiliar setting with probably little rehearsal time doesn't make it any easier. I was surprised that the LSO played as flawlessly as they did last weekend.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Marian Schedenig said:

And bear in mind that most orchestras aren't used to play to such exact timings are required by a live to projection concert. Compared to studio recordings, live performances are prone to mistakes anyway (most live recordings edit them out by combining takes from multiple performances), and playing unfamiliar music in an unfamiliar setting with probably little rehearsal time doesn't make it any easier. I was surprised that the LSO played as flawlessly as they did last weekend.

They absolutely did. I think this might have been the best performance yet.

 

Karol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Bilbo said:

I’d love to see the LSO do TFA live, I might enjoy the score more with a proper sounding Star Wars brass section. 

 

That’s the only way I’ll give TFA another listen, when it's at a concert setting.  There was something about how the brass sounded at the Sony Scoring Stage, where the original soundtrack recording was made, that rubbed me the wrong way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, SyncMan said:

 

That’s the only way I’ll give TFA another listen, when it's at a concert setting.  There was something about how the brass sounded at the Sony Scoring Stage, where the original soundtrack recording was made, that rubbed me the wrong way.

 

I think the brass sounds fine on TFA, but even if I didn't I can't imagine thinking it sounded so bad that I'd refuse to EVER listen to the score again.  That's kinda weird, man.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, Chen G. said:

It doesn't; especially during the movie, where it borders on the imperceptible.

In contrast to George Lucas, Jar-Jar was surrounded by sound design yes-men. Compare:

P.S. In the second link, if you go back to 1:20, you can hear The Force Unleashed 2 theme. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm certainly not advocating music drowning sound effects, and the sound design on The Force Awakens is excellent and deserves to shine.

 

But if the audience comes out of the film (especially in this series) unaware that there was music at all - without actively listening to the underscore and without having heard the OST prior - that's a problem.

 

It sure doesn't help that The Force Awakens is one of, if not the least extrovert and grand of the eight scores, and features the smallest instrumental ensemble.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Chen G. said:

It sure doesn't help that The Force Awakens is one of (if not the) the least extrovert and grand of the eight scores, and features the smallest instrumental ensemble.

As a child I always wondered why didn't Yoda go to confront the Emperor. Now that JW is 900 years old too, I get why.

original.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, SyncMan said:

 

That’s the only way I’ll give TFA another listen, when it's at a concert setting.  There was something about how the brass sounded at the Sony Scoring Stage, where the original soundtrack recording was made, that rubbed me the wrong way.

 

47 minutes ago, Disco Stu said:

 

I think the brass sounds fine on TFA, but even if I didn't I can't imagine thinking it sounded so bad that I'd refuse to EVER listen to the score again.  That's kinda weird, man.

Just to be clear, it's not so much the brass section's playing in as much as how their sound is heard in the acoustics of the Sony Scoring Stage.  I'm sure Williams recruits the best players in the LA area, but the room's quality is not the same as back in the 1980's through the 1990's when it was known as the MGM Scoring Stage.  Some kind of renovation was done in that room that created that quality and how it affected the sound of other scores recorded there in recent years.  I guess I miss that sound in Williams music.  That's one of the reasons why I dislike the TFA score.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×