This project was a pure joy!
Our Maestro, Daniele Gatti, was in a splendid mood. As a matter of fact he told a few musicians after the last concert in Bregenz that he had arrived on the first rehearsal day, exhausted after driving his car for hours on the crowded highway from Milan, having performed a concert the night before - and then arriving in a small hot rehearsal room on the 4th floor of Teatro Regio... All the conditions reunited for a tiring, laborsome afternoon... But THEN we started the first measures of Eroica and he said his tiredness evaporated and the fun started. He said he got so much energy and joy from the musicians that he felt rejuvenated and his mood didn't change for the whole project.
I personally was very happy to see we had hired excellent extra players, for instance a concertmaster, Daniel Rowland, whom I know we'd been trying to get for a few years and who finally made it here (he is amongst other positions the first violinist of the Brodsky quartet) and some extra players who I haven't seen for years but who very strongly belong to the MCO family. In any case, the result was stunning and we played three beautiful concerts, very dynamic. It was particularly exciting to see that Gatti felt free to try new things, changing the tempi drastically between rehearsal and concert for example, things you can't usually afford to do with an orchestra. But in this case he seemed willing to take the risk, as if he had a toy to play with, and the result for us musicians was that we never once got bored - always expecting a surprise around the corner!
The beautiful weather that week and the excellent food in Turin and Reggio didn't do any harm either – we were really spoiled.
To conclude this project, I was very lucky to participate in the chamber music project, the opening concert of the quartet festival in Reggio Emilia, where we played a Webern and Mozart string quartet and the big Schubert Octet. The chemistry between musicians was palpable, we got along very well inside and outside rehearsal time. I hope to reiterate this experience very soon because in my eyes chamber music is a crucial part in the instrumentalist's career, a big challenge and a Must on the rocky road of becoming and remaining a "complete" musician.
Till next time!