I feel so lucky I am almost afraid to breathe. This week I am doing the thing that I love love love to do, have long wanted to do and want to keep doing. Recording 8 of the 39 Vivaldi concerti for bassoon and strings, surrounded by some of the most talented musicians I have ever met, including the support teams. Three of my students are on the support staff and are helping enormously. Megan Morris is driving artists from the hall to the hotel, wrangling the food, taking care of all the behind scenes stuff. Neil Bishop is two steps ahead of me all the way, fixing parts, collecting all of the score revisions and corrections, getting music stands, making sure that the sessions do not go overtime, cleaning up the food. Bianca Chambul, the youngest, earned her keep tonight by following from the manuscript and finding several mistakes in our printed parts. And finding a couple of errors that I had learned in my solos! I am surrounded by some of the finest ears in the world for these few days and feel so lucky. And my beloved roommate Guy Few has abandoned his own practise schedule for these last few days and is overseeing the whole operation, making sure that things are running smoothly, that we have food and a party to look forward to, putting out any small fires that break out along the way. He was also the one to help Nic turn on the organ… god, I hope someone remembered to turn it off!!
First day of recording and we have finished 4 concerti (F Major #25 RV491; C Major # 26 RV 479; E Flat Major #23 RV 483 and G Minor #495). Nicholas plays from the score and constantly checking with the manuscript, finding wonderful corrections (things I have always wondered about like the last two b’s in the solo voice in the andante of
E Minor #6 RV 484 — these notes don’t exist and have always bugged me in the Riccordi edition, and it turns out they don’t exist!) Our engineer, David Bowles is in a state of constant alertness. He never minces words but responds very clearly and keep the sessions very focussed.
I will tell you more about the musicians tomorrow… we recorded for 8 hours today and will do the same tomorrow. The upper strings and I all play standing. There are enough breaks to make it possible to keep going.
I hope some of that made sense. My feet ache a bit so I am going to pitch headfirst into bed and make reeds in the morning before the first sessions.