This life of glamor I lead is eating into my orchestration time. Last night I went to the Atlanta Symphony (accompanied by the lovely Marc). They played Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis, and it was gorgeous. They also did VW’s Symphony No. 5, which was a bit of a muddle. But mostly they did Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5, “Emperor,” and it was stupendous.
These days I find myself using concerts as quick lessons in orchestration: how’d that effect work? What about that combination? Don’t forget that texture. And so forth.
Last night, the scoring technique that jumped out most at me was the use of muted strings in the scherzo of the VW 5th. Very subtle effect, and I’m thinking it’s one I need to try when it comes time to orchestrate “Milky Way.” If I don’t forget.