Matthew Lickona 8:30 a.m., Oct. 20
A brief talk with an orchestral musician
I thought it might be nice to get a perspective from an orchestra member regarding this weekend’s San Diego Symphony concert.
Igor Pandurski is a first violinist. A slight and charming accent to his English confirms that he did his undergraduate training in his native Croatia, although at the time it was called Yugoslavia. He did a master’s degree at Rice University in Houston, Texas and has been with the San Diego Symphony Orchestra for about 20 years now.
When the symphony was temporarily dissolved, Pandurski spent a year playing for the orchestra in Bergen, Norway.
I asked Igor what challenges the Brahms Fourth Symphony brings.
“It is, like all Brahms, very string heavy. The challenge for a string player, in general, is to sound like one voice with the rest of the section. You never want your tone to be different or sticking out from the others.”
I was curious to know if there were particular sections of the Brahms that he looked forward to playing.
“ We have a very nice opening and then, well, it’s difficult to say. I think it is all great music. Each of the movements has wonderful music for us.”
What about the Too Hot Tocata?
“It is a modern piece and has some very fast and difficult passages for the strings. It has different challenges from Brahms because of it’s complexity. Not that the Brahms isn’t complex, the style of music is just so different.”
Which leaves us with the Sibelius Violin Concerto.
“The Sibelius is one of my favorite pieces and it is always a pleasure to play. In some ways it is in the middle between the Brahms and the Too Hot Tocata.”
Isn’t Sibelius always kind of in the middle?
“Yes, he’s very quirky but that’s one of the reasons his music is great. I love Sibelius.”
We also briefly talked about the previous concert. I did not know that violinists love Haydn.
“He wrote so much music and all of it is--good. There are some pieces by other composer where you wonder why they wrote it but you never think that with Haydn. He wrote so many symphonies, so many string quartets and all of them are have something new and interesting to play. We used to get a few of us together as students and play through a Haydn Symphony just for fun.”
So, this weekend we have fast, challenging, quirky, and great with Aaron Jay Kernis Too Hot Toccata, Sibelius Violin Concerto, and Brahms Symphony No. 4.
The performances are Friday and Saturday at 8:00 pm and Sunday at 2:00 pm at Symphony Hall.