Thursday, November 29, 2007

Financial restrictions mean no subs for the Oregon Symphony

One of the ways that the Oregon Symphony is conserving money involves restricting how many substitutes can be hired. One of the orchestra members told me that no subs could be hired for the last few concerts and for the near future. For the upcoming Vivaldi concert, no subs will be required because a chamber orchestra will probably be used for the "Four Seasons." But I have noticed that for the last several concerts, the orchestra (in terms on numbers on stage) looked pretty lean. On the one hand, no subs means that the orchestra members will play a little louder in the passages that require more volume. On the other had, I have to admit the some of the pianissimos in the last concerts were whisper-like quiet. I really liked that because the contrasts with the fortissimos were really large and more interesting that ever.

So, it seems that the no subs ruling is working. The orchestra is saving money and the sound hasn't been compromised. Of course, for the Mahler in April and the Orff in May, some subs are going to be needed.

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