ANATOMY OF AN ORCHESTRA: A Rehearsal of The Rite of Spring with the Orchestra of the Music Makers



There are few things as fascinating as witnessing an orchestra at work. Here are some photographs taken at a rehearsal in the School of the Arts of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring with the Orchestra of the Music Makers (OMM) conducted by Chan Tze Law on Sunday evening (27 May 2012).

THE STRINGS: The violas in action.

The scrolls of the double basses resemble a fern before it turns into a frond.
Even cello cases have very different  personalities.

THE WOODWINDS: Bass clarinets add an unusually deep timbre to the music.
Two members of the flute family: the diminutive piccolo and the alto flute.

The contra-bassoon provides a deep throaty sound to the proceedings.

THE BRASS: A trumpeter's paraphernalia. This trumpeter is playing with a mute in place.
On the left is a Wagner tuba, to be performed by the 7th and 8th horn players. There can be no more awesome sound than the French horn section playing together.
Tubas give a sonority of great heft, and a hand helps mute a French horn.

Trumpets and horns in unison.

THE PERCUSSION: Tubular bells and metallaphones.

A timpanist's bag of assorted mallets.
The percussion always looks like the most exotic section.

TUTTI: The conductor is the interpreter-in-chief. All the musicians follow his lead and perform as one.

A view from the back of the violas.

One is guaranteed a loud reception when seated near the brass. For The Rite of Spring, the volume is close to deafening.