In our most recent recital, District5 performed works by Mozart, Villa-Lobos, and Carter. These pieces were not only transformative in nature, but also served to transform the members of District5 themselves into different configurations.
(And that is just a fancy way of saying: we were down a horn player due to some ill-timed wisdom tooth surgery and needed to figure out what music--that is still wonderful and challenging and meaningful--to program!)
We ended up with an extremely varied and compelling program that totally transformed our playing and pulled out comfort levels outside of our bodies, shook them around a little bit, and then placed them back inside us in a slightly different place than they were before.
The program included the Carter quartet, the Villa-Lobos quintet with English Horn instead of French horn, and a Mozart quintet/transcription of a fantasty for mechanical organ that I was able to rehearse in time for the concert. Side note: There is a quartet version of this particular Mozart Fantasy for Mechanical Organ, sans horn, that is also really quite lovely. But hey- when we can quintet, we quintet!
One good thing about not being able to play horn for a month (and there are not many good things, trust me; you take what you can get) is that I was able to throw myself whole-heartedly into the essential role of COMMANDER of excellent pulse and rhythm. Both eyes on the score baby. Nothing got past me!
(Pictured left: some intense focus on the Carter quartet. What a thrilling piece! Despite all my post-oral surgery angst, I still felt so lucky to be able to experience District5's musicianship and energy and participate in a new way. Sappy, I know.)
So all in all, group pulse improved ;), we were able to explore repertoire that we would have otherwise labeled as "off-limits" for our ensemble, and I still felt useful through it all. I guess there really is a silver lining to everything.