Fellini’s Orchestra Rehearsal.

Learning the First Notes All Over Again.

In Fellini’s film “Orchestra Rehearsal” the Conductor found himself in the midst of a revolt.

The musicians had long murmured against he Conductor on account of his rigorous methods, demands and practice sessions. The exchanges between them and he were bitter. Time did not heal this rift but only exacerbated it.

Finally they agreed he had to go. They didn’t need a Conductor they reasoned. After all, it was they who were the musicians!

In addressing their grievances they realized he would not listen. So they threw him out. They won their revolution against the “Tyrant” who insisted they follow his directions…

The musicians wanted freedom… And now it was theirs! The champagne began to flow.

At first things were endlessly joyous, riotous even.

… Until they tried to practice. There was a new problem developing. They could not agree on many things.

And in time, and after much partying and attempts to practice, they turned on each other, ferociously … section against section, person against person, blaming, scolding, even fighting. Each one thought he or she was the best, or that his orchestral section (strings, percussion…) was absolutely the most critical to the music, which they could no longer play together.

Vanity and jealousies destroyed their focus and set them in violent disarray.

The fight lasted long and was bitter. They had won their “freedom” …but lost the music.

Finally, after fighting and clawing each other, and all but ruining their instruments, they began to wonder.

One by one, they slowly came to their senses. It was agreed they must call the Conductor back.

And he had to bring them back… back to the First Notes, as with little children. He had to explain the reasons why …all over again. — SH

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