The Americans, Part 1… Part 2 ;-)


Callum loved rehearsal so much he decided to post a “Part 2“…

We went to the Canton Symphony Orchestra rehearsal Friday night, and it was awesome. André Watts rehearsed, and the orchestra sounded great. My 8-year-old sister Maggie also got to come, take notes, and listen to Mr. Watts and the orchestra, and some of what she wrote is at the end of this post.

I love the sound André Watts gets out of the piano. As my awesome piano teacher Matt Riddle says, it’s almost as if he were pulling the sound out of the keys. Even when Mr. Watts is not playing, he is so into the music, sometimes he looks like he’s almost in pain because of how beautiful the music is. I think that’s really cool, because it shows how much he loves music and how passionate he is about it. I said something about that in the blog I wrote about Mr. Watts last season. A lot of the time, he looks at the orchestra when he’s playing, like he’s enjoying just watching and listening to them. You can almost hear how Mr. Watts feels about the music. It’s like he transforms his passion for music into sound, so you can hear the way he feels about the music he’s playing and hearing. The control he has over his hands is just amazing. They just glide over the piano keys. The softer he plays, the more he crouches into the piano, like he’s trying to see tiny words etched in the piano keys. He mouths the notes almost as if they are words. Mr. Watts is just so amazing and it’s really great to have him back.

The first piece they rehearsed is the MacDowell (Piano Concerto No. 2). This piece is very powerful and beautiful. I couldn’t see Mr. Zimmermann because the piano lid was in the way. It was funny because, from the angle I was sitting, and since the piano lid was blocking Mr. Zimmermann, all I could see was his arm coming out from the side of the piano lid. Mr. Zimmermann mentioned The Shadow again when he was talking to the orchestra, and what I mean by again, is that he said something about it in one of the concerts two seasons ago and I wrote about it in the blog about that concert. The second movement was just as awesome. At one part, Mr. Watts did a really, really soft, but really fast trill, which I find is pretty hard if you want to play it well.

Mr. Watts looked closely at the keys when he was playing really softly, almost as if the softer he plays, the smaller the keys get. He is amazing, as I’ve said many times before. He taps his foot to the rhythm, and once, he tapped so hard, you could hear it over the piano and orchestra. If I were in the orchestra, I would be so captured by the awesomeness of his playing, I wouldn’t be able to turn the page, or play. I would just be sitting there, frozen.


Unfortunately, Mr. Watts left after the break because they were going to rehearse the Hanson (Symphony No. 2). This piece is great, I really love it. Mr. Zimmermann made a joke with the orchestra about the Woody Woodpecker part in the first movement (I mentioned in my last blog). Another part of it sounds like Pokémon Platinum cave music. There is also a part in this piece that reminds me of Star Wars music, which makes sense because John Williams was influenced by Hanson, as I said in my previous blog. The French horns are amazing. As I’ve probably said before, the French horn is a really hard instrument to play, and this orchestra’s French hornists are great. There is also a really hard part for trumpet that’s really, really high and hard to play in tune. There is a theme repeating in many different forms throughout the movement, but that’s normal.

This rehearsal was awesome and I really loved it. It was great to see André Watts play, even though it was just a rehearsal. I’m glad my sister Maggie got to go. She took some notes, and really enjoyed it, which is great. Here are some things she wrote down:

It’s very beautiful and calming and part of it is loud. It’s amazing how they can play all at the same time, and Mr. Watts can play so fast without looking and not miss one note. Some of the music is very peaceful, and the double basses sound really cool. Mr. Watts is AMAZING. The double basses and cellos and violas and violins and all the other instruments are very beautiful. It’s amazing how they can all play at the same pace. It sounds great. It makes me feel relaxed and it makes me think of the Nutcracker sometimes. I’ve been wondering what the projector and screen is for. It’s amazing how the violinists can play so fast and not mess up a note.

Mr. Watts is not playing the piano in this piece. I really like the trumpets, French horns, tuba, and trombones. Mr. Zimmermann is using a pencil instead of a baton. The violins, violas, cellos, double basses, and harp are all really beautiful. It reminds me of ET. I think the music is very calming. The oboe is very beautiful. A part of the piece sounds like Woody Woodpecker’s laugh. The cymbals are really loud. The piccolo is really high pitched. The double basses are really low, and they’re way in the back. This is a very beautiful piece.

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