Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale names Richard Egarr as next Music Director, its second in their nearly 40-year history

Egarr, currently serving as Music Director of the Academy of Ancient Music, will succeed Nicholas McGegan beginning in the 2020/21 season

Read more here.

Here is more from Joshua Kosman.

Gabrielle Castriotta, at UCSB, has some excellent advice. Please read it.

If you are an instructor and would like to add to her thoughts please feel free to comment.

Samuel Barber: Agnus Dei
Vlaams Radio Koor; Marcus Creed, Conductor

Rihards Dubra: Duo Seraphim
El León de Oro; Marco Antonia García de Paz

The anthem Duo Seraphim mixes the vision of the prophet Isaiah of the two seraphim who proclaim to each other before God the Trisagion, that is, the three times holy to God, together with a text of the First Letter of Saint John, in which he affirms the unity in the Trinity.

Next week I have a Symphony Silicon Valley concert. I will be stepping up to play principal so I am preparing for the change of hats. (Don’t worry, our regular principal oboist, Pamela Hakl, will be back!)

Yes, playing first oboe is quite different to playing second. In some ways there is a bit of a freedom: I won’t be thinking about playing under the principal which can sometimes cause issues with attacks as I try not to be too loud. But of course there’s the stress of being in the hot seat.

I prepare in many ways. I of course practice my part. I listen to a variety of recordings. I make sure I know what’s going on in other sections and especially make sure I practice the solos and tricky bits. (I mark anything technically difficult with an X, either over the passage or to the side of that line of music.) I also play through the entire concert — even the easy whole notes and loud bits — so I make sure my mouth is strong enough to get through the works.

This is a taxing concert. I don’t have huge solos, but I play a lot in the Dvorak eighth symphony. I play enough that I worry about getting through it. When I watched a video on MediciTV (a great source! And no, I don’t get any perks by recommending them here.) I noticed that that particular orchestra used an assistant principal oboe. I have played that part as well in the past. I sure could use that myself, but wasn’t offered that option and didn’t think to ask.

We are also doing the second piano concerto by Brahms. What a gorgeous work.

Here is Jon Kimura Parker (our soloist) talking about the work (2011 YouTube video):

That slow movement he talks about, and the incredible cello solo, is something I’m very much looking forward to hearing, played by our wonderful principal cellist, Evan Kahn. And yes, the horn (“The horn, the horn, awakes me at morn!” Anyone remember that?) has a very important role at the very beginning and more later, so it will be a delight to hear Meredith Brown play as well!

But then it’s a pleasure and honor to hear all of the musicians of Symphony Silicon Valley play. I hope you can be there!

This brings back memories of playing the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy as the movies played. That was, as it turns out, a once in a lifetime experience for me, and it was one that I will never forget. (There are so many of those “once in a lifetime” events and I only now am realizing what that means. Sometime I’ll have to make a list of them, I suppose.)

May It Be
Songwriters: Howard Leslie Shore / Nicky Ryan / Roma Shane Ryan / Ethne Patricia Brennan
Voces8

Salamone Rossi: Psalm 124
USC Thornton Chamber Singers; Nathan Fratzke, Conductor

… by a composer new to me. Have any of you heard of Muriel Herbert?

The Lost Nightingale
Dame Sarah Connolly and Joseph Middleton

The Lost Nightingale

Alcuin of York , translated by Helen Jane Waddell

Whoever stole you from that bush of broom,
I think he envied me my happiness,
O little nightingale, for many a time
You lightened my sad heart from its distress,
And flooded my whole soul with melody,
And I would have the other birds all come,
And sing along with me thy threnody.
So brown and dim that little body was,
But none could scorn thy singing. In that throat,
That tiny throat, what depth of harmony,
And all night long, ringing that changing note,
What marvel if the cherubim in heaven
Continually do praise Him, when to thee,
O small and happy, such a grace was given?

from Medieval Latin Lyrics (1929)

(I heard from three people who say they listen. You know what they say about “three or more”? Well, I guess I’ll apply that to posting the Sunday music, too.)

Purcell: Hear My Prayer, O Lord
Ensemble ZENE; Bruno Kele-Baujard, Director

I am very much a “heart music” person. The funny thing is when I try to explain what music can do to me I describe it more as being stabbed in the gut. But no one would want to hear “I’m a stomach music” sort. Right?

In any case, this … this is truly lovely. The poem is by Sara Teasdale. She appears so frequently in music. Her story, though, is a sad one and, as seems to happen with a lot of poets, she took her own life.

www.elainehagenberg.com
“Music of Stillness” by Elaine Hagenberg
poem by Sara Teasdale
Performed by Oxford Singers
Conducted by Bob Chilcott
Published by Oxford University Press

There will be rest, and sure stars shining
Over the roof-tops crowned with snow,
A reign of rest, serene forgetting,
The music of stillness holy and low.
I will make this world of my devising
Out of a dream in my lonely mind.
I shall find the crystal of peace, – above me
Stars I shall find.