We really don’t know what the coming months will bring. Many of us — perhaps all? — are rather certain there will be no concert halls full of listeners and a stage of musicians. Until there is a vaccine it is hard to imagine that we can possibly go back to “normal”. Some wonder if the old “normal” can ever return. It’s difficult to say. At the moment we are forbidden to be on stage, and that’s as it should be.

But no one can stop the music!

When live in-person concerts stopped musicians immediately started to post the “virtual” videos — performers each recording their part (or parts in some instances) and someone (or someones) would put it all together: it’s a very time consuming job, but the end results can be quite glorious, as you’ve seen here at oboeinsight.

And now there are occasionally the small groups. A reduced orchestra on stage, everyone six feet or more apart. Sometimes with a conductor, sometimes not. Still no audiences.

But THIS … a quartet. Still separated by space. With no audience. But oh the music making! If this is what we have to have for a while, I can live with it. SUCH beauty! (But if you’ve never heard the full orchestra version of the Adagietto you have missed something incredible, so do search it out.)

Mahler: Adagietto (from the Fifth Symphony)
The Alma Quartet

Followed by more Mahler, including Nino Gvetadze on piano … please do listen!

Please enjoy this music by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, by the Sphinx Symphony Orchestra and Chineke! Orchestra. Then click on the links to read about these groups.

Wonderful! Bravi tutti!

(I’d love to read about this collaboration, and why they have so many conductors. I’m sure there’s a reason for that that I don’t understand.)

Chineke! Chamber Ensemble perform Deep River by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor

From the YouTube page:
Chineke! Chamber Ensemble perform Deep River, composed by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, in tribute to George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and all victims of racial injustice across the world.

Please consider supporting and donating to initiatives that are working to promote diversity and inclusion, to enhance social justice and end racism.

Discover useful information and resources on the Black Lives Matter movement https://blacklivesmatter.com/, Stephen Lawrence Trust https://www.stephenlawrence.org.uk/ and the Obama Foundation https://www.obama.org/anguish-and-action/

This is quite powerful. I’ll let it do the speaking.

From the YouTube page:

A month ago, my colleagues from across the USA and I decided to record Lift Every Voice and Sing to inspire young black musicians who don’t often see representation of themselves in orchestral music. Instead, here we are again mourning senseless loss of lives and fighting for justice. This recording is for every protester, every freedom fighter, everyone who needs to be lifted up, and to honor George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and the numerous others whose lives have been stolen by police violence.

Arranged by Fred Onovwerosuoke aka Fredo
Flute – Demarre McGill
Flute- Ebonee Thomas
Oboe – Titus Underwood
Oboe – Geoffrey Johnson
Clarinet – Anthony McGill
Clarinet – Alex Laing
Bassoon – Andrew Brady
Bassoon – Marlene Ngalissamy
Contrabassoon – Anthony Parnther
Horn – Jeffrey Scott
Horn – Amanda Collins
Horn – Priscilla Rinehart
Horn – Adedeji Ogunfolu


And the words to the song:

Lift every voice and sing
Till earth and heaven ring,
Ring with the harmonies of Liberty;
Let our rejoicing rise
High as the listening skies,
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.
Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us,
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us.
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun,
Let us march on till victory is won.

Stony the road we trod,
Bitter the chastening rod,
Felt in the days when hope unborn had died;
Yet with a steady beat,
Have not our weary feet
Come to the place for which our fathers sighed?
We have come over a way that with tears has been watered,
We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered,
Out from the gloomy past,
Till now we stand at last
Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast.

God of our weary years,
God of our silent tears,
Thou who hast brought us thus far on the way;
Thou who hast by Thy might
Led us into the light,
Keep us forever in the path, we pray.
Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee,
Lest, our hearts drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee;
Shadowed beneath Thy hand,
May we forever stand.
True to our God,
True to our native land.

And his words:
For George Floyd
For Tamir Rice
For Trayvon Martin
For Philando Castile
For Sandra Bland
For Breonna Taylor
For Atatiana Jefferson
For Botham Jean
For Eric Garner
For Freddie Gray
For Countless Others…
We Must Do Better.

I see some faces here I haven’t seen for oh-so-long. What a delight! Oakland Symphony presents “Lean On Me”:

Black Lives Matter

I may not understand what you are going through, but I stand with you and for you.

This is long … a FULL concert for this Pentecost Sunday.

From the YouTube Page:

Calmus: Prayer
Concert on Whitsunday

A warm welcome to our third online concert. We broadcast this from the Heilandskirche in Leipzig, Germany. After nearly seven weeks break from doing music we have started to sing together again – with distance.

It is a contemplative hour with spiritual music by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, Heinrich Schütz and Josef Gabriel Rheinberger. Three composers who will make pentecost shine with their pure and vivid music.

The concert starts with the hymn of the day „Veni creator spiritus“ (all ecumenical with the Gregorian and Luthers version) and it ends with the „Prayer for the Healing of the Sick“.

You can find a detailed program with texts here: https://bit.ly/2XLUhSa

Again we offer those watching who have not been affected by the crisis financially the opportunity to purchase a virtual ticket for this concert. By doing so you support us directly and help us make up for some of the immense financial losses as a result of concert cancelations.

Via PayPal to:
[email protected]

Via bank transaction:
IBAN: DE12 8602 0086 0609 4432 35
Account holder: Calmus Ensemble Leipzig

We hope that you will enjoy our concert, that the music will accompany you through these particular times and that we can see each other again in the near future on the real stage.

Calmus Ensemble
Anja, Stefan, Friedrich, Ludwig and Manuel

Bach: Jesu, menine Freude BWV 227
Collegium 1704; Václav Luks, Conductor

That solo. Well, it IS all about English horn this time!

Written as a reflection on his first experiences in the United States, Dvo?ák’s Ninth Symphony is also known as the New World Symphony. Drawing on his own experience in lockdown, our Principal Cor Anglais Alexandre Oguey has made his own arrangement of the famous symphony for five cor anglais with a very fitting name – ‘New Isolation Symphony’.