25. May 2005 · Comments Off on ACD at Sounds & Fury … · Categories: imported, Ramble

thinks I’m all wrong. He may well be right.

It’s very rare for me to say that I know I’m right. I’m willing to hear others out. And I may just be too dense to “get” all the subtleties of the opera.

I’m also willing to listen to the opera again.) I’ve been known to change my mind. I also know that while some works “grow” on me and improve with age and listening, others don’t. (Take Carmina Burana, for instance! When I was in high school I thought that was one incredible work. Now I can take it or leave it, leaning more toward the leave it side. But oh no! Will this get me into more trouble? Probably so. Sigh.

Read my public humiliation here. ;-)

See, here’s the thing. “I’m an oboe player, Jim, not a critic.”* Or a composer. OR a scholar. And I’m also very wimpy and somewhat flip-floppy and I’m especially easily intimidated. So being critiqued by someone like ACD makes me think I’m probably all wrong.

That’s how my mind works.

Or doesn’t work. You decide. ;-)

*If you don’t get this silly quote you are probably just too young or too old. (I, on the other hand, am “just right.”)

In Other News
we had two symphony rehearsals today and I’m back on second oboe and there are a whole lot of low note entrances that are driving me nuts! Playing second is such a challenge, and often a frightening thing. The thing about the second chair is that you are not really supposed to be noticed all that much. Play to loudly and you are wrong. Miss an entrance and you are even more wrong.

I sure get angry with composers who make the second oboist come in pianissimo on a low C. Why the heck didn’t he just write it for English horn and make our lives easier? Huh?
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25. May 2005 · Comments Off on Don’t Try It Now! · Categories: imported, Ramble

The opera is over. If you click on the link below you’ll be hearing who knows what! :-)
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25. May 2005 · Comments Off on “That” Opera · Categories: imported, Ramble

I’m listening to a broadcast of Lorin Maazel’s “1984”. (Online. BBC 3. Isn’t the internet cool? Just go here.) “1984” quickly became a greatly panned opera. The conductor turned composer, it has been said, put a good amount of his own money behind this performance. (Opera San Jose did that once, performing “Ode to Phaedra” because the composer paid for us to do so.)

I can’t say I’m thrilled with what I’m hearing, but I have a difficult time coming in on the middle of an opera. I would have preferred to see it as well, since there is the visual aspect of opera. But so far I would say it mainly sounds … messy. Messy and noisy. I’ve hit on an English horn solo now. Ho-hum.

Oh. Really ugly moment. Bad voice. “Why there’s no you …” in case that tells any of you where I am in the opera. (Am I dissing a great singer? Oh dear. I hope not! It’s probably just the poorly written part, similar to Star Wars poorly written dialogue which makes the actors look abominable. Yes?) “I’m so blue without you. So bluuuuuuuue.” Bad poetry too. “Tell me why, tell me why … there’s no yoouuuu.” Ah. Now we move to the blues. I get it. She’s blue so the trumpets play the blues. Got it.

I’d love to hear what the orchestra members thought of it. It doesn’t sound like anything I’d want to play, but sometimes these things can surprise us and be great fun to play, even while not a thrill to hear. Anyone know any of the orchestra members? Will any ‘fess up?

And the broadcast continues … so far I’m not blown away. And I think I’ll go read a good book instead.

“La la la. La la la. La la la.” (I really got into THOSE lyrics.)

Oooh. Messy wind playing. I wonder if the parts are near impossible.

Okay. Applause. Must be the end of Act I.

Definitely time to take a break!
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I had mentioned a while back that I had a tooth that was reacting to cold. Nina, of A Sort of Notebook fame, suggested it was a cracked tooth. I suspected she was correct, but I didn’t make an appointment since I knew I was going in in about a month anyway. (Well, okay, I admit it; that wasn’t the only reason I didn’t immediately call my pal the dentist.)

So yes. I finally went in last week. The dentist wasn’t in but the hygienist said it did look cracked. So I went back in today to see Mr. Let-Me-Work-On-Your-Mouth-And-Ask-You-Questions-At-The-Same-Time. Yes. Indeed. The tooth is cracked and must get a crown.

Ugh.

Because I have a big job coming up, the dentist is kindly getting me in very quickly to take care of this whole thing. I’m grateful, but nervous too. I’d rather give birth, as I’ve stated many times before. In fact I’d rather give birth without medication (which is the way I had our three children) than go to the dentist. But, alas, I will be in there next week to have him hurt, maim and in every way he can make me sad and miserable, and then I go back the week after to be crowned Queen of Everything.

Oh. Wait. I guess that’s not what he’s crowning me, is he? Oh well.

But I really am thankful that he’ll get me in prior to the beginning of the job. Once that starts I won’t have time for things like this. This is one problem with being a musician; we have to schedule appointments around our work and that can be difficult since we sometimes don’t know when we’ll get work until a few weeks before. With me, a dentist appointment that involves any kind of pain can’t happen on a day when I play. I’m not willing to take the chance that something may go awry. Not any more.

Anyway, the better news — the big job news — is that I have ten weeks of employment this summer! I’m happy to say I’ll be playing oboe and English horn for the Les Miserables tour when it comes to San Francisco. This is such a blessing; prior to being hired for this my summer was entirely empty. Now I know I’ll have a steady income when before I had nearly nothing. Whew! It does mean a lot of driving, and that I’ll need to get a good number of reeds going, and I’ll be driving up there six days a week, and it does mean, too, that my house will be a mess and I’ll be a walking zombie much of the time, but NO MATTER … hoorah for work!