27. August 2005 · Comments Off on Stomp Wasn’t First! · Categories: imported, Ramble

I’m watching Love Me Tonight and the opening sequence is great fun. It isn’t as lengthy or intricate as Stomp but it’s great fun, and was made in 1932.

Guess I shouldn’t be surprised about this. I just hadn’t thought about this before, and this movie’s been sitting on my shelf for probably a year.

It reminds me of seeing The Man With A Movie Camera after watching Koyaanisqatsi. Again, I thought “Koyana-whatever” (which is how I usually type the word because I’m too lazy to look it up and I can guarantee I’ll spell it wrong if I don’t look it up) was a brand new thing when it really wasn’t.

Ahh … Maurice Chevalier is now singing “Isn’t It Romantic” which then gets handed to various characters … you really must see this movie for the rhythmic fun and the handling, and handing over, of this song! It’s gone from the tailor’s store, out the door with a client, handed to a man who is taking a taxi, to the taxi driver, to the military to some gypsies at this point, and now Jeanette MacDonald has taken it over. Heh. Clever! (The sexual innuendo is quite interesting as well. Hmmm.) I’ll sure hear “Isn’t It Romantic” differently from now on!

What would we do without music, eh?
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26. August 2005 · Comments Off on Music Quote · Categories: imported, Quotes

There are two sighs of relief every night in the life of an opera manager.
The first comes when the curtain goes up The second sigh of relief comes when
the final curtain goes down without any disaster, and one realizes,
gratefully, that the miracle has happened again.

-Sir Rudolf Bing (1902-1997) general manager of the Metropolitan Opera 1950
to 1972

(Opera begins next week. Can’t wait!)
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25. August 2005 · Comments Off on Opera San Jos? · Categories: imported, Ramble

There’s a small article on Opera San José in the the Mercury News today. It’s good to hear that we did well last year. There is one error in the article, though; we did not open last year’s season with Carmen but with Marriage of Figaro. Odd mistake to make.
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25. August 2005 · Comments Off on Opera San Jos? · Categories: imported, Ramble

There’s a small article on Opera San José in the the Mercury News today. It’s good to hear that we did well last year. There is one error in the article, though; we did not open last year’s season with Carmen but with Marriage of Figaro. Odd mistake to make.
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25. August 2005 · Comments Off on Music Quote · Categories: imported, Quotes

I don’t go to concerts much. I’ve heard everything. When I do go to movies, I walk out half the time. As for literature, I’ve read everything.

-Ned Rorem, composer

(From a New Yorker article.)
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24. August 2005 · Comments Off on Music Quote · Categories: imported, Quotes

It was nothing compared with Paris Hilton.

-Ned Rorem, composer, bemoaning his 80th birthday celebration which included concerts of his music around the world.

(From a New Yorker article. Granted, it’s one person’s article and perhaps harsher than truth. I wonder.)
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24. August 2005 · Comments Off on I LOVE this! · Categories: imported, Quotes

Hilda, of The Dominican Oboist fame, added her thoughts to the minor key dilemma. I hope you don’t mind, Hilda, but I found your final paragraph so true, and the final sentence lovely so I’m putting it here:

But anyway it does seem that to 95-99% of people minor is sad. But to a few of us it’s just too beautiful to be sad.

Feel free to join the discussion. (You must be a registered member of this site.)
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24. August 2005 · Comments Off on Marigaux · Categories: imported, Ramble

As many of you know, I’m a fan of Marigaux oboes. I had a Loree years ago, and I never felt that it was “mine” as I feel with a Marigaux.

But Marigaux sure has a couple of bizarre oboes! Their site shows a new oboe that has a top joint ending after the octave keys. Talk about a short joint! The middle joint then begins after the octave keys and ends in the usual place. I’m not sure what this change does, but it would be fun to try it. They have another instrument that is clear. Check out the Marigaux 2001 altuglass on the instruments page. Bizarre! The 2010 has a reshaped bell. They will have a couple of models with gold-plated keys, and they’ve redesigned some keys to make them easier on the hands. Of course I can’t even imagine what these oboes will cost.

Some year (I hope!) I’m going to make it to an IDRS convention so I can actually try these instruments.
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“The slower pieces we choose for the purpose of getting guests quiet and thoughtful. We pick pieces in a major key, not a minor one, so it doesn’t sound like someone died.”

This quote is from an article that is talking about the alternatives to the traditional music many are used to hearing although, to be honest, these days I am always surprised to hear Wagner’s Wedding March and I can’t even remember the last time I heard Mendelssohn’s music from A Midsummer Night’s Dream used for a recessional.

I recently played a wedding and I played a bit of the prelude and then the processional which was Bach’s “Bist du bei mir” and was chosen by the bride’s father. For the prelude I wondered, too, if I could play anything in a minor key without upsetting some listeners. So I played major key selections from Telemann’s Fantasies. Then, needing a bit more filler before the important entrances (which a brass trio played for) I just decided to invent something. It was easier, I thought, than dealing with turning more pages and dealing with clips and all. I kind of like inventing music; I actually don’t get nervous when I’m making it up. It’s just fun.

But back to what I really was pondering just now: does music in a minor key always “sound like someone died”? I really don’t think so, but when I was in a woodwind quintet we used to play weddings and one bride, when listening to our repertoire to choose music, said that the music we were playing sounded too sad and she didn’t want it. Yes, it was minor key music.

So … thoughts? Will you allow me to play music in a minor key for your wedding? I love that music. Maybe during a prelude. (Do people listen anyway? I don’t know that many heard the prelude during the recent wedding.)

I DO love playing weddings, and this was the first I’d done in nearly 20 years.

22. August 2005 · Comments Off on I Guess I Should Include A Wink, Eh? · Categories: imported, Ramble

I was having a nice little conversation via AIM with someone who reads this site. He was saying that the oboe is the most important instrument in the orchestra and I suggested that I didn’t think that way. He reminded me that I have actually said we are.

So now I’m realizing that not all my readers know about my sense of humor, and you can’t hear my delivery of a funny (or not so funny) line. So I guess I should at least include a wink for those of you who don’t know that I’m a tongue-in-cheek sort! Then again, if you don’t get it, you don’t get it. So sorry.

But, just so you all now will know, I have a somewhat twisted sense of humor. I am, after all, an oboist. There’s a lot of pressure in this career. (There’s a lot of pressure on my brain!) I suffer while sitting near the “lesser instruments.” I suffer with conductors. I suffer with oboe reeds. I “suffer in silence” (name the musical that has this line and you get two points).

😉
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