14. November 2005 · Comments Off on Continuing to Search · Categories: imported, Ramble

In doing the searching for names to fit on this page of oboeinsight I have found some of the ugliest sites ever. Well, maybe not ever; I’ve found that the Poetry sites of many are a bit on the uglier side of ugly (and the least poetic poetry I’ve ever read is there as well). But really … are some universities so lame they can’t hire anyone decent to do their sites for them?

And the pictures. Oh the pictures! I won’t embarrass anyone here (because I could easily become as embarrassed by some of my own pictures), but some of the faculty photos are hysterical! One school appears to have put their faculty members up against a stark white wall and snapped pictures. Some folks there look terrified. Others just look like convicts. If a school is willing to put up pictures wouldn’t you think they’d at least make sure they weren’t scary?

Now not all college sites are bad, mind you. And I’m not going to point out here which sites I think are abominable. I’m just sayin’ …

And then … then there are so many schools that have voice, violin, piano, flute, trumpet, guitar … the list goes on … teachers. Some even have bagpipe teachers. But those same schools don’t list an oboe or bassoon teacher. What’s up with that? If they offer a music major it would seem to me that they would have to have someone to teach the double reeds on their list. Maybe that’s asking too much though. I suppose bagpipes are a bigger draw.

Which reminds me … years and years ago a very sweet man sponsored my English horn chair in the San Jose Symphony (RIP). He really was a dear man, and even sent us a silver rattle when our first child was born. But he did tell me English horn was his choice because it was the closet thing to his favorite instrument—the bagpipe! I DO like bagpipes, btw, so don’t think I’m coming down hard on them, but surely the EH is better? Listen to the slow movement of the Ravel Piano Concerto. Listen to the slow movement of Rodrigo’s Concerto de Aranjuez. Listen to Mahler’s Rückert Lieder. you KNOW I’m right! If you don’t think so, find a bagpipe player and ask him or her to play the English horn solos from those works. I know you’ll agree then!

G’night. (I’m getting awfully goofy—I’m clearly up too late and I have to work in the morning.)
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14. November 2005 · Comments Off on These Darn Reeds! · Categories: imported, Ramble

At the beginning of opera today I was in love with my reed. The opening of Un Ballo has some picky little oboe stuff that is in unison with the flute or clarinet or both. I was feeling pretty darn good about how things were going.

Bad idea!

The minute I start feeling comfortable I should know bad news is around the corner, yes?

The reed decided to misbehave. It wasn’t responding as well. It was doing bizarre intonation things. And I had to pull out something else to finish up the opera.

Ah well. This is the way of the oboist. Our lives often revolve around our reeds. So do our moods. So tomorrow it’s another reed day. Fun, fun, fun! Who could ask for a better day than a reed making day? (If you think I really mean that you don’t know me very well!)

The opera itself is going okay, but tonight was the night for strange mistakes on some players’ parts. I figure this is good, since it’s better to make the mistakes during rehearsals so we don’t allow them to happen in performance.

Opening night is November 19. That’s already an important day. If you don’t know why, too bad for you! ;-)
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14. November 2005 · Comments Off on A Book Review · Categories: imported, Links

There’s a review of a new book, Becoming an Orchestral Musician, that might interest some of you. I can’t speak for the book myself, having never even seen it. I would be happy to read it (and even review it myself) if our library carried it, but no such luck.
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14. November 2005 · Comments Off on Reed or Read? · Categories: imported, Ramble

Dana Gioia, Chairman of the NEA, is starting a new program called “The Big Read.” Read about it here. (In a not-so-favorable article.)

Personally I think he’d be so much more admirable if he started “The Free Reed.”

Of course they’d have to be good reeds (and good reads are so much easier to come by), but I’m sure if he put some effort into it he’d figure out how to do it. You know? ;-)
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14. November 2005 · Comments Off on Music Quote · Categories: imported, Quotes

Film is one of the three universal languages, the other two: mathematics and music.

-Frank Capra (1897-1991) Italian born American Film Director
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14. November 2005 · Comments Off on It’s Not Over Til The Fat Lady … um … Is Thin? · Categories: imported, News

Some opera singers in Italy are on a hunger strike, protesting funding cuts in the arts.

Read more here. (The funny thing is that the ad that appeared on the page was a women’s plus size Old Navy ad. Hmmm.)

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