18. September 2006 · Comments Off · Categories: imported, Ramble

I hope you’ve checked out the NPR snippet on Liang Wang. Even more, though, I hope that when you checked it out you also listened to what he had to say about reeds. Click on that link. Really! He talks about the process and about why we are so darn neurotic! :-)

(I cracked up at the mispronunciation of “staple”—the tube that we attach our cane to—instead the person narrating calls it a “stable”. Hah!)
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18. September 2006 · Comments Off · Categories: imported, Ramble

When San Jose Symphony (RIP) was alive I was the English hornist of the orchestra. For a number of years I had a lot of playing to do; I think I did most of the major works for the instrument and I feel very fortunate about that. I used to play English horn in most of the Opera San José productions that called for it as well, because we used reduced orchestrations due to a very small pit. Most of their time I was the only oboe/EH player there. But now we have a second oboist who plays the EH most of the time; it’s either in her book or they write that third part into her book. (There is one opera we played a while back that had the EH part in the first part … I just can’t remember what opera it was!) When the Symphony Silicon Valley was formed the orchestra was reduced from the old SJS size, and there are only two “full time” (in a part time group) oboes. I play second and when we need three I may or may not (mostly may) move to English horn.

For next week’s set I’m moving to English horn to play Borodin’s In the Steppes of Central Asia, and I’ll also play third oboe in the Jennifer Higdon work, Concerto For Orchestra. Believe it or not, one work I have never played is the Borodin. So I’m enjoying pulling out the horn and working on the piece. The first entrance I have is a solo, in case you aren’t familiar with the work.

I’m happy to get back to the English horn. It’s really a voice I love. And I sort of feel like I’ve come home when I play it.

We have three more opera performances, and then it’s “hello Symphony!”
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