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

… or something like that anyway!

We had our opening night concert. I only play the first half, and I must confess I didn’t stick around for the reception after the second half. I’m not great at mingling and I’m not really excited about parties, but mostly I wanted to get home because Dan is on a mini-vacation, and we still have one kiddo at home whom I hadn’t seen since 8:00 in the morning.

The Borodin was fine, including, I think, my solo. I actually had a good time playing it. I hope others enjoyed it too, but I’m learning that I can’t please everyone. I do my best. That’s what I need to do. That’s what I want to do. That’s what I try to do every time I play. Except when I try to do better than my best. That’s okay too. :-)

The silly thing (and I hope not too distracting) is the chair exchange we have to do between that and the second work; when I’m playing English horn I prefer a “cello chair” because it is a wee bit higher than a normal chair. So it’s in the second oboe position for the Borodin, since there is no second oboe on the work. (I moved the chair myself, while the pre-concert talk was going on, and I hope I wasn’t too distracting to the audience, but it had to be done.) For the second work, the Higdon, I move down a seat to third oboe. I don’t need the cello chair at that point, but I know that the second oboist isn’t terribly comfortable on it, so we switch things back so that he can have a normal chair. I don’t mind cello chairs when playing oboe. They do keep one awake; you really can’t sit back on them. A former stage manager once suggested I needed a cello chair simply so that I couldn’t fall asleep when playing English horn. You see, we do have a lot of sitting time when playing that instrument … sometimes we sit for a movement, play a solo, and sit for the remainder of the work, in fact! But really, I like the chair because I feel it helps the response of the instrument. Honest.

Anyway, I do wonder what the audience thinks about all our chair craziness! And we do the chair moving ourselves since this symphony is a fairly small organization and we don’t have a lot of stage hands just waiting to do our bidding. (I once started to move something while on the stage at Davies in San Francisco and the stage manager nearly bit my head off. It’s a huge no-no for a musician to move anything there. Not so in San Jose.)

Tomorrow we have the same program for our 2:30 concert. More English horn. Some oboe. And some furniture moving to do.
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