On the whole, the review wasn’t exactly raving about the Saturday night performance, but I was pleased to read this:

The concert began with Borodin’s “In the Steppes of Central Asia,” which was serene, mellifluous, restful. This had the contented feeling of waking up after a good night’s sleep. Patricia Emerson Mitchell’s English horn was a standout, full of dreams.

Okay … maybe “pleased” is a bit reserved. I was jazzed, to be honest!

Thanks, Richard Scheinin (he’s the reviewer)!

01. October 2006 · Comments Off on But Did I Like It? · Categories: imported, Ramble

Okay. I haven’t written much of anything about the Higdon Concerto for Orchestra that we performed this weekend. And what I did write wasn’t clearly about the work, nor was it exactly positive. (This work was the one that went well below the oboe’s range at one point. More on that in a minute.)

But … drum roll … or lots of percussion if you want to sound like the fourth movement … YES, I did like it. Quite a lot, in fact.

I think that maybe there is a bit more of it than necessary, but I’m even thinking that thought, which I had at the beginning of the set, could be wrong. I’m always willing to admit I might be wrong. Sometimes I might be too willing to admit I’m wrong, but I’d rather be that way than the opposite! Of course I could be wrong about admitting I’m wrong … but we won’t go there right now. Unless you think I’m wrong about that.

But anyway, back to the work. I especially liked the second, third and fourth movements. I thought the oboe section of the third was beautiful, even while I have to admit that starting a solo on a low B-flat after sitting for a full movement (no oboes in the second) is a bit on the scary thing. Pam, our first oboist, did a fabulous job, and gave me the confidence to come in with my following low B-flat, when all three oboists are playing the “oboe section”. We decided it’s the best section of the work, and three oboists in agreement can’t be wrong … can they?!

So, about those notes that went below the oboe range. A colleague suggested, and I tend to think he’s correct, that perhaps she had originally had all of us an octave higher. The first and second oboes do play an octave higher, so maybe she thought, after working on the work, to quickly set me down an octave. A lot of composers use a computer, and if she did that she might not have paid all that much attention, and didn’t notice how low I was supposed to go. In any case, I couldn’t play it, so I just left out the final notes. I know no one noticed; there was a lot going on right then.

If anyone is interested in hearing the Higdon they can do what I did; it’s quick and easy to purchase via iTunes. And for only $9.99 you get that work and the three movement work, City Scape.

No, Apple didn’t pay me to write that. I think they should have an “oboist in residence” but so far I’ve not received the Phone Call.

Ballet performance derailed by stink bomb
GOTHENBURG, Sweden, Sept. 27 (UPI) — A Gothenburg Ballet performance for 850 Swedish school students was canceled after someone threw stink bombs into the orchestra pit.

Read here.

We’ve had things come into the pit here as well. One, a frozen grape that was thrown by a student, cracked a violin. When this happened the show went on. I thought we should have stopped immediately and sent everyone back to school. But no one asked me. Instead the student got away with it, and suffered no consequences. We now have a thin netting over the pit when we play for students. I hate it, but it’s necessary.

Our local classical radio station announcer just implied that Mozart was a Baroque composer.

Hmmm. Am I totally crazy? (I already know I’m a little crazy, so it’s the “totally” I’m asking about here.) This information is new to me. But there you go. If KDFC says it, it must be true.


In any case, the radio announcer was talking about the next work to be played, Mozart’s Sinfonie Concertante for flute, oboe, horn and bassoon. The player he was talking about was Rampal (flute) and he said Rampal always liked to play Baroque music and leaned toward the quieter and more structured works. Something like that anyway. And the way he said it did imply that the Mozart was one of those Baroque works.

I know my music history knowledge isn’t very strong, so I’m ready for anyone to tell me why I’m confused! 🙂

01. October 2006 · Comments Off on Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra · Categories: imported, News

You can read about their plight here.

01. October 2006 · Comments Off on Spotted On Craigslist · Categories: imported, Ramble

Someone was looking for a woman to accompany him to the Symphony concert last night. I wonder if “he found she” and they were there. I did sort of crack up at the requirements:

  • single female
  • fun and upbeat no drama
  • liberal; politically and socially aware
  • a little wacky and kinky with a good sense of humor in that open bent kind of way
  • no republicans please
  • Too bad about that “no drama” part; he might have found someone in the orchestra! (I’m not sure how many are single these days, though. In our earlier, San Jose Symphony (RIP) days, we were nearly an all-girl, mainly single sort of group.) Of course finding someone in the group means you don’t get to sit with her.

    Hmmm. How ’bout a concert where folks pay to sit next to us? They can see all that goes on.

    Probably a bad idea. But still ….

    Agenda for today: Church, then Symphony.