I teach at a couple of universities. And yet I’ve not said a word about the killings at Viriginia Tech. So I will post what I wrote at the pattyo:

No, I’ve not mentioned the horror of the killings at Virginia Tech. And aside from this brief post I won’t go into it at either of my sites. I simply can’t wrap my brain around it, and I can’t see that I have anything to say about it that is of use. (I will say, though, that I think the picture the news sites have put up at their sites is horrible and unnecessary and I won’t be visiting them for a time … until I can be sure it will be removed. I realize the killer is dead so while he’s getting what he wanted — I think — regarding publicity, he isn’t getting to “enjoy” it. But still. The picture with a gun pointing at the reader? Too horrifying for me.)

I’m guessing I shouldn’t watch the TV news tonight, either.

I grieve for those lost and for their families. I grieve for a nation so full of violence.

I have no more words.

18. April 2007 · Comments Off · Categories: imported, Ramble

Kitty Carlisle Hart 1910-2007

I first “met” (via TV) her on “To Tell The Truth”. I only knew her as Kitty Carlisle back then, although it does appear that she was already married to Moss Hart. I didn’t see A Night at the Opera until our older son, Brandon, got into the Marx Brothers. (No, I hadn’t seen any of their movies prior to that!) When I did see the movie I hadn’t a clue that that was Hart until I looked up the information online; I only thought she was a game show person! Sad, eh? (Sad on account of how clueless I am, I mean.)

I think I’ll have to pull out the movie in honor of her life sometime soon.

So in those days, they were scooping up any young person who could sing and look decent, ah, at the same time.

With a bit of courage and a dash of self-discipline, a small talent can go a long way.

-Kitty Carlisle Hart

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18. April 2007 · Comments Off · Categories: imported, Ramble

A long time ago I was talking to a horn player who told me that when he went backpacking he always took his mouthpiece with him. At the time, I actually backpacked (amazing for this lazy good for nothing oboist) and I couldn’t fathom taking a mouthpiece (of course an oboe reed is a different beast than a horn mouthpiece) nor did I have any desire to have my instrument or “anything oboe” along with me. The only music I heard was the music in my head as I plodded along. (Unfortunately that music was often a jingle or a really lame song. But such is life!)

And now? Dan, my outside man of a husband, just sent me a link to this blog entry over at Two-Heel Drive (Hmmm. I wonder why I typed “Two-Hell Drive” first?). Unbelievable! The guy being blogged about (not the blogger, mind you) doesn’t just take his mouthpiece. He takes his horn.

Okay. So clearly he takes his instrument very seriously.

But does everyone else in the wilderness have to take it seriously, too? ;-)

This does confirm my suspicions, though: while oboists are neurotic, horn players are just plain nuts.
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I recently blogged about and posted a link to a José Carreras/Leonard Bernstein video. A reader (hi Selina!) emailed me to ask about what I had to say. One might think I don’t care for Carreras at all by what I wrote. I want to let readers know that is not the case. Although I’m not as familiar with him as I could be, I do enjoy his voice, and I have no problem with him singing opera. I just don’t care for putting most opera singers into musical theatre works … just as I don’t care to put musical theatre singers into opera productions. I think it takes a very unique individual (and yes, some do exist!) to be able to do both genres well. So there you go!

I also wonder about the short video … it seems to me that we are most likely missing the “rest of the story” and that, perhaps, things improved. One wonders, anyway! With Carreras still alive and all, might he have had something to say about such a negative video? But if we were able to watch more, I would hope we would see some better resolution, rather than just all the negative viewed on that video.

While I’m rambling, I thought I’d go ahead and let you know, too, that while I post many the MQOD (Music Quote of the Day) here, I don’t always agree with what I post. And I often don’t let you know how I feel. I’m guessing most of you would be able to figure out which I agree with and which I don’t the majority of the time, but in case you are thinking that if it’s up here it’s the gospel truth … don’t! :-)

Opera this morning. Then a student. After that I guess I’ll “watch” the Giants game. (They’ve gone to FSN+ so I have to watch it via my computer. Sigh.) Sometimes life just isn’t fair! How could they do this to me? (Yes, I’m taking this very personally. As I should.)

18. April 2007 · Comments Off · Categories: imported, Quotes

Traditional bassoons don’t fit easily under airplane seats, so in the 1960s some makers took a saw to the longest joint of the bassoon and glued the cut-off piece to the bell. (I’m not making this up!) This rearranged design is called a “Gentleman’s Cut” and it allows the bassoon to fit into a shorter case. Thankfully, you don’t need to be a gentleman, or especially ladylike, to play the bassoon; you just need good thumbs.

-Christopher Millard (RTWT)


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18. April 2007 · Comments Off · Categories: imported, Videos

… just to win a competition.

Watch the ad for the KARA classical musician of the year award.

And no, I don’t think I’d do that. Um. Wait. I know I wouldn’t do that!

But I also wouldn’t enter the competition.
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18. April 2007 · Comments Off · Categories: imported, Other People's Words

I might easily have mistaken the high-spirited drumming in Hakola’s Chamber Concerto, the big piece on the first half of Monday’s program, as Mexican without having first heard Hakola speak. Then again, music by a Mexican contemporary of Hakola, Ana Lara, played Sunday by the Pacific Symphony, might have been taken for Finnish in the strikingly inventive way she used wind instruments.

I’m trying to figure out why “high-spirited drumming” causes the reviewer to think “Mexican” while “strikingly inventive” use of wind instruments makes him think “Finnish”.

Anyone want to help me out on this?

Full review here.
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