24. July 2007 · Comments Off · Categories: Ramble

Terry Teachout has a thought-provoking post. To me anyway.

My thoughts? Well heck … the Giants are playing, it’s the top of the 12th, and you expect me to THINK? Hah!

But I will say this: I don’t think it has to be either/or. I don’t think you “mature” from rock to classical. Shoot. I like our local restaurant’s crabs benedict, but I still like my Cheerios.

I realize that’s not the “all of it”, but what do you expect from a person whose baseball team has one of the worst records in the MLB. Huh? .423 … sigh ….

24. July 2007 · 2 comments · Categories: Ramble

Over at TGM someone writes 5-Step Guide to a Musician’s Air Travel:

Here are a few cautions you should keep in mind before hading for the airport:

1. Be ready to check in your instrument.

And there you go. This is why it’s “The Good Musician” and not “The Great Musician”. ;-)

Okay, maybe I’m joking. But oboists? Do not “be ready to check in your instrument.” We don’t do that. Ever. But do be ready to check in your reed making equipment. Of course that’s sort of a BigDuh™, right?

And, call me silly, but I can’t imagine any violinist using one of those horrendously expensive instruments being ready to place that fiddle in checked luggage.

24. July 2007 · Comments Off · Categories: Links, Listen, sfsymphonybloggers07, Videos

Per Lisa Hirsch’s recommendation, I went to listen to a concert conducted by Alan Gilbert. Stravinsky’s Symphony In Three Movements was the first piece on the program. Symphony Silicon Valley played this just last season, so I’m pretty darn familiar with it. How different, though, to be listening to the “all of it” now, after being so focussed on how I fit in and mostly on my own part when we were working on and performing it.

But THEN … well … as I was listening I was also reading (sorry, folks, I don’t give music my full attention sometimes. I’m bad that way … I hate when I do this, to be honest!) some of my google alerts. And from that I wound up here where I clicked on the thing to watch the San Francisco Symphony blogger event video. Well, of course then I had both the blogger video with lots of chatting AND Stravinsky going on. The weird thing is, they both ended at precisely the same time! Very odd.

Now I’m on to the Mozart Clarinet Concerto. No oboes. Still, it’s a fine piece. Go figure.

24. July 2007 · 2 comments · Categories: Ramble

How To Choose Opera Music

Who’da thunk it?

The Kentucky Symphony Orchestra is bringing classical music fans and exercise enthusiasts together for the finale of its 2007 Summer Series. Runners will be pitted not against a clock, but rather Beethoven’s fifth symphony.

“Fit as a Fiddle” on Sept. 2 at the Devou Park amphitheater will feature what the orchestra has dubbed the “Beethoven 5-K Run” along with “Sweatin’ to the Symphony,” a circuit training program complete with pilates and yoga led by local professional trainers against a backdrop of classics by Tchaikovsky, Grieg, Bizet, Rossini, Mozart and more.

Because we all know Beethoven’s Fifth can’t stand on it’s own. And of course Tchaikovsky, Grieg, Bizet, Rossini, Mozart can all use a hand too.

Okay, okay, I’m uppity and snobby and all that jazz. But I just don’t like this idea. And I’m sorry they decided to run with it. (Couldn’t resist.)

24. July 2007 · 3 comments · Categories: Ramble

The company’s heart-rending performance of Puccini’s “Madame Butterfly” proved that opera can be at once high-brow and accessible, technically rigorous and intelligible. No longer would audiences leave the theater marveling at the beauty of the production while puzzling over its plot.

Sporting the daunting mission to keep opera accessible to all, Pocket Opera features no sets, minimal costumes and — most shocking of all to the veteran opera-goer — an English version of the original libretto. The three acts were each preceded by a summary — all in English — of the events that would soon unfold.

Hmmm … I’m not sure I’d appreciate being given a summary prior to each act. To me, opera is so much about the music and even when I don’t understand it all I’m moved.

And why would no sets and minimal costumes make this opera more accessible to all?

Maybe I’m just clueless. (RTWT)

24. July 2007 · Comments Off · Categories: Links, Ramble, Watch

When I go to people’s houses I like to look around. I’m nosey that way. I like to see their art. I like to see their bookshelves. I like to see their CD collection. It gives me a picture, or I pretend it does anyway, of what they are about.

Now some people deliberately choose things, I’m sure, that aren’t really them, but what they want others to think they are. But that’s okay too—that speaks fairly loudly and I can usually figure it out!

(Side note: I remember a man who used to come into Books Inc., where I worked for a time back in the late 70’s/early 80’s. He purchased, I think about every month, but maybe it was every other week, those leather-bound books with gold leaf pages. He didn’t seem to care what the books were, but chose them for how they looked. Ah yes! Books as decoration.)

Anyway, I just watched the first Terry Teachout contentions interview. I enjoyed it, and I’ll watch it again to get more out of it.

(Side note #2: At Terry Teachout’s blog today he uses the phrase “music and the arts” … and yeah, he’s not the only one. So is music not an art? I’m not arguing. Just wondering out loud in print.)

But you wonder (c’mon, you know you do!) what I really want? I want a tour of where he lives.
He showed us a bit of his art. But I want a tour, doggone it!

Yeah. I’m silly that way. I like seeing how folks hang their art, where they store books … oh, you know, shallow things. Shoot, I even like to see what kinds of dishes they use. (But does Mr. Teachout cook? He writes about going out, but I don’t know that I’ve seen him write about cooking!)

Ah well. Enough of that. Go watch the interview. (The interviewer is silent. Was someone really asking those questions, or did Teachout make them up?)

Today I have no HP to read. This means I could actually get things done around here.

WILL I?

Well, you never know ….

24. July 2007 · Comments Off · Categories: Ramble

Whew. Finished. But it’s way past my bedtime and now I’m probably going to struggle to get to sleep.

Loved the book. Guessed a few things. Didn’t guess everything.

Now back to real life.