20. October 2007 · Comments Off · Categories: Links

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.

Of course we might not let you in.

20. October 2007 · Comments Off · Categories: Links

is are comments and conversations.

Alex Ross’s book and New Yorker article sure have created a lot of noise out there.

Here are just a few links:

  • Awesome music
  • Note taker
  • The Rest is Noise
  • Ross: Internet Revives Classical Music

    Of course there are also a multitude of bloggers who are writing about the book. Mine has yet to arrive, but you can bet I’ll be reading it the minute it arrives!

  • Heck, why not?!

    ;-)

    20. October 2007 · Comments Off · Categories: Concert Announcements, Ramble

    While I won’t be playing Quiet City next Friday after all (and no, I didn’t cancel out … someone else couldn’t make it work), I do have a UCSC faculty recital next Sunday, October 28 at 7:30. I’m looking forward to it, now that I know I don’t have cancer.

    Hah! Did that make you go “HUH?!”

    Okay. Maybe not. But anyway … I didn’t really think I had cancer, to be honest. But I guess the doctor did tell us (Dan and I were both in the room, but due to the anesthesia I can’t remember anything about the conversation) there were “no signs of cancer” when she did her little interior inspection of this old body. Nice, eh? I just expected to hear “ulcer” … but even that wasn’t the case. So why the low iron? Beats me!

    But back to the recital … I’m in the quartet that plays the first and last works. I guess we are bookends to everyone else. I hope we are satisfying bookends. :-)

    The big news is that there are refreshments after. At least that’s the way the announcement makes it appear to yours truly. I mean … do you see that exclamation point? And refreshments are the first thing mentioned. That’s okay, though. I can live with refreshments being the big deal.

    The first quartet we are playing is the Stamitz, for oboe, clarinet, horn and bassoon. Nice little ditty. I don’t really know much about Carl (sometimes Karl) Stamitz, but I ran across this information at Naxos:

    Stamitz’s compositions enjoyed great popularity in their time and circulated widely in both printed and manuscript copies. When asked by his father whether he had met the Stamitzes in Paris, Mozart replied: “Of the two Stamitz brothers only the younger one [Anton] is here, the elder [Carl] (the real composer à la Hafeneder) is in London. They are indeed two wretched scribblers, gamblers, swillers and adulterers – not the kind of people for me. The one who is here has scarcely a decent coat to his back” [Letter of 9 July 1778]. As with so many comments originating from Mozart’s illfated trip to Paris, his opinion of Carl Stamitz should be treated with some caution, particularly in the light of Gerber’s later enthusiastic appraisal published in his Historisch-biographisches Lexikon der Tonkünstler in 1792:

    “With what extraordinary art and facility he plays the viola! With what heavenly sweet tone and cantilena he enchants our ears with his viola d’amour – and with what fire and surety he plays the violin as Konzertmeister! Berlin, Dresden, many capitals and large cities are witness of his prowess! And he certainly would have been long attached to one of the German courts, if this artist’s unusual dislike for all connections of this sort had not stood in the way of his entering an orchestra. Indeed, it is a great undertaking to live in Germany as a free artist. And he who tries and wishes to succeed must not have any less art than Stamitz … in his relationships, as highly esteemed for his honorable and noble character, as for his art”. (RTWT

    Heh … good old Mozart, eh? Good thing he wasn’t a gambler. I also read that Stamitz died leaving a good amount of debt. Hmmm. Must have been a musician! ;-)

    The second work is by a living composer, Phil Freihofner. He wrote to me:

    The Quartet was originally written as an accompaniment to a Russian Silent Film from 1926, a comedy called “The Girl with the Hat Box.” As such, the music is fairly light and lively, for the most part, and heavily influenced by Russian ballet music, in particular: Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky, Khachiturian and Stravinsky as well as Russian folk music (maybe a couple ideas stolen from the local vocal group Kitka). I didn’t finish scoring the film, but ended up arranging the music into this Quartet instead.

    I have a copy of the video here, and we had thought to have it running in the lobby, but we were told that wouldn’t be possible. Ah well. We tried.

    So after the performance there will be food but no film. Such is life. I’d love to see some readers of this blog there if you are in the area. If so, please do say “hi”! After you get something to eat, of course.

    20. October 2007 · Comments Off · Categories: Links, News, Ramble

    Here is an interesting idea: if you like the concert you heard by the Saint Louis Symphony you can take your used ticket to another performance (you have to be there at least one hour prior to the start of the program) and hear it again. I really like that idea! Why not have people return if there are seats to spare? I can tell you from personal experience that a hall with empty seats can be demoralizing. Empty seats can also send a message (not a true message, but still) to the audience suggesting “loser group” or “loser program” or some such thing. So why not fill those seats? What harm can come from it? (Of course one could take advantage of the system. Why not take your used ticket and give it to someone who didn’t go the first time … hmmm … how do they deal with that? Ah well, I guess there will always be someone out there taking advantage of things like this. The seats are still being filled.)

    The more I read about the SLSO the more impressed I am with how they do things. Their site is clean looking too, which is something I find quite important (even while my site could use some “clean up work” … sigh.) They even have a traffic warning at the bottom right now, telling people about a problem in a freeway. How handy is that? AND they have a blog which I think is so darn cool. Yes, indeed. I’m impressed.

    20. October 2007 · Comments Off · Categories: Links, News, Ramble

    … it’s written. We all know that, yes? I’ve sometimes gone back and deleted something I decided was unnecessary or incorrect or just plain silly. But you can usually still find it “somewhere out there” (Heh. How I have the some “Somewhere out there, beneath the pale moonlight …” in my head!). So I do try to be cautious about what I write.

    Writing a book one would have to be even more careful, I would think.

    In a telephone interview from Hong Kong, where he lives, Mr. Heymann said: “For me it’s beyond belief how any journalist in five pages can make so many factual mistakes. It’s shocking. Also, he really doesn’t understand the record business.”

    Reviewers have cited inaccuracies in previous books by Mr. Lebrecht, who is a columnist for The Evening Standard of London and has a BBC radio program. In his 1997 book, “Who Killed Classical Music?,” Mr. Lebrecht said 750,000 people had heard Plácido Domingo sing in Central Park when the number was closer to 100,000, and called the Metropolitan Opera’s general manager Rudolf Bing a public servant.

    Just as much, commentators have said that Mr. Lebrecht exaggerates, ignores nuance and indulges in hyperbole.

    “Where others write, he romps, pursuing scandal, sex and ‘shame’ (a favorite word) with the alliterative abandon of a redtop tabloid,” The Sunday Times of London said in a review of “Maestros.”

    Mr. Lebrecht’s Web site, normanlebrecht.com, says he has written 11 books about music. He has also written a novel, “The Song of Names,” which won the 2002 Whitbread First Novel Award.

    I read The Song of Names and truly enjoyed it, btw. It did, for me anyway, have a tendency to “show off” sometimes, but I still found it fascinating and thought-provoking. I think anyone following a faith system would enjoy reading it and pondering. I think, in fact, it would be a great book club book for any “clubs of faith” (my term “COF” … cute, eh?).

    But anyway, thanks to Chris Foley’s blog entry, I landed at the New York Times article about Norman Lebrecht’s most recent book. It really makes me want to go out and quickly buy the uncorrected version. (Hmmm. Good ploy by a publisher to sell two copies of the same book maybe? Naw. They wouldn’t ever do that.) It sounds as if you could get the original book here in the states for another week or so. Maybe I’ll head on over to my local Barnes and Noble just to see if they have it.

    But anyway, enough of Mr. L. This is just a good reminder to me. I blog. I blog and people read. I’d better blog true. Even though I can’t imagine anyone would come after me (I’m not a well known blogger or oboist; my “audience” is wonderful but small) for what I write, but that’s not the point. Because of what I believe, I really have to “blog rightly”. It’s just the way it is.