11. November 2007 · Comments Off on Whew · Categories: Ramble

Rough night at the opera.

Werther really doesn’t have a lot of oboe, and has nothing at all that is difficult. But it’s a tricky little thing. Part of the difficulty is with the edition we have; Kalmus is often full of errors, but this one is just a pain to read. Sometimes I can’t tell if I am seeing a sharp sign or a natural. How annoying is that?

But really, it’s just that the work isn’t falling together easily. Not for us, anyway. Good thing we have three more rehearsals!

Now if only I could put together some reeds that will behave.

That’ll be the day ….

Say you opened up your newspaper and read an interview with your conductor. And right there, in print, he talks about the sections in the orchestra that are weak. Ouch! I think I’d be mighty upset. But I just read an article that did include that.

It also included this:

Well, I’m an oboist and the oboe players have this strange duality because many times they’re seen as sort of a leader of the woodwinds and they give the A to begin the concert, so they help tune the orchestra, so they’re sort of a leadership role. They also have some of the most beautiful solos that composers wrote in their repertoires, so there’s a kind of a quality, a little bit of a prima donna quality to a lot of oboists, but then that’s combined with the fact that oboists make their reeds and that is extremely frustrating, time-consuming aspect to oboe playing. So, a lot of oboists are very neurotic so they’re kind of a combination of a neurotic prima donna. Again, I can say this because I’m an oboe player, but I don’t want any oboe players to take offense. This is just sort of very generally speaking. It’s not across the board. It’s not directed at anybody specifically. (RTWT)

Now THAT doesn’t upset me at all. It’s fairly true. I think I’ll call us NPDs from here on out.

And now I’m off to opera. Me and my neurotic personality! ;-)

11. November 2007 · Comments Off on Near College Park, Maryland? · Categories: Concert Announcements

A double reed recital by faculty artists Mark Hill, principal oboe of the National Philharmonic, and Sue Heineman, principal bassoon of the National Symphony Orchestra. Works by Poulenc, Donizetti/Brod, Gernot Wolfgang, Pavel Haas and others.

FREE Wednesday, November 14, 2007
8:00 pm – Joseph and Alma Gildenhorn Recital Hall

I had to miss SCU’s concert, but I did manage to make it over the hill (and through the rain) to the UCSC orchestra concert. What a pleasure! The concert opened with Lou Harrison’s Elegiac Symphony. (Anyone know why the parts all say “Elegaic”? Is it just a typo?) I’ve actually played the work twice, and my markings were still in the (rental) English horn part. Funny, eh? My former student, Sara Hancock played oboe and current student Rebecca Harris played the English horn (doubling on oboe). Sara then conducted Villa Lobos’ Choros No. 7, and Rebecca played the oboe part. Bravi tutti! What an enjoyable first half!

No oboes in the second half, when they presented Piazzolla’s Four Seasons. Fun work!

I’m glad I had more energy yesterday and made it to the “show”, as the student who gave the announcement about no recordings called it. Funny. I don’t think of a concert as a show. I think of a musical theater performance as a show. I think of a play as a “production” rather than a show. I wonder what it is about the word “show” that makes it not work for certain things (for yours truly anyway) and not for others. Opera = performance for me. Ballet? Well, that’s just a “let’s see how many bad tempi we can choose” kind of thing.

Okay. I’ll take that last one back. Sort of.