29. November 2007 · Comments Off on MQOD · Categories: Quotes

Guitars are cool. They just are. It’s relatively easy to learn enough to play a Ramones song, and it’s easier to look cool holding one in the bathroom mirror than it is holding an oboe.

-Kurt Gottschalk

29. November 2007 · Comments Off on Can’t We All Just Get Along? · Categories: Links

I’ve had my fair share of disagreements with colleagues. Some musicians—just like the rest of the world!—are difficult people. And we are all, it seems, quite sensitive. Go figure.

Would I ever talk about who I struggle with, and who I wouldn’t mind seeing go far, far away? Of course not! We are one big, happy, dysfunctional family, after all. ;-)

But read this. It’s just kind of interesting. And kind of funny to read in places.

This made me laugh:

Some probably consider themselves superior to others. I suspect several of the solo woodwind players sitting in the middle of the orchestra and having small soli and being heard all the time…I suppose they feel they have a special status within the orchestra…and that causes some problems because they get away with things others don’t – like small-talk during rehearsals etc. And if you are a really good musician, then it’s difficult to do something about, because the orchestra on the other hand really needs someone to play these soli really well.

But … but … but … solo woodwind players ARE superior! … right? ;-)

29. November 2007 · Comments Off on Master of the Oboe Making World · Categories: Links, Ramble

… at least according to this article.

Or maybe he’s not really, since it was an “IF/THEN” kind of thing … IF he is the master, then this other guy is his apprentice. Hmmm.

I’ve never heard of Tony Ward, but now I’m quite curious about his oboes. Anyone know about him? (Ben, are you out there? He’s from your neck ‘o the woods! Well, if all of Australia is one neck, which I suppose is doubtful.)

Anyway, a new name to me. Anyone else?

29. November 2007 · Comments Off on The Rake’s Progress · Categories: Ramble, Videos, Watch

I absolutely love “No Word From Tom” and “Quietly Night” from The Rakes Progress. Well … truth be told … I love the entire opera. But Anne Truelove’s opening numbers are just wonderful, and I’m yearning to play this opera again after hearing it last night at San Francisco Opera.

Today I’m just doing some YouTube browsing and enjoying the music once more. I first listened to Dawn Upshaw’s performance. But then I landed here, and was listening to Isabel Rey. If you listen in to about 2:48 you hear … drum roll please … the lovely dulcet sounds of the Nokia cell phone ring.

Sigh.

Really now!

Last night’s performance was wonderful, although Dan and I have decided that sitting in the balcony is just not gonna happen any more; the productions are clearly not set up so that the cheap (hah!) seats can see everything. Much was lost. I’m so glad we saw the final dress so we knew what was going on on that back, unseen-from-the-balcony, screen. You couldn’t even see the movie marquee from where we were. Not at all! Forget the moving car scene and the rolling clouds (and more) in the background. Too bad.

Couple of “BUTs …”. I really didn’t like the final “outfit” of Nick Shadow. It looked more birdlike than anything fiery. He just looked goofy as he descended into hell. At least to me. I think Baba’s beard could have been a bit more visible. Just my little opinions of course!

I won’t mention the two young women sitting to my left who were rather noisy, making comments on the opera as it progressed. No. I won’t mention them. Because I am supposed to be happy to see these fresh young (noisy) faces in the audience. Aren’t you pleased that I’m not even bringing them up at all?

And I won’t mention that the audience applauded loudly so that everyone missed Tom’s spoken line “I wish I had money!’ prior to the first appearance of Nick Shadow. That was too bad, to me at least.

And why the heck didn’t they correct the errors with the super titles? Do they need a proofreader? Heck, I’d go do it for free if they’d let me in to a rehearsal or two. Surely those are easy to fix? I hereby offer my services! ;-)

I did find that the singers were sometimes difficult to hear (mostly Anne Truelove, actually). I don’t believe the orchestra was too loud … just that some voices were a wee bit small at times. But Tom Rakewell (William Burden) was wonderful.

If you go to the San Francisco Opera page on Rake’s be sure and click on the clip. You can at least get a brief glimpse at the production. (Or just click on this for a direct link to the clip.)