03. March 2008 · Comments Off · Categories: Pictures

How often do you see a painting of an English horn player? I really love this work. Very cool.

03. March 2008 · 1 comment · Categories: Ramble

Lorin Maazel is on Charlie Rose. They are playing a part of the slow movement of the Dvorak. Is it just me, or does the orchestra get a little off right after the oboe lick? I’ve listened to it twice now, and I’m still hearing that. Hmmm.

The audience looked so serious. I didn’t spot one single smile. Maybe it’s just that that movement doesn’t cause anyone to smile.

It’s interesting to hear that there was an anti-American banner that the musicians saw on their way from the airport. I would have thought North Korea would have hidden those sorts of things. (Does it sound like Charlie Rose said “North Korear”?)

“You don’t improve terrible conditions by playing Dvorak’s New World Symphony,” (Or something close to those words; I’ll go online and listen again later and verify the exact words.) says Loren Maazel.

True.

I am weary of hearing people imply that music will solve world woes—that music will bring peace. (If you knew the musicians I know ….) Music is music. Music can empower at times. Music can motivate and maniplulate at times. But music doesn’t change the nature of humankind.

03. March 2008 · 1 comment · Categories: Links, Ramble

A lot of symphony orchestras have now put up next season’s schedule. I’m going to be perusing them in the next few days—mostly so I can use the word peruse, really. ;-)

But for the moment, I just want to say that Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra has a very nice looking site and I like that. It’s clean. It’s clear (from the brief amount of time I spent there, anyway), and it feels intelligent to me. Besides, they have that blog thing going. I read it frequently and always enjoy it.

I like sites that look clean. I like sites that don’t yell out, “Look how many fonts we can use on one page!” or “Look how many different styles of art (or clip art) we can use!”

I like simplicity I guess. I’m a simple girl.

I would also like to grumble (because I’m so good at that!) about the titles of the concerts. Some are so idiotic it’s embarrassing and I get to the point where I want to suggest they are called “Concert #1 … Concert #2 … ” you get the idea! I just saw this one: “A Classic Easter and Spring Fever”.

Doesn’t do it for me. You?

Okay, enough complaining. But bravo to SLSO and what I think (although who am I?!) is a lovely site.

03. March 2008 · Comments Off · Categories: Links, Ramble

… is that I don’t owe millions.

I really do find it puzzling to read about mega-stars who get themselves into such debt. Can’t they afford a financial advisor? Can’t they do any sort of wise planning? Are they so caught up in their mega-million dollar life that they don’t see that sometimes it’s better to “just say no” to diamonds, or that villa, or whatever? Are they just plain stupid?

I don’t get it.

But there is so much I don’t get. Go figure.

03. March 2008 · Comments Off · Categories: Links, Ramble

To make ”Mist” more tangible, Wittry wrote many directions in English rather than traditional Italian, even though the work was written in Italy. Her commands tend to be very specific; her extra pauses, or fermatas, last from seven to 10 seconds. Being on the same page, she points out, allows musicians and conductors to be more precise and passionate.

”I want everyone to take risks, to not be tied up, to let the music come to life,” says Wittry, who has judged works for the National Endowment for the Arts and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. ”I think the biggest fault of some conductors is that they’re very mechanical, they interpret the page literally. Young conductors are particularly guilty. They think that everyone has to be right. In my piece the idea is to go for the overall shape of phrases. Singers know that; conductors forget that.”

I would think that giving precise times for, for instance, the fermatas, is rather … I dunno … mechanical? Or controlling. Seems as if paragraph two contradicts paragraph one. But what do I know? I’m only an oboist. ;-)

Article here.