11. April 2008 · 2 comments · Categories: Ramble

I’m just home from the chamber music concert. I played in two works. The first was a woodwind quintet, and the second was for violin, piano and woodwind quintet. The entire concert was in celebration of James Cohn’s 80th birthday. Yes, all the music was by him. I thought the works I played were quite fine. Some high G’s in there too. But all very playable.

The concert went well. I enjoyed myself. So there you go.

The audience was appreciative but very small. It is disheartening to see that so many SCU music students don’t attend their own instructors’ concerts. It’s also somewhat puzzling. They love it when their instructors attend their concerts. I wish they could return the favor! Ah well. I guess it’s just one of those things …?

After packing my instrument up, I noticed no one was at the serving table. I can’t believe the school didn’t provide a student to assist! I ended up slicing and serving cake. It wasn’t quite what I had in mind. I originally went over to get a slice for myself. After serving a bit, I decided I didn’t even need a piece. So maybe serving was a good thing, helping me avoid the sugar I surely didn’t need! But still … why didn’t the school provide servers? Or publicity? Or even send out an email to the music faculty about the concert? Very, very curious, all of that.

But now it’s off to bed and on to “only” Mozart. No more overlapping for a few weeks. (The next overlap is a different sort: Beauty and the Beast — yes, the musical — and a Gershwin symphony set.)

My pillow is calling. I will obey.

11. April 2008 · 2 comments · Categories: Ramble

I’m exhausted! I shouldn’t be, really; the rehearsal for the Mozart was only three hours long. But it felt quite a bit longer for some reason and now I’m fried. Next up is the concert tonight, and I meet my colleagues at 7:15 to just start up a few spots.

Big goal for tonight: STAY AWAKE!

There’s nothing worse than falling asleep while performing.

Well, except maybe falling asleep before performing and forgetting to go to the concert.

Hmmm. ponder … ponder … ponder … which IS worse?

Okay. I should revise my thinking, shouldn’t I? Big goal for tonight: Make good music!

Yeah, that’s better.

11. April 2008 · Comments Off on Hmmm · Categories: Ramble

Doesn’t this seem wrong to you:

“This concert was like musical chairs a la Quinte Symphony, with Courtney Stewart doubling on both oboe and English horn …”

It’s the “on both” that seems incorrect to me. We double. We don’t “double on both”.

Do we?

I know I’m annoying with my little nit picky sort of stuff. But I just can’t help myself. Or at least I’m not willing to stop! ;-)

(Review here.)

And now opera is calling. (Can’t you hear?)

11. April 2008 · Comments Off on Pretzels Opera & Beer · Categories: Links, Ramble

It’s fun to read about opera in a beer hall. I don’t have any problem with doing this sort of thing. But I’m sorry when it turns into a fight. I’m not sure it has to be a “one or the other” sort of thing. I’m not certain the blogger does either, but his last line, “Opera in a beer-hall? I’ll take that any day over the stuffy elitism of big-city concert halls.” sets up an “us vs. them” sort of thing, and the blogger wrote that someone had called and left a hostile message about this sort of thing being the destruction of opera of opera in America. (Give me a break! If it’s destroyed that won’t be the reason!)

The beer hall relaxes things, to be sure. You don’t get the all of it (only piano accompaniment and no sets or costumes and of course no full opera), but you do get some of the joy of it. You definitely get the fun of it, but I’m not sure you get the gut wrenching aspect I love so much. But you get beer. (Although Pabst in a can wouldn’t be my choice!)

Anyhoo, interesting thing to read about.

11. April 2008 · Comments Off on No Crying · Categories: Ramble

… well, except that there aren’t any oboes!

I just watched a slide show about a chamber group new to me, A Far Cry. Check it out!

11. April 2008 · 2 comments · Categories: Ramble

So some oboists are having fun at a conservatory.

But all I can think is “I need that t-shirt” … something … anything to verify that “I am a musician.”

Because right now I’m not feeling like a musician.

It’s funny how that happens sometimes. But today it’s not so funny; I have a Magic Flute rehearsal and a chamber music concert tonight.

All I have to do to get over this, of course, is pull out the oboe and start playing. Well, most of the time. I tend to build up this “I can’t play any longer” fear and—this probably sounds incredibly odd to many of you—I think “I’ll not know how to play a single note!”

I realize it’s not rational. I’ve been playing professionally since 1974. What I know won’t so suddenly disappear.

Or will it?

Does anyone else have this fear? Am I alone in the world?

Hmm. Now I have “I’m All Alone in the World” in my head. From Mr. Maggoo’s Christmas Carol. Boy does hearing that song bring back memories! It was one of “my” songs when i was a kid, as I decided early on—as did so many other kids, go figure—that I was all alone in the world, was misunderstood, lonely, and of course heartbroken. I was silly that way. (Other songs: “All Alone in my Corner in my Own Little Chair”, I Am A Rock (which my kids sometimes tease me about!) and “How Can You Mend A Broken Heart” all because of the “How can a loser ever win?” line. Pathetic, eh? Aren’t you glad I’m over all that?)

Oh dear. Let’s move on ….

So back to videos … there’s another (where one student is blowing through the reed while another student is fingering the oboe) by the same person that shows a reed a bit better. That is one very short reed!

11. April 2008 · Comments Off on More · Categories: Ramble

There’s more to the Verdi opera story and Opera Chic fills us in. There’s also this:

“Apart from the music nothing will remain of Verdi”.

Um. Okay.

Looking at her pictures (and she has a link to the fully naked oldsters), it makes me so happy to be with Opera San José. I like new things, but I sure don’t like what I see regarding this Verdi opera. I’ll stay here, thank you.

11. April 2008 · 1 comment · Categories: Ramble

The ruins of the World Trade Center and naked senior citizens wearing Mickey Mouse masks will share a stage Saturday, when a German theatre’s sell-out reinterpretation of a Verdi opera opens.

The Erfurt Theatre’s production of “A Masked Ball” will feature 35 naked seniors wearing masks of the Disney character throughout the performance.

“It’s a very beautiful, poetic scene,” Guy Montavon, the theatre’s general manager, told AFP. Sixty local senior citizens applied for one of the on-stage roles, Montavon said.

The words “beautiful” and “poetic” just didn’t come to mind when I saw the picture. But what do I know?

(Read here.)