I’m home. I liked it. With reservations, but I liked it. Quite a lot, in fact.

The end really got to me, actually. Yes, I nearly lost it. There were other absolutely beautiful moments as well. I thought it could use a nip & tuck here and there. And because we only see Ruth’s husband’s family at the beginning and then they are gone completely I wonder if something could be done there. Why they needed the pop singer guy is beyond me. I couldn’t really hear him well, and didn’t think his voice was necessary. I have a bit of trouble with the Precious Auntie part — the voice and all isn’t exactly pleasing to my ear — but Dan wasn’t as bothered as I. I thought the orchestration was really nice.

I have some little whiney things to complain about, but really, I liked it. And I disagree with the reviewer who said there weren’t any “tunes”. There are. They are just new tunes, and they aren’t Puccini. I guess that didn’t work for him.

And I thought the orchestra sounded wonderful. (And Janet, I did hear you! The mink coat aria was really great!)

The audience laughed in certain places where I would want to cry. Was it discomfort, or was it that they couldn’t believe the mother would say such things to a daughter? I dunno. But I found some things sad yet they were laughing.

The end, with the rising higher strings and all was exquisite.

Call me silly … I know so many bloggers didn’t like the opera. Sometimes I think I’m just weird. I enjoy things too much maybe? But there you go. I would see and hear it again. Maybe I even will, although I have a ton of work on Friday, and that’s the final performance. (Or “show” as the lecturer said.)

Consisting of about 70 local professional and semiprofessional players, SSV is modest in both its size and capacity. First-night jitters, or perhaps the ensemble’s relatively slow warming-up to guest conductor Leslie Dunner, resulted in several unsure and unclear moments in its performance throughout the evening.

I’d love to know where the reviewer, Kwami Coleman received his information, and why some of us are “semiprofessional”. (Mr. Coleman is a Ph.D student at Stanford.)

In any case, the review isn’t terribly positive. Such is life.

30. September 2008 · Comments Off · Categories: Cool!, Links, Videos, Watch

Thanks to Dial “M” for Musicology for sharing it.

You tell me. Go look at the pictures and tell me what you think.

I’d post some here, but … well … I’m too lazy.

30. September 2008 · Comments Off · Categories: Ramble

A symphony is a democracy. People play different parts together. Every part must have its independence. But it must express itself without killing the independence of the other parts. Otherwise the democracy is killed. ‘Questo e il concetto della musica.'” (That’s the idea of music.)

-Riccardo Muti

I read it here, and if you go there you can read that quote and more.

Jessica has tagged me. This is bad news, because it’s quite difficult to come up with ‘six things about me, personally, that my readers might not know’, and then, ‘tag’ six other twitter/blogger friends and make them ‘it’. I mean … you all know me … I’m a blabbermouth about myself. I think I’ve told you all everything there is to know. So I’m gonna have to really dig deep to do this, aside from the very first thing, which will horrify everyone out there who plays oboe, I’m sure.

1) I do not own a gouger, nor have I ever used a gouger. That’s right, folks, I’m finally ‘fessing up here. I’ve just not done it. When I was in college we didn’t have one there, and I didn’t push to get one either. Yeah, you can be shocked and dismayed. But I’ve still been at this since 1975 and I’ve kept my gigs. Still, I know it’s very lame. I’m now wanting to do the gouging thing. But my pocketbook is not.

2) I’ve never done illegal drugs. Not even once. I carried some white pill around for years, though. A fellow high school graduate gave it to me at our graduation party and I put it in a little pendant I sometimes wore. There was something about the “I could take this if I wanted to but I choose not to” that felt good. Eventually it was lost. Now I wonder if it really was anything at all, or just a joke from another students.

Speaking of drugs …

3) At our wedding a horn player (no longer in this area and I haven’t a clue where she is so don’t be guessin’!) stuck a joint in Dan’s coat pocket. No, we didn’t use it. Like I said, I’ve never done illegal drugs. :-)

4) I sometimes have to verify that I graduated from college. Dan says I did. I can’t really remember. Not remembering writing a single paper doesn’t help. Using a high school poem for the one paper I do remember turning in doesn’t help either.

5) I sometimes dream I’ve killed someone. Usually it’s a family member, but not always. I always do it to protect that person … usually from himself or herself. That scares me.

(SIX things?! Why SIX?! Thinking … thinking … thinking …)

Argh, this is difficult … OH! … but there’s this awful memory:

6) When I was a freshman in high school I went to a Halloween party. We were instructed to wear costumes. Only the three freshman girls wore them. The rest of the kids knew better. Cute joke, eh? I was a clown — too darn fitting, yes? — and I was horrified at the trick played on us. Then we played “Truth or Dare” and the guy I had a crush on was told he had to take me outside and kiss me. To this day I don’t know if he did or not. I was so nervous I blanked it all out. I guess I’ll never know. Which is fine by me. But how embarrassing that night was ….

Now I’m supposed to TAG people? Well, well, well, … I guess I’ll hand it over to some other reeders:

1. Oh Cooper … got time to ‘fess up?

2. Rachel, you wanna play?

3. Are you up for gabbing, Gabrielle?

4. And a prairie girl must have some tales to tell.

5. Certainly someone with wild reeds should have something to say.

6. Maybe a anesthesioboist would have something to share too?

Reviews are in, and they are fairly positive. No mention of yours truly, but I only had one true “solo-solo” so I’m not at all surprised. I still think I played well, but you know me and those doubts! I’ll always have ‘em. It’s in the blood.

Rich Scheinin
David Bratman

I do think the program worked. When I saw Ellington on the program I wasn’t thrilled, but this work is, in my little opinion, really wonderful. It was new to me, and I loved sitting there enjoying the first three movements before playing the only one with English horn in it. (And even in that movement I played less than I expected; there was one solo that the maestro said shouldn’t be in my part, so I sat there watching it go by. No one else played the line, so I’m not sure what that was about. It certainly wasn’t in his own score, though, which he used rather than the rental score.) My part is actually in the second oboe part, but we “split the book” which saves symphony a doubling fee. (Aren’t we nice to save them money? I think so!) Then, following the fourth movement, I sat through three more movements. In some ways I feel like such a fool just sitting there, but I do have one of the best seats in the house!

I need an Oboe for my son. He has played Sax for 5+ years.
Now he wants to play Oboe. I do not want to rent.
Do you have one at a very reasonable price ?

I read this online. I’m just not sure what a person can say to such a question. I mean … sure, many could offer this guy an oboe at a reasonable price.

1) Someone could sell a horrible instrument for under $1,000. The price would be “reasonable” … right?
2) Someone could sell a Fox Renard for something like … are they around $3,000 now? That’s reasonable for what you are getting.
3) Someone could sell a professional model oboe for $7,000 and that’s not an unreasonable price these days for a professional oboe.

So I think he’s asking the wrong question. Or at least asking the question the wrong way.

I have suggestions for buying oboes. So does Martin Schuring.

If anyone wants to know what I think, feel free to contact me. I’ll quickly say, though, that you nearly always get what you pay for. You should buy an oboe with all the keys, doggone it … don’t skimp! The oboe should have the left F and low B flat, NO question. I also prefer the articulated C# even for the younger student, so you don’t regret missing that later one. (I don’t accept students for longer than one month if they don’t have an oboe with a left F.) You shouldn’t just order an oboe online and not have a trial period to test it out. If you are a student have your teacher have you help you with your purchase decision. If you do order an oboe online because they are so much cheaper than going through a reputable dealer, just keep in mind you’ll have to take it to someone to have it adjusted. I’ve never had a student buy an oboe at one of these places without then having to spend more money to get it adjusted properly.

Any questions? I’m here. :-)

All in all, I give Simon Boccanegra 4 out of 5 stars and going to the opera 3.5 out of 5 stars; let’s be honest: movies cut to the chase, operas cut around the chase–not the ideal strategy to get guys in the seats, however phenomenal the singing.

29. September 2008 · Comments Off · Categories: BQOD

I liked everything about The Fly except that there was no music.

(Yes, this is referring to the opera.)