16. September 2008 · Comments Off on 6 Down, 2 To Go · Categories: Oboe, Opera, Ramble

We’ve now played six performances of Eugene Onegin, and we have two more to go; one is on Friday and the other is on Sunday. In between is the gala.

Tonight the reed I’m using for the first act was acting up. Not in a great way, but most of it was just that it didn’t feel right. Oboe players will know what I mean when I write that even if it sounds good it is really no fun if it feels bad. Yes, feelings matter.

Ah reeds! Such is life, eh?

I do enjoy this opera. Once I make it through the first act I can relax and enjoy. I suspect that if I felt more comfortable with reeds and oboes even the first act would be fine. Guess I won’t know during this run, though.

Speaking of oboes, I had a dream last night that I took the problematic oboe to my repairman. He held it up to his nose and, through his nose, mind you, blew into some keys. He then handed it back to me and said, “There is nothing to do. The oboe is no good. You need to replace it.”

I’m hoping to take the oboe in on Monday. I’m assuming I will not hear that I have to replace the oboe. I’d better not! We can’t exactly be buying an oboe right now.

Bruce, of Horndog Blog, has some audition pointers for horn players. Included in his advice he wrote:

In the first movement expositions of Mozart concertos number 2 and 4, pay special attention to the fast scale passages. At the recent audition, many candidates rushed these under pressure – especially the rests in-between each scale passage.

Yes, indeed! Rushing is an issue for a lot of folks during auditions. Those of us on the slightly less nervous side of the screen (I still get nervous, even when I’m on the panel!) are “keeping time” as you play, and I do notice that rushing. But even more, I notice when someone isn’t keep good time with rests. We certainly don’t expect a player to count something like measures of rest, but a quarter rest or half rest? Keep the time! Rests matters. Really!

Anyway, I enjoyed reading Bruce’s blog entry. Check it out!

16. September 2008 · Comments Off on Spark: Bonesetter’s Daughter · Categories: Opera, TV

I’m not able to watch this, but this Wednesday’s Spark episode includes Bonesetter’s Daughter. Read about it here.

16. September 2008 · Comments Off on And He’s Not Even An Oboist! · Categories: Links, Opera, Teaching

But he began to feel the pressure: Classical music is, as he says, “a perfectionist field”.

He became neurotic, depressed. He was very sensitive to noise. He decided he did not want to perform any more. Then he stopped practising. And then he stopped playing altogether.

I read it here.

I wonder how often this happens. It seems to me that being a child prodigy would come with a ton of baggage.

I’m thankful that my prodigious moments are still ahead of me! ;-)

In Other News
UCSC begins next week. I feel as if I’ve been away for eons, and I’m looking forward to getting back. It appears I may have more oboists desiring lessons than I’ve ever had before. I do hope we can accommodate them all. (And if there are any more out there you’d better contact me soon!) Today I move our son back to Santa Cruz. (It’s a quick drive, so it’s not anything like when we moved our other two to SoCal.)

Opera tonight. Third to last performance of EO, but we also have the gala this week!

16. September 2008 · Comments Off on Enjoy the Concert · Categories: Listen, Videos, Watch

Trio d’Anches de Cologne
An Oboe. A Bassoon. A Clarinet. (And later, a shiny instrument.)

And yes, the do applaud between movements at this concert:

… and the trio becomes a quartet:

16. September 2008 · Comments Off on BQOD · Categories: BQOD

My teacher told me that the reason why he quit [insert major US symphony orchestra here] (aka the most amazing symphony in the world besides the Berlin Philharmonic) was because he hated the politics and the disgusting competition, all the people who hated their job because they couldn’t sit in a title chair, and all the bitterness caused by all these things. He loved what he did, but it sickened him to see people fighting so harshly and relying on politics to get them anywhere in life.