Just on the news:

A survey of students:

  • 64% say they’ve cheated
  • 36% say they’ve plagiarized
  • 30% say they stole
  • but a whopping 93% say they are satisfied with their own ethics

    … and I’ll just bet you that some of that 7% who aren’t satisfied are probably the most honest of the bunch and just have very strict standards for themselves.

    I am SO thankful that I teach oboe and not something else. It’s very difficult to cheat on an oboe lesson. Even if a student lies and said he or she practiced I can often tell when that student hasn’t. (I have sneaky little ways to check this, too … it’s not just based on a student’s performance.)

    I really have no tolerance for dishonesty. It really ticks me off. :-(

  • 30. November 2008 · Comments Off · Categories: Links, Ramble

    To rewind the story, the incident occurred after Rozhdestvensky discovered that his name had been omitted altogether from a list of “Distinguished Conductors” in the BSO’s season brochure. He was also upset that the week’s cello soloist, Lynn Harrell, had been featured in a large photo and given top billing on a concert poster, while his name appeared only in the concert details.

    I blogged about this earlier, as readers know. You can read the above quote and more here (Note: Link no longer working.), where the writer ponders the incident and more.

    After the first blog entry I had told the story to my son. Then it got me thinking (Whew! Me? Thinking?!) … I know that actors have contracts that state how they are billed. I wonder if conductor’s agents do the same thing? Does anyone know? I know that billing can be a huge deal for actors. I worked for a musical theatre company quite some time ago, and I remember them working over how they would create their posters, making sure to follow all the actors’ requirements, along with the requirements of the rental company from which the music was rented (composers and lyricists get their billing too, if I recall correctly). I wonder if musicians have the same issues. I do see that in the altered poster, pictured in the article I’ve linked to above, gives that replacement conductor top billing. Hmm.

    30. November 2008 · Comments Off · Categories: Read Online

    Oboe:
    The oboe is a double reed instrument which means it has two small pieces of wood that you blow on together. It is often used in moves to emulate pity and horror. It can produce a merry and bright sound too. In fact it is the instrument that the orchestra uses to tune up

    English Horn:
    It is French not English and a low oboe not a horn so why the name? The horn part comes from the fact the people said it sounds like a distant hunting horn. The English part was all a misunderstanding. They meant to call it angled horn (cor Angle) because of it’s distinctive curve but it sounded too much like the french word for English (cor Anglais)and the name stuck.

    I’ve heard several stories about how the English horn got its name. I honestly don’t worry about it. Thanks to my husband I call it the anguished horn anyway. ;-)

    30. November 2008 · Comments Off · Categories: BQOD

    Anyway, both symphonies were quite good. The funniest part came during the second movement of Symphonie Fantastique, when the oboe player had to go offstage to achieve the appropriately eerie tone. During the third movement the oboe player returned, and to reach his seat had to move the English Horn player’s music stand, and the English Horn player shot the oboe player a look that plainly said “if I were not waiting intently for the conductor’s cue I would kill you where you stand!”

    29. November 2008 · Comments Off · Categories: Ramble

    I listen to classical music rarely, but when I do, it normally takes me over: body, mind and soul. The best pieces cause me to close my eyes, prance about, and swing my arms about like a spastic conductor. I am possessed by the spirits of long-dead Europeans.

    29. November 2008 · Comments Off · Categories: Ramble

    I listen to classical music rarely, but when I do, it normally takes me over: body, mind and soul. The best pieces cause me to close my eyes, prance about, and swing my arms about like a spastic conductor. I am possessed by the spirits of long-dead Europeans.

    29. November 2008 · Comments Off · Categories: Ramble

    … I’d love to see and hear “Cake Catastrophe” because it sounds as if it might be about me. I can’t tell you how many birthday cakes I baked that flopped. I’d wind up hiding the bad cake in the laundry room and Dan would run to the store to purchase a store cake. (I no longer even bother to try to make them.)

    The sixth-grade class at Our Lady of Peace school created an opera company called, “Busy Bees Opera,” and staged a production of an original opera, titled “Cake Catastrophe.”

    Instructors at the Metropolitan Opera Company trained the school music teacher, Stephanie Doyle, and the school language arts teacher, Susan Brynes. The two teachers then taught all 35 sixth grade students to create an opera of their own.

    Doesn’t it sound like fun? I read about it here.

    When I was a kid my brother Greg and I would make mud pies on the side of the house (where he also built a fort) and we would sing opera. Or at least that’s what I remember. He seems to have forgotten. (And he’s younger than I!) I’m sure our operas were wonderful.

    29. November 2008 · 4 comments · Categories: BQOD

    With today’s increasingly superb technology, live orchestras and unpredictable conductors are dispensable.

    (This was written by a professional violinist who no longer performs, as I understand it, but runs a private studio where the blogger teaches other violinists.)

    Dan and I went to San Francisco Opera’s production of Elixir on Wednesday night. It was such great fun to see and hear it right after finishing with Opera San José’s production. I certainly know the music intimately. I was sorry we missed Ramón Vargas. (Hmmm. He bagged the final show … ill?) Not that his replacement, Alex Shrader, wasn’t good. You can hear him in this first clip, which is in English since it was the version for families:

    But I really did want to hear Mr. Vargas sing Una furtiva lagrima. Ah well, he sings a bit of it in this next clip:

    I do wonder if the ice cream they are eating in this next clip is really ice cream. I’d heard that singers should avoid dairy products before singing. Hmmm. Is that true? (I know at least one singer who reads this. Mike?)

    I was curious about tempi, since I thought we were draggy in a few spots. There were a few places that were slightly faster (precisely where I had wished some to be, actually … maybe I know something about tempi after all?!) but mostly it was much the same, and a few tempi were slower. I thought the SFO’s singers were good but, to be honest, I liked ours equally well. So there ya go. :-)

    We did discover that the buffet downstairs is far too expensive. Live and learn.

    It seems to me that they are talking about improvisation and also ornamentation, which I think of as something different. Maybe I’m wrong … (who … me?!).

    Anyway, it’s a fun little segment.