28. July 2009 · Comments Off on In 13 Hours … · Categories: Oboe, Opera, Videos

… I’ll be meeting up with my carpool to go to the first Cosi fan tutte rehearsal. I haven’t worked for so long … my last job was June 7. Wow! Close to 2 months. Let’s hope I remember how to play well with others. 😉

Here is the overture and E la fede delle femmine:

As you can hear, the principal oboe has a bit of an important part in the overture. I’ve heard both the opening solo and the faster part at so many different tempi I never know what to expect with a new conductor. When I practice I work on everything at a variety of tempi, just to make sure I can do whatever the conductor asks. And of course the one tricky bit near the end of the opera is the biggest question mark of all. Time will tell!

You can hear the oboe solo at about 2:55 in the following video (I’ve done the solo at that tempo as well as a much speedier one, so who knows what tomorrow will bring.):

28. July 2009 · 1 comment · Categories: TQOD

You might be an oboe geek if the best thing to happen to you all summer is an RDG half price sale on cane…

“Hallway Oboe”?? So a bassoon played in a hallway becomes an oboe? Say what?!

For something that is, perhaps, a bit more fun, here is the Bocal Majority (is this a bassoon quartet, or four hallway oboes?):

28. July 2009 · 1 comment · Categories: Links

Members of competitive high school marching bands may not be considered athletes, but they work like them — and get injured like them.

Gary Granata, an exercise physiologist in New Orleans, reached that conclusion after surveying 172 members of the local Avon High School Marching Band about how hard they work.

“We saw a level of physical demands and injury incidence comparable to what we see in high school sports,” said Granata, owner of PerformWell LLC, a firm providing nutrition, fitness and wellness services to sports teams, bands and other groups.

The Avon Marching Band members completed an anonymous questionnaire for the study, which was presented at the recent annual meeting of the Indianapolis-based American College of Sports Medicine.

As a result of rehearsals or performances, 17 percent reported they were always tired, nearly 44 percent said they were frequently tired, and 38 percent indicated they were occasionally tired. Nearly one-fourth had experienced episodes of faintness or nausea after band participation, and more than half had heat-related illnesses.

Nearly all of them, 95 percent, had sore or stiff muscles after rehearsals or practices. About 39 percent reported an injury that was a direct result of band participation, while a fourth of them said they had a previous injury that was worsened by being in the band. Injuries to nearly 28 percent of them were serious enough to see a physician. A variety of injuries were reported, including those to ankles, knees, hips and lower back.

What is completely missing in the article is something I am well aware of these days: hearing loss.

Knowing more than I used to about this issue, I wish that band students would have annual hearing tests. And I wish even more that they wore musician’s earplugs — especially when they rehearse in small band rooms and blast away.

You just don’t get a second chance with your ears.

27. July 2009 · 2 comments · Categories: Ramble

… classical music (Mahler this time!) is being used to keep the riff-raff away.

THE use of classical music to make people feel safer and deter graffiti artists, could be rolled out across Dartford.

Music by composer Mahler is currently played on repeat in the Princes Tunnel in Central Park.

Leader of Dartford Council Jeremy Kite says that since the tunnel was reopened with the music in March, there has been a marked decrease in graffiti there.

He says that people feel safer, enjoy the music, and that he has instructed council officers into looking at introducing the idea elsewhere.

Cllr Kite said: “It’s worked really well so far.

“It’s my hunch that young people creating graffiti don’t find it cool to be surrounded by classical music.

“They can’t show off and invite their friends to see it.

“They don’t want to stay there.”

However playing music to stop people daubing graffiti is not a novel idea.

Classical music is played in town centre subways in Blackburn and Burnley, to discourage youths from hanging around there.

And Co-op stores, in Perry Street and Dene Holm Road, Northfleet, ran a similar scheme in 2005 by installing loudspeakers playing classical music outside.

It was such a success staff felt they did not need to continue the scheme.

Cllr Kite said: “We don’t want to give the impression this is a negative thing, people enjoy having music around.

“People feel happy during the working day.”

Just yards away from the Princes Tunnel is a skate park which with the council’s consent, is decorated in graffiti.

News Shopper spoke to some of the skaters, who gave a mixed reaction to Cllr Kite’s plan.

Charlie Pankhurst, 25, of Northdown Road, Northfleet, said: “If it works it’s a good idea, it may stop them hanging around in certain places.

“But playing a bit of classical music isn’t going to stop the worst offenders, if they’re going to do it, they’re going to do it.”

Michael Barnett, 20, of Chastilian Road, Dartford, said: “I don’t think it’s a good idea, it’s a bit stupid.

“Music’s just music, you can’t say everyone’s going to feel the same.

“I think white noise would work.”

I read it here.

27. July 2009 · Comments Off on MQOD · Categories: Quotes

For me, Bach’s music is not only as good as music gets, but also as good as it gets, period — as good as existence, reality, life and the world.

-Andrew W. K.

Read (and heard) here.

27. July 2009 · Comments Off on Terry Teachout & The Letter · Categories: Links, Opera, Ramble

It’s scary to go out in front of a thousand people and put yourself on the line. Unless you know what it takes to do that night after night — not just in theory but in your blood and bones — your criticism is likely to be more idealistic than realistic.

The above quote is from an article by Terry Teachout. I know him via the blog About Last Night, and from there have read his reviews of theatre. Now he’s on the other side; he has written a libretto for the opera The Letter, and I’m assuming reviews will be out today for the Saturday opening night performance.

I’m curious if doing something like this opera will change the way he reviews. As he states in the article, he has been a professional musician, so perhaps he already understood the hurtfulness of a negative review. (Did he ever get reviewed, I wonder? Did he play in front of thousands? I don’t know that I’ve read much about his performing. Wanna fill us in, Terry?)

Another “must read” is his blog entry about opening night. To me it was one of the most real blog entries I’ve read … he sounded giddy and excited, much like I feel after having a very good night of performing. It made me smile.

I would have loved to have been able to get to Santa Fe. One of these years I will. But this year isn’t one for expenses like that; I’m sure everyone reading this is in the same boat. So I keep teaching, and this week I also start rehearsals for Cosi, and I’ll just have to read about The Letter … and hope that Santa Fe can post a clip if they are allowed to do such a thing.

27. July 2009 · 2 comments · Categories: Quotes

Flute’s good. I was thinking more Punk Flute. Then again, Death Oboe might be an option…

Wondrous Love

26. July 2009 · Comments Off on MQOD · Categories: Links, Quotes, Videos

I’m going to go to Richard Strauss. We’re getting into long haired stuff now. I was in a really swank Mercedes Benz in Germany one night. Black, deep black and snow flakes the size of silver dollars coming down. And I’d been left in the car — I forget who I was with but they had gone into a building and I had been left in the car — and I turned on the radio and I heard this thing. And it thrilled my soul. This particular piece of music at that particular time, I saw in my minds eye, my four year old son coming down a flight of stairs and it made me start crying.

-David Lynch

Thanks to Opera Chic for the quote and link to the interview. (Note: Link no longer working.)

Here’s OC’s choice for best YouTube recording of Im Abendrot, the work on Lynch’s playlist: