I’m sorry I can’t figure out how to put this up properly, so you have to click on this link to see the pictures of a pretty “interesting” solution to the lack of a B-flat on most of our English horns. And the guy who wrote the instructions is hilarious:

“You may have noticed in the pictures that the elbow turns the bell 90 degrees from its usual position. Get used to it. Because I play big clarinets with bells, I’m used to stuff sticking out front. Aim the bell at your audience if you want to really let them know when you hit the low B-flat. The white color of the extension is also visually appealing. Black is boring.”

Hmmm. Well, I can’t stand the white, nor do I like the 90% angle. The bigger issue is that you need to be able to go back and forth between low B and low B flat. There isn’t always time to remove the extension … for instance, in Prokofiev’s Romeo & Juliet!) Still it’s fun to see.

25. March 2010 · Comments Off on False News? · Categories: News

Remember when I wrote that Vienna Phil had actually appointed a female concertmaster? Tim Smith now reports that what we thought ain’t necessarily so:

My diligent colleague Susan Elliott of MusicalAmerica.com reported Wednesday that the story is not quite what it seems, that Albena Danailova was actually named a permanent concertmaster of Vienna Opera Orchestra –not entirely the same thing as the Vienna Philharmonic.

As Susan points out, while Philharmonic members play in the opera ensemble, it doesn’t mean that everyone in the opera plays in the Philharmonic. So it appears that Danailova has not landed the concertmaster post at the august Philharmonic after all. Bummer.

Yep. Definitely a “bummer”. (And I thought I was the only one who used that word still!)

25. March 2010 · Comments Off on Thomas Hampson, Coach · Categories: Announcements

Thomas Hampson Coaching & Webcast

The renowned American baritone and Manhattan School of Music Distinguished Visiting Artist coaches select small ensembles comprised of students in the Orchestral Performance Program. The groups will study, transcribe, and perform pieces from some of Gustav Mahler’s most famous song cycles, including “Kindertotenlieder”. Presented in collaboration by the Distance Learning and Orchestral Performance Programs, the coaching will be open to the public on a first-come, first-serve basis, with no tickets required; additionally, the event will stream live at http://dl.msmnyc.edu/live.

William R. and Irene D. Miller Recital Hall
Tuesday, March 30, 2010 at 2 PM

Hmm. I’ll have to see if I can watch some of this. Could be interesting, yes?

25. March 2010 · 2 comments · Categories: Quotes

There are two ideas about classical music that I hate, loathe and abominate: that this music is somehow “civilized” and that it’s somehow “relaxing.”

Somehow, classical music is what kids are supposed to listen to – if we want them to be responsible, sober and hardworking. Somehow, classical music is supposed to be the ultimate tranquilizer for the addled and the sleepless.

I read it here.

25. March 2010 · 1 comment · Categories: TQOD

the only good sound an oboe makes is the crisp crackle of it burning in a fire.

25. March 2010 · 2 comments · Categories: Oboe, Videos

I have read Jennet Ingle’s blog (I’ll ask her if I can put it up here), but meanwhile, here’s this enjoyable video:

The Art of Playing the Oboe, Jennet Ingle from Paul Hamilton on Vimeo.