So we finished up with the symphony set yesterday. As I reported to my husband when he called after the final concert, “I didn’t embarrass myself.”

Yep. That’s about all I can say. I leave it to others to say if I played well or not. I have this tremendous fear of getting too confident or even more arrogant. I feel as if I might lose any edge I have if I say positive things. Is this superstition? I wonder. (I hope not!)


Now I can confess: I really don’t like that Tchaikovsky suite!

There. I said it. I wouldn’t write that here prior to finishing up the concerts. When I’m in the middle of a run I simply can’t write that way. And when I am on stage I have to really “believe” in a work. I have to feel as if I can make great music, and in order for me to feel good about it all I really do make myself like a work. Maybe that sounds silly, but there you go.

But now? Now I can say I wouldn’t mind never playing it again. Really.

The first movement solo simply perplexes me. I can’t figure out what it’s doing! I think I made it work okay, but it’s a pretty odd little ditty. The waltz movement is a bit strange, especially at one spot where we have this odd passage of octave notes that just sounds like an “upside down” donkey bray to me. The scherzo is crazy making. And the theme and variations … well … I’ve never cared much for theme and variation movements.

But (this seems to be a “but” blog entry) … the solo in variation seven is pretty nicely written and works very well for English horn. It’s also entirely stress-free. So that was nice.

Getting mentioned in the review was nice too. I’ll take that. 🙂

Gee, anyone else notice the two spellings of Tchaikovsky’s name in the review? Headline reads “Tchaikovski”! But of course one could argue either spelling, and some suggest that it should Chaikovsky instead, I think. No biggie!

But …

The program, which repeats Saturday and Sunday as the final one in the orchestra’s eighth season, also included performances of two lesser-known 19th-century works, Max Bruch’s “Kol Nidrei” and Felix Mendelssohn’s Overture to “The Fair Melusine.”

Oops! I think the writer might be wrong about that.


  1. I suspect what happened is that the reviewer read the board chairman’s introduction in the program book which said “With these May and June programs, the Symphony concludes our 8th season” without noticing the “June” part and that the program book covers two concerts.

    I like the Third Suite, but I disagree with the program note’s declaration that it’s the finest of the four. I vote for the First.

  2. Ah, I didn’t read the board chair’s item in the program … I would guess you are correct, David.

    I’m not sure which suite I’d choose if I had to choose one. Truth be told, I’m just not a Tchaik nut. Maybe it’s just that I’ve done so much ballet …? Dunno! In any case, when I’m up there I ditch my negative feelings and give it my all. I can’t bring negative opinions of works to the stage; that could be deadly!