25. May 2010 · Comments Off on My Snap Judgments Aren’t Always Correct · Categories: Links

But then, last night, the miraculous occurred. Jennifer Koh took the stage with Maestro Stern and the symphony complete with an interesting assortment of percussion filed in. The piece began.

So many bits of beauty filled in the empty holes I had gotten used to. The rests were no longer lonely acres of prime compositional real estate, they were landscapes of rolling triplets, cascades of thirty second notes, flute trills and the most agonizingly georgous English Horn duet with violin. It started making sense.

I’m glad I stuck it out. I’m glad I challenged myself and made it to the finish line.

You can read the whole thing and see what I’m talkin’ about.

I often make snap judgments. I often later have to eat my words. This is why I try not to say much about a work until I’ve lived with it for a time. Sometimes something I thought was the best music ever doesn’t wear well. Frequently it works just the opposite, of course. I prefer it the latter … I love being proved wrong in that way!

25. May 2010 · Comments Off on TQOD · Categories: TQOD

my favorite instrument is the oboe because of the way it looks the way it sounds and the way its played.

Thanks to Randy for alerting me to this NPR segment of music by composers who immigrated to America after he read my blog entry:

#4 and #6 are Stravinsky’s version of the Star Spangled Banner. The first (#4) is the orchestral arrangement, the second (#6) the choral. Randy suggests that the version on the video I posted isn’t what we hear here. Anyone? Since the video is men singing, and since I’m horrible at hearing things clearly when orchestration is different, I’ll let you decide.

25. May 2010 · Comments Off on The English Horn · Categories: English horn

The English Horn I must reveal
Has no connection with John Peel;
In fact Old John would find it meaner
To play on than a vacuum cleaner.
Its tone would make his horses skittish
For it is neither horn – nor British.
Some call it – to increase this tangle –
The Cor Anglais – or horn with angle –
Concerning which I’m glad to state
The English Horn is long and straight.
Its misery and constant dwelling
On tragedy has caused a swelling
Just where the doleful note emerges;
Imbued with melancholy surges
This makes an English Horn cadenza
Sound fearfully like influenza.

I found the poem here, at Steve Reads (and according to the first blog entry he reads “enormously”! More than me, he says. Not that that’s saying much these days. It might have been saying a lot when I worked at Books Inc., though.) … I’d love to get a copy of the book People of Note, which contains this silly poem about the English horn at some point. Too fun! (Do check out the drawing of the English hornist if you click on the first link of this paragraph.

Oh … and viola pals … be sure and check out the poem about the viola! Thanks for the morale boost! 😉

25. May 2010 · Comments Off on Ladies & Gentlemen, Place Your Bets · Categories: Oboe

We compare live betting odds on The Oboist from all the top online bookmakers to find the best odds for every The Oboist bet. See the list of events below and click through to find the latest The Oboist odds.

Yep. Really. Wanna place a bet?

Oh … according to what I read “The Oboist” is a horse.


Truth be told, I’m not the betting sort. I can’t stand gambling at all. I’m just that boring.