I’ve been thinking about this issue of ‘saving’ classical music from its uncertain futures, rescuing this immense tradition from unthinkable oblivion and unthinking ennui.

[clip and snip so you go read the full blog entry]

So orchestras perform popular repertoire (accompanying Elton John, presenting concerts of Disney themes) and don’t see that as being part of their core business, even though it is certainly part of their core business plan. And small ensembles rely on (and spend the bulk of their marketing energy) persuading funding bodies, not audiences, to support their work. Large ensembles market themselves with images of blissed-out ticket-holders, and audiences endure rather than exult in performances of contemporary work (not being part of the ‘listen-to-this-fresh-interpretation-of-a-familiar-work’ discourse).

The classical music field is feeding the discourses that are choking it.

Meantime the notion of connection (that life-blood of artistic enterprise), the art event with current events, the audience with each other, the performer with the music, the composer with the audience, the musical moment with the moments that follow/precede the performance, and so on, and on, and on, comes a distant second to the notion of sponsorship, that lifeblood of enterprises engaged in selling a brand.

So go read it. Answer there. Answer here. Answer at both. You choose!

06. January 2011 · Comments Off · Categories: FBQD

[name here] didn’t need to borrow Thomas’ ear defenders once during Julia’s first oboe practice. In fact, she made a lovely noise and not a squeak was heard!

It’s time to go back to work (I should clarify; rehearsals don’t begin until next Wednesday, but of course personal practice takes place before that!), and I’m quite ready, although of course I have some practicing to do. I packed up the oboe and English horn after Nutcracker and gave them a bit of a vacation. This week, when I first pulled them out, I wasn’t sure just what to do with them. How do those things get put together, and what is this silly thing made out of some sort of plant? My mouth sure didn’t know! Or at least had to be gently reminded! ;-)

Seriously, though, it was a nice break, and sometimes it’s necessary to do something like that. Of course we had Christmas and family and following that Dan and I celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary. Good times!

But now it’s back to work, and I’ve been practicing and studying the Symphonic Dances by Rachmaninoff. It’s the only work on the program that I’ll be performing because I’m playing English horn. If I’ve played it before I certainly don’t remember it. I suspect that if San Jose Symphony (RIP) ever did it I must have been doing Opera San José at the time. This happened a lot back in the day since we didn’t share a hall … I’m ever so thankful both groups are now in the California Theatre. No more absence requests aside from the Ballet San Jose conflicts that sometimes occur with Opera. (I will, in fact, have to miss Swan Lake because it conflicts with Barber of Seville.)

Below is the Rachmaninoff (or Rachmaninov … you choose!), although I didn’t get a complete performance from one group because the second movement wasn’t available to someone in my location (I don’t understand why that happens, but some videos are country specific or something). The first and last movements are by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the middle movement is from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. At least you’re getting royalty the entire time! ;-)

I (part 1)

I (part 2)

II

III (part 1)

III (part 2)

Of course this isn’t the only work on the program! We are also doing Richard Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll (only one oboe on that), and Liszt’s Totentanz (two oboes). The concert will be conducted by Paul Polivnick and our guest soloist (on the Liszt) is pianist Adam Golka.

I did a bit of searching for any videos of Mr. Golka and so far he’s not easily found. The only thing that really shows him playing is on this Amazon video and if you want more than the 2:12 there (some of which is prior to his playing) you need to purchase the video. I was looking for him playing with an orchestra and didn’t manage to find a thing, but you know me; I’ll keep searching!

Meanwhile, you can learn more about Mr. Golka by going here, the symphony blog site.

06. January 2011 · Comments Off · Categories: For Your Listening Enjoyment

Händel Overture HWV 336 (arr. Aaron Dan)
live from Palau de la Musica, Valencia

BERLIN COUNTERPOINT
Zeynep Özsuca – Piano
Aaron Dan – Flute
Yigal Kaminka – Oboe
Sacha Rattle – Clarinet
Heidi Mockert – Bassoon
Dániel Molnár – Horn

06. January 2011 · Comments Off · Categories: Christmas

Resphigi: The Adoration of the Magi
Philharmonia of London; Geoffrey Simon, Conductor

06. January 2011 · Comments Off · Categories: TQOD

I thought a professional oboe recital would be interesting. Boy, was I wrong