“This is the only thing happening in town tonight,” said Ed Baskerville, head of the local Revolution chapter, amateur cellist, and graduate student in ecology. “This is what it’s all about.”

Baskerville was among the first group to play. He, another student, violist Joanna Patterson, and concertmaster Preucil kicked off what turned into a long evening by playing movements from Beethoven quartets. “I’ve never been so nervous to play a quartet in my life,” Baskerville said afterward.

More and more players showed up as the night went on, and subsequent performances featured Smith, principal oboe Frank Rosenwein, violinists Jung-Min Amy Lee and Sonja Braaten Molloy, cellists Charles Bernard and Martha Baldwin, basses Charles Carleton and Scott Dixon, and many others. Even music director Franz Welser-Most stopped by for about an hour, to observe.

Perhaps the most surreal moment came when Pierre-Laurent Aimard, the internationally renowned pianist touring with the orchestra, showed up to play Brahms on a modest upright piano. He played a challenging work that almost certainly isn’t in his current repertoire.

RTWT and find out why these musicians from the Cleveland Orchestra wound up where they did! Cool!

I have yet to attend a Classical Revolution event. Truth be told I haven’t been terribly interested, and from what I’ve read I think I’d bee seen as too old to participate. Maybe that’s partially what puts me off. Maybe I’m overly sensitive about my age.

Me? Overly sensitive? Hmmm.

03. February 2011 · Comments Off on NewToMyEars™: Christopher Tye · Categories: NewToMyEars™

Nope, never heard of Christopher Tye (c.1505-c.1572) before now.

Consortium5 play Three In Nomines

03. February 2011 · 2 comments · Categories: FBQD

[name here] is getting a new oboe!!!!! YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAY! *does crazy insane happy dance that can never be duplicated ever again*

Yesterday we had our first rehearsal for Opera San José’s Barber of Seville. Dealing with Rossini is interesting. There are often (always?) different versions of his operas. The book I’m playing from has more notes than I play; there are so many pages that do not appear in the score that our conductor is using, and many of those notes are played by other instruments (usually piccolo or clarinet). I’m thankful; some things are SO fast I can’t imagine I could ever manage to play the passages! I do have a few places I’m having to really work on, due to the speed of the pieces, but that came as no surprise, since I’ve played this before.

But there were a few surprises today that weren’t my “cuppa” as I like to say. For one, I find the overture slower than I prefer. And then there is this one spot where I’ve always slurred three notes but our current conductor is having us tongue them, as that’s the way they are in his score. And he’s the boss, so we do as he says.

You can see the change on this first page of the overture, in the 10th, 11th, and 12th bar after rehearsal #3:

Thoughts? How have you played this passage?

There are times when I might talk privately to a conductor if what he or she is asking seems so over the top to me that I’m afraid I’ll go nuts. For the most part, though, I mark the part and do as I’m told.

That’s not to say I won’t tell a conductor about something if he or she asks me. And of course if Bryan Nies reads this he’ll know that I’m not jazzed about the tempo or those tongued notes in the overture! Hmmm. But really, I’ll live with the tempo. And those tongued notes. And it’s certainly easy to play at this speed. Bryan is a very good conductor and I really enjoy having him in the pit!

03. February 2011 · Comments Off on Happy Birthday, Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy! (3 February 1809 – 4 November 1847) · Categories: Birthdays!

Or was it “Felix Jakob Ludwig Mendelssohn-Bartholdy” … ? I see his name written both ways, and of course we all call him Felix Mendelssohn.

Just a couple of selections for you to enjoy!

03. February 2011 · Comments Off on BQOD · Categories: BQOD

the oboe – is a teenaged girl with a thin nose and sharp teeth that she fancies looks like a vampire’s. she collects pieces of different coloured quartz and likes to step into dark closets to hit the stones off of each other to see the sparks. because of this, she always smells smoky and odd, and her throat is closed all up. she is a narrow aperture. (i realise that the oboe is useful, difficult, and unique, and is the instrument that the entire orchestra is supposed to tune to, but i’ve never been a fan of the double reed. apologies.)

The writer is creating her personal “Peter & The Wolf” story. This is what she did to us poor oboes! Of course the word “odd” is somehow appropriate. You know?

Now excuse me while I go into a dark closet. You see, I have some stones here … ;-)

03. February 2011 · Comments Off on TQOD · Categories: FBQD

I still like my $18 Rico oboe reeds best. Screw $70 fancyschmancy brand reeds that break even faster.

03. February 2011 · Comments Off on For Your Listening Enjoyment · Categories: For Your Listening Enjoyment, Opera

Or. Um. Maybe not. Perhaps I should apologize immediately?

Really. Sorry.

Rossini, Barber of Seville: “Classical Metal” style. Or something.