28. March 2011 · Comments Off on Ah Brahms, I Love You So! · Categories: Symphony

So here’s my Brahms post mortem:

I was worried for nothing. Variations on a Theme by Haydn was (were? — sort of depends upon how you think about it, eh? I could be talking about the work, or I could be talking about all the variations. Think about it. Or not. ) a joy to play! I didn’t have to fret over the opening. It is so much easier when you have the support of the other players.

The Requiem is a work I hadn’t played in eons. It’s always been one of my favorite choral works, though, and I was thrilled to get to play it again after all these years. I thought our soloists were excellent. Lisa Vroman has a beautiful voice, and Matthew Curran, who was new to me, was wonderful. The choir got stronger day by day, as the maestro worked with them.

Working with conductor Gregory Vajda was also a joy for me (I haven’t a clue what my colleagues think; I sit in my chair and rarely converse with anyone other than the few people sitting very close to me. I’m a bit of a hermit, even at work!). I love how Maestro Vajda works with the singers. I appreciate his ideas and clarity. I enjoy his energy. He makes great music. And I really wish we could get him to conduct Opera San José. (I’m not joking: I seriously do wonder if that could ever happen. We tend to hire local, younger, less experienced conductors when the company’s staff conductor isn’t there — he does two of the four operas. I’m guessing it’s all about finances. But surely they could, maybe once a year, bring in a professional conductor to see what he or she could do with the group. I’d sure love to see and hear the results!) He’ll be returning next year to Symphony Silicon Valley, and I’m glad for that.

And now I move on.

This coming week is a busy one with SSV, with our “Kiddie Concerts” at the California Theatre and Ballet San Jose at the San Jose Center for Performing Arts. I play oboe and English horn for these, so I have a lot of equipment to lug around. I like to think of it as my bit of weight lifting. Yep. That’s as close to exercise as I seem to get these days.

I know I whine a lot. I will never like making reeds. Practicing doesn’t come easily to me. I never made the “big time”, and most of my colleagues are on tons of lists that I’m not on. My lists? Opera San José, Symphony Silicon Valley, and near the very bottom of the Merola list. (One violinist I was talking to must not have realized how hurtful it could be to tell me that she has her choice of where she wants to play she’s on so many lists. I tried not to take it personally, as I know it wasn’t meant that way at all.) But with all my whining, and with my limited list possibilities …

I love my job. I love my job. I love my job.