07. November 2011 · Comments Off · Categories: Opera, Ramble, Videos

… at least for me: first rehearsal goes fine. Second goes better. But usually around rehearsal three of four I hit a bump in the road because I now know all the tricky spots and I know where to be worried.

I know I’m not alone: I was talking to a symphony colleague and she said the same thing happens to her. She said it’s almost better to have fewer rehearsals.

Yep. I’m with her. When I don’t quite know what’s difficult yet I breeze along, no problem.

I remember one particular spot in Barber of Seville. It has a very fast tonguing section in thirds with the flute. I’d played that thing over and over not realizing it was tough! Really. Sometimes I’m slow that way. But one day another musician in the pit came up to me and said, “I don’t know how you do that! You can tongue so fast.” (This was from another wind player.)

Guess what?

The darn thing has been difficult ever since!

Anyway, opera is going well, but one spot — one silly measure! — is particularly uncomfortable for little old me and I guess I’m going to have to go spend some time with what I call my “worst friend” or “best enemy”, Mr. Metronome. After that I’m going to need to spend a lot of time with a sharp knife because it seems that not one reed is making a decent sound, which makes me one unhappy camper. This weather is very unkind to oboe reeds.

So while I go work (okay, okay, I’m going to sleep first!), why don’t you take a listen to the start of Pagliacci?

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