03. June 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Ramble

Last week was a special week for Symphony Silicon Valley. I felt as if we we were playing better than ever, and I was able to enjoy the solos I had … once I figured out the breathing possibilities for the final Strauss solo I had on English horn.

Even going into performance I wasn’t exactly sure which breaths I’d take, so I had my part marked with possibilities and took what I needed. I haven’t done that before! During the week I listened to four recordings of the solo: each player differed in interpretation. At that point I realized that it really was up to me (the conductor hadn’t given me any indication he had a preference) and that there seemed to be no hard and fast rules about it. That freed me up a good bit.

The Rodrigo solos are ones that I just love and have great fun playing. In that work I just try to be as expressive as possible, playing the first entrance somewhat softer than the second (just as marked). It’s not a work to get terribly stressed over, really, even while it is much more exposed than anything in the Strauss.

I was so happy to see that I was included in Richard Scheinin’s review. More importantly, though, the fabulous Christina Mok, concertmaster for the set, who I found simply amazing. Also, and very deservedly so, horn player Meredith Brown and trumpeter Kale Cumings were mentioned, as were the wonderful wind players Michael Corner (clarinet), Pamela Hakl (oboe) and Deborah Kramer (bassoon). But really, everyone on stage was great. The effort every musician put in was tremendous.

The solo guitarist, Jason Vieaux, was great. Musical and fun and lots of fun to listen to.

And the conductor, Tatsuya Shimono … well, I most certainly hope he returns. He was wonderful!

Can you tell I had a super week? I hope so.

Of course today I’m going over in my head what I should have done differently, and wondering if I really was okay. I do that every “day after”. It’s just how my brain works.

And so our season ends, but we still have a few jobs for the summer. Next up is a Symphony Silicon Valley Chorale concert. I’m a huge fan of choral music, so I’m looking forward to this.

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