Last week was quite an English horn week for me, and I will admit to having had a really good time with it. I needed that.

Recently I’d been doubting myself. That’s really a horrible place to go for someone in the performing arts, as it can interfere with and negatively affect our work. Last week just felt right. I was comfortable. I felt I understood the music and I knew what I wanted to do with it. So I not only had a good time … I was greatly encouraged! To add to it all, my colleagues were so kind, complimentary and supportive. I could choose to think they were merely being nice, but I honestly think they meant what they said. I’m very grateful!

Tchaikovsky’s Romeo & Juliet isn’t a big deal for English horn. Sure, I get to play the love theme with the violas when it first appears, but it’s a breeze, and I know it quite well. The Debussy is a work that can frighten me. There’s something about those solos that can be tough. This time, though, I just felt as if I understood the work better. Maybe it’s age. I wonder. The Rachmaninoff is just great fun to play and I felt great with it the first time I started practicing it. Everything went well in the performances. Or at least I think so. I DO always wonder later if it was all just my imagination!

It was also Mother’s Day. We tend to have a performance on Mother’s Day every year. Such is life! My kids are so far away anyway, that working isn’t such a bad thing. When one loves one’s job, why bemoan working on a special day … right?

Today, though, is the “day after” — the “music hangover” day. I went off on a ten mile walk, but my energy level was certainly low. Now I’m sitting at home, listening to Joyce DiDonato sing some Ravel with the New York Philharmonic. We have a subscription to MediciTV and it is just wonderful to hear these concerts! Joyce DiDonato is one of my faves, so this is quite the treat. (I’ve never played Schéhérazade … what an amazing work.)

Music. What a wonderful thing it is. How blessed I feel right now!

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