I was chatting (well, texting really) with a friend about a work I’ve never gotten to play. He was working on it for an upcoming concert, and I admitted to being a wee bit envious. It’s not a work that is frequently performed — or at least not in any groups I’m connected to — so it is highly unlikely I’ll ever get to do it. The work touches my heart in ways not all music does. I’m sorry I don’t get to do it, but I am very glad Ryan is getting to play it, as he’s a good musician and a good guy as well.

Barber: Knoxville, Summer of 1915 • Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra; Maria Valdes, soprano

Then there are works I absolutely adore, and have played, but would prefer not to do again: this particular work is one of the most exquisite of compositions, but is a killer (as far as I’m concerned) for English horn. It’s one I’d love to see programmed … on a concert I’d attend! I’d happily sit in the audience and wrap myself up in the beauty of this piece.

LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA | Claudio Abbado | Magdalena Kožena (mezzo-soprano)

I believe I’ve shared both of these YouTube videos in the past, but they are well worth another listen.

It’s strange to be at an age where I know that some works won’t pop back up while I’m still around. Sure, some are bound to get done again and again — and I’m not quitting yet! — but some? Some are done maybe every ten years if that. It is highly unlikely I will playing my instruments when I’m 71. That is not in the plans. I will never stop listening to music (I hope!) but I will not always be on the stage or in the pit.

Besides, there are plenty of young’uns chomping at the bit for my chairs!

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