José Antonio Masmano, oboe, oboe d’amore, English horn

Escrita originalmente para soprano y bajo continuo, el aria “La satisfacción es un tesoro en esta vida” (Bach) aquí en la versión para oboe, corno inglés y oboe de amor de nuestros compañeros José, Antonio y Masmano.

Brava to Heather Baxter for putting this together. It’s beautiful!

Here is what she wrote on her Facebook page:

Be still my soul the Lord is on thy side
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain
Leave to thy God to order and provide
In every change He faithful will remain
Be still my soul thy best, thy heavenly friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end

I finished recording this at 1am after a tiring day and a long practice session, so please ignore any minor imperfections. That’s not what this was about. This hymn has always been special to me and now as we go through this quarantine and isolation, it comforts me to be reminded that God is ever present. I hope this brings comfort to some of you as well.

I’m a fan of these two. Christian Reif conducted an Opera San Jose opera. Here he is at the piano and his wife, Julia Bullock, sings. Gloriously. And my heart is moved. I hope yours is too. (And I hope this works … I’m not sure if taking an embed code from Facebook works and I’ll only find out when I hit publish.)

*UPDATE: It does work, but for some reason it isn’t showing up for me using Firefox. I see it with both Safari and Chrome. How about others out there? Care to fill me in?

*UPDATE #2: I had an extension that hid anything from Facebook. If you have the same extension installed you’ll be missing this video as well.

Poetry and Music by
Connie Converse (b. 1924, disappeared 1974)
Arranged by Jeremy Siskind (b. 1986)

We go walking in the dark.
We go walking out at night.

And it’s not as lovers go,
Two by two, to and fro;
But it’s one by one –

One by one in the dark.
We go walking out at night.
As we wander through the grass

We can hear each other pass,
But we’re far apart –

Far apart in the dark.
We go walking out at night.
With the grass so dark and tall

We are lost past recall
If the moon is down –

And the moon is down.
We are walking in the dark.

If I had your hand in mine
I could shine, I could shine
Like the morning sun –
Like the sun.

10. January 2012 · Comments Off on Read On Facebook · Categories: Facebook

Alvin Swiney
Because of the drastic weather fluctuations during the past month, most music shops are overwhelmed with Oboe crack repairs right now. Would you please forward these suggestion to any woodwind musicians who might find them beneficial.
Thanks,
Alvin Swiney

Basic Crack Prevention

Here are a few suggestions for wood care and crack prevention that my repair teacher, W. Hans Moennig recommends:
Never buy a new instrument during the cold winter months as extreme temperature fluctuations will increase wood cracks by 100%. The great oboists, Marcel Tabuteau, would only buy instruments during the months of June and July. He felt that this would give him a chance to gradually break the new instruments in over the Summer and allow them to acclimatize naturally. When instrument are shipped during cold weather, they can sit on loading docks and shipping carts under freezing conditions for long periods of time. This exposure dries out the already unstable wood and causes the pads to detach from the key cups. After delivery, the player deposits large amounts of moisture inside the bore which causes the internal wall to expand against an external wall which has contracted due to dehydration. These opposing forces against the fragile wooden instrument wall will inevitably result in one or more major cracks.
Use a humidifier to supplement the moisture of the horn. Suspension humidifiers work better than dampets as they do not come in direct contact with the wooden instrument body thus causing stress.
Always store the horn in a wooden cabinet or desk drawer to insulate it from outside humidity changes.
When Traveling store the instrument in an ice chest to prevent temperature exposer. (No ice please)
If using orange peelings (A natural humidifier) Please allow the peelings to dry at least 12 hours before use. Never allow peelings to touch the keys as citrus acid will cause plating to oxidize, corrode or even flake off. Store peeling in a reed slot and not on wood as mold can occur.
Never store the instrument near heaters, air conditioners, or even air vents as this will dry the wood to quickly and add even more stress.
Use a wooden instrument case with a heavily insulated case cover.
Never leave your horn idled out of the case for more than two hours as this will cause the outside wall to dry faster than the inside bore. (Stress)
Never leave your horn on an instrument stand as the bore will not dry on the peg and the tenons corks will compress and become loose.
Leave the swab in the case and NOT in the bore. The extra moisture will help. And the horn will dry internally. Pull through silk swabs are recommended instead of the stick type.
Use a light bore spray or Almond oil and not the gummy commercial bore oils from music stores.
Blow the tone holes dry with compressed air before placing the instrument in case as swabs do not remove water from tone holes, only the bore.
(CLARINETISTS) Coat the Barrel and upper joint with wood conditioner such as Bore All to maintain stability in bore dimensions and tuning. This should be done every 3 to 4 months for best results.
(OBOISTS and CLARINETISTS) Use wood wedges to prop open trill and G# keys. This will allow the horn to dry more evenly and reduce wood stress. This suggestions is from Arkansas State University Professor, Dan Ross.
Play the instrument every day for at least 30 minutes to keep moisture in the wooden body!!!!! Most important rule of all!!!!!

For an illustrated brochure on crack prevention, please send a self addressed, stamped envelope(legal size) to:

A. Swiney
3126 W Cary St #237
Richmond, VA 23221

email: corkpad [at] aol [dot] com

22. May 2011 · Comments Off on We Need Your Vote · Categories: Facebook, Symphony

I don’t normally post anything but my Sunday music on Sundays, but we really DO need your vote, and some of you might need reminding. We are in 54th place right now. Can you help move us up?

Please Vote!

05. May 2011 · Comments Off on Thank You, Dear Facebook Folk! · Categories: Facebook

Symphony Silicon Valley did it! I had put a plea up here, and others were doing the same. And guess what? We received enough votes. Here’s what Randy just reported:

THANK YOU! Thank you SO MUCH for your support! We ranked 67th in the Top 100, earned a $25,000 grant and the right to compete in the $500k grant round in two weeks. Thank you!

And get your trigger finger ready–we’re up again in two weeks!

Stay tuned … I’ll put up a reminder when we need more votes!

I do thank everyone who voted on Facebook. We so appreciate it!

I recently read a comment on Facebook that made it very clear the person couldn’t stand the conductor she was working with. It’s not surprising that a musician doesn’t like a conductor. That’s pretty common! It’s not unusual for someone to talk about it either. That’s not exactly wise, but if someone tattles on the person it’s all hearsay and one can always deny things. But writing about it?! Talk about a bad idea! Yes, we have only friends reading and commenting on our walls, but one has to take the word friend with a grain of salt. I haven’t met every single one of my friends. I’m guessing most people on Facebook haven’t. Some have so many friends I’m sure it’s quite the ego booster, but I do wonder about the reality of it all. But these friends … well … what if you have a bad break up with one of them? So this is your friendly reminder (are you now sick of the word friends?) … don’t post things on Facebook that could come back to haunt you!

It’s not just bashing conductors or colleagues, either. One might want to watch one’s words! Now when it comes to this I know I’m older and even more uptight than so many of my friends (AND bosses!) … I know I’m not “hip” … I know I have more issues with “language” than many many others. So perhaps the quote I’m posting won’t matter to many of you. But thanks to a Facebook friend (yes, really!) I read the following, and I do think it’s a worthwhile thing to ponder:

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but what you say on social media goes all over the world instantly and stays there. I have often been in a situation where I had to pick one candidate out of two or three, and no matter how innocently meant it was, when I see the use of profanity, the thumb goes down on that choice instantly. When I hire somebody, I’m somewhat responsible for their overall demeanor and performance, and if they don’t have the good sense to not use profanity in a public forum, I can’t risk hiring them.

I read it here. You might want to read the whole thing.

02. March 2009 · Comments Off on San Francisco Symphony 2009-2010 · Categories: Facebook, Links, Ramble, Symphony, Twitter

San Francisco Symphony has announced their next season. They actually did the TwitterThing (may I put a ™ there? I’ll bet someone has grabbed that word already) while it was being announced this morning. I follow them here, so I was able to see that.

Yes, I continue to Twitter even while not fully understanding it. I’m here, in case you want to check it out. Is Twitter entirely narcissistic? Oh yeah … probably just like this blog is, right? And Facebook. And everything else I do. Well, maybe toilet cleaning isn’t considered narcissistic. I promise you I never attempt to see my reflection in the toilet bowl.