30. June 2013 · Comments Off on Thank you, IDRS · Categories: IDRS2013

I am safely home, after experiencing my first IDRS convention and then visiting for a short time with two of my kids. It was a fast trip … or at least it seems so now.

I might post more tomorrow if I have time to put some thoughts together. I still would like to write about a few things that came up at the conference, but so far I’ve not sat down to do so.

Thank you, Francisco Castillo and Carolyn Beck. Goodbye Redlands. You were a wee bit too hot for me, but I appreciated your hospitality. Goodbye IDRS. Maybe I’ll see you next year in New York City. I’m hoping!


29. June 2013 · Comments Off on Reed Pros · Categories: IDRS2013

I hate to even share some things … if this business gets too busy it’ll take longer to get my reed order. And yes, I DO play on other folks’ reeds much of the time these days. I just don’t like to make reeds. I think every oboist should learn to make reeds. I think it’s of utmost importance. However I don’t think we all have the talent to make them well. I’m one what I call the World’s Worst Reed Maker. It doesn’t mean I’ll stop trying, but it does mean I’ll buy reeds if I can find someone who works for me. Tanya’s reed do. Heck, she got me through Les Miserables!

Tanya and Anthony Johnson at the Reed Pros table

ReedPros Table at IDRS2013

29. June 2013 · Comments Off on Püchner · Categories: IDRS2013

I found the Püchner bells to be beautiful.

Puchner Instruments at U of Redlands

29. June 2013 · Comments Off on The Marigaux Plexiglass Oboe · Categories: IDRS2013

I was trying to link this to a page on the Marigaux site, but I can’t find this instrument there! Hmm. Maybe I’m just not looking in the right place. I wonder. But I had to shoot a few photos of this instrument. It’s pretty amazing. I’ve heard it plays really well, too. (Again, I HAVE to try it next time!)

Plexiglass Marigaux at U of Redlands

Plexiglass Marigaux at U of Redlands-2

28. June 2013 · Comments Off on One More … · Categories: IDRS2013

Okay, I just have to post this. How sweet is this photo? Kris, Sydne and Renaud in one photo! I had played an opera a few years back with Kris and Sydne (sorry I misspelled your name at first. Geesh!) and I have communicated via Facebook but met in person for the first time at the IDRS conference. Sydney was trying Marigaux oboes so I just had to shoot this!

Kris, Sydney & Renaud Patalowski at U of Redlands

28. June 2013 · Comments Off on Marigaux! · Categories: IDRS2013

I really was foolish on this trip to IDRS. I had the absolute joy of meeting Renaud Patalowski of Marigaux. What a nice man, and the instruments … so lovely! He offered to have a look at my oboes, but did I think to bring my instruments and have them looked at? Naw. And today when I was back at the exhibits I forgot to bring my reed case and I didn’t try ONE OBOE. Ack. What a goof I am!

Next year (I really DO hope to go next year!) I will bring a few reeds every time I go into the exhibits and I just might bring my oboes so Marigaux can have a look-see at them.

Thank you, Renaud Patalowski, for your graciousness. It was wonderful to meet you!

Renaud Patalowski & Marigaux at U of Redlands

28. June 2013 · 4 comments · Categories: IDRS2013

No more IDRS for me. I really had a great time, and I do hope to attend another sometime soon. Now that I understand things a bit better I know how I’d do things. I was happy to get to workshops. I didn’t get to enough concerts. I enjoyed the outdoor event, but it’s so difficult to really hear players and I’d rather hear them play where everyone is listening. Yes, even musicians stop listening at these things, and the talking was rather loud at last night’s winery concert. I know it’s not hip to want people to be quiet and listen, but I’m not hip so I guess that’s just okay!

I did three “brave” (for me) things: I introduced myself to Martin Schuring last night, I spoke at the panel discussion this morning and I introduced myself to Peter Cooper a bit later. I used some friends as my “opening line” when speaking to the two master oboists. Thank you, Cooper Wright and Jillian and Dave Camwell … do you feel used?!

Speaking of Dave and Jillian, there’s an album coming out soon that includes another dear friend’s work. Mike Touchi, I’m so excited that this will be out soon!

Here’s a full movement of Mike’s fantastic piece! (I still like it best with strings, but maybe that’s just me!)

27. June 2013 · 1 comment · Categories: IDRS2013

A few notes …


Ravel’s Piano Concerto:

Piano left hand is your metronome. People often breathe too late. You need to listen to the 8th notes, but you also have to have a good internal metronome.

First two breasts breaths (Oh my … thank you Vladimir! I had to leave my typo up because it made me laugh so much!) should only be small. Third breath is larger.

Start softer so you can expand.

She suggests a breath between second and third bars of rehearsal 8, not between th G# and B.

Don’t get too loud between 7 and 8.

Be careful to pay extra attention to matching the colors.

Don’t use air the same way you do on oboe. English horn is NOT oboe.

Ein Heldenleben, final solo:

You must focus on where the solo is in the piece. Save yourself during the battle scene. The fourth oboe can’t be heard.

Breathing is a challenge. (She said she chose the “least bad places to breathe”.)

Don’t overplay … allow the instrument to vibrate.

She lifts the half hole finger for D to get the slur down the octave. (I do too.)

Play less at the opening when EH doubles violins. Watch the string players … don’t rush.

Use less finger pressure and you’ll get a much smoother line.

Don’t get too soft too soon at the end.

Think about subdivision. ( Not just on Strass.)

People who have bad rhythm NEVER get passed on to the final round.

Not only drop your jaw, but drop the angle of your head.

Dvorak’s New World:

Sometimes there are different tempi for the first six bars so you have to be ready for anything. There is no right tempo for the solo.

Know what is going on harmonically … not much happens at first. First two bars can be subdued. Next two have more dynamic contrast.

Bars 13 and 14 shouldn’t be an echo if you see what the strings have, but instead bars 11 & 12 should be the softer two.

Add the D key to high B flat.

Emphasized lighter finger pressure … always, not just with this. See how light you can go.

The class continued, but I didn’t! At 1:55 I realized I’d forgotten to eat today. Typical me!

27. June 2013 · 4 comments · Categories: IDRS2013

Peter Cooper Masterclass

A few notes … I’m paraphrasing sometimes as I can’t type fast enough to keep up!

Get out of that correct and seriousness mindset.

Feel like there’s an incredible whitewater of air. (Brahms’ 2nd symphony, last movement)

If you’re playing the Violin Concerto it doesn’t matter if your reed is great at 7:00 if you are playing the second movement at 8:30. Keep reeds damp rather than keeping them wet. (Talked about leaving a moistened reed in the case … don’t leave in water … either an open reed case or closed depending upon how open you need the reed, and its state, age and condition.)

Learn the WHOLE part rather than learning from the excerpt book.

How many of you care if she is feeling uncomfortable or not? (When student said what he suggested, which worked, felt uncomfortable.)

The common culprit is “support” and I don’t like that word. When you hear support you kind of clench everything. … instead think soft but athletically ready for anything. Of course you have to use your abdominal muscles, but think air. (He’s not saying don’t support, but is talking about how we think of that.)

It’s not blowing harder, but letting go. (On the high D in the first.)

This solo is piano, but it’s a noble piano. (Brahms’ 1)

I had all these nuances planned and then I played it in the orchestra and was then obliterated. (Said because he could tell the student had never played the work with an orchestra.)

I like finding different ways of playing it (a solo) and then deciding which one you like. … and that way if a conductor asks you, “can you do it this way?” you don’t say, “Well NO!”

Test your reeds on the hardest thing that you have to play.

Get a reed too vibrant and then bring it back. (Just like) when you adjust an oboe, get the screw too loose and then bring it back. Embrace going over the edge. Play like Elvis. (His demonstration was incredibly over the edge.) Now play like a big sloppy drunk. (Hysterical!) Now play that way like you are too loud and in my face. You can’t play right on the edge unless you’ve first crossed it to know where the edge is.

I play the first note with a harmonic A. (Brahms’ Violin Concerto.)

Show solo vs tutti. In an audition the bassoonist on the committee will say, “She obliterated my solo!” If you don’t pull back. (Points out that you have to know the all of it, just not the oboe part.) Play it as if you are playing in the orchestra, not as an excerpt.

If you use a mute (he does) don’t broadcast it.

Don’t double dot because you are afraid of playing a triplet. It’s just math. (Variations on a theme by Haydn)

Piano [the dynamic marking] is a range rather than a level.

I love his suggestion of taking a very small section of a phrase and turn it into an exercise. You really start to hear how inconsistencies. He talks about an audition being about a thousand little consistencies.

I’ll stop now … it’s difficult to listen and blog at the same time! (I lied … I’m adding more.)

27. June 2013 · Comments Off on Marc Lifschey · Categories: IDRS2013

I’m delighted the Peter Cooper just mentioned Marc Lifschey in his Brahms masterclass.