15. December 2018 · Comments Off on Mr. Sandman · Categories: Listen

Ya gotta love this.

Or else.

From Alexander Smirnov’s YouTube page:

15. December 2018 · Comments Off on For Your Saturday Morning · Categories: Christmas, Listen

From the YouTube page:
Song: The Wexford Carol
Artist: Yo-Yo Ma; Alison Krauss; Natalie MacMaster
Album: Songs of Joy & Peace
Licensed to YouTube by: SME (on behalf of Sony Classical); CMRRA, and 5 Music Rights Societies

05. November 2018 · Comments Off on Having Fun! · Categories: Listen, Oboe

It sure does look like François Leleux is having fun playing this encore of a Mozart aria with the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra.

30. October 2018 · Comments Off on Wow … And It’s Not About the Speed · Categories: Listen, Oboe, Videos

It’s about the accuracy and the clarity. Yes, Trevor Mowry can play quickly. But if he hadn’t also played all of this cleanly one would just think, “Slow down!” This is something I frequently have to say to my students: I care much more about musicality and accuracy than I do about speed. Play it slow first. Get it right. Get rid of glitches.

Then work on speed.


Bravo, Mr. Mowry. I’m in awe. Clearly accuracy AND speed are no issue for you!

(Hat tip to Robert Hubbard, who sent out the link.)

This is a set of challenging pieces for unaccompanied oboe inspired by the following French paintings:

I. Hôtel des Roches noires à Trouville (Claude Monet 1870)
II. Potager et arbres en fleurs – Printemps, Pontoise (Camille Pissarro 1877) 4:16
III. Boulevard des Capucines (Claude Monet 1873) 7:25
IV. Sentier dans les bois (Auguste Renoir 1874) 9:15
V. Scène de plage – Ciel d’orage (Eugène Boudin 1864) 11:43
VI. Le ballet espagnol (Edouard Manet 1862) 12:55

Each movement was recorded as a single take. The only edits are in between movements. Recording engineer: Alan Wonneberger

29. October 2018 · Comments Off on Shall We Dance? · Categories: Listen, Videos

… but I confess I really don’t think I could manage to move around and play oboe very well. I’m a clumsy sort.

Dmitri Shostakovich: Waltz No. 2
Clarion Wind Quintet

“Night at the Theater” program feature

Eg?ls Š?fers, clarinet
David M.A.P. Palmquist, horn
Niels Anders Vedsten Larsen, bassoon

(I’d like my students to watch the oboist fingers … nice and close to the keys. I like that.)

25. October 2018 · Comments Off on More for this Weekend · Categories: Concert Announcements, Listen, Symphony

One work I mentioned earlier today is Debussy’s La Damoiselle Elue. I am charmed by the work! (I’m also a wee bit nervous, but oh well.)

I’m assuming one of the soloists will be Daniela Tabernig, but I don’t see anyone listed for the other soprano soloist on the symphony page. I guess I’ll find out who it is soon, as we are rehearsing it for the first time today.

Info provided by the YouTube video:
The Radio Chamber Philharmonic and Cappella Amsterdam conducted by Michael Schonwandt perform Debussy’s ‘La Damoiselle Elue’. With wonderful vocal performances by soprano Marie-Bénédicte Souquet and mezzo-soprano Carine Séchaye.

This concert was recorded in February 2012 in Vredenburg, Utrecht.

Radio Chamber Philharmonic & Cappella Amsterdam
Michael Schonwandt, conductor
Marie-Bénédicte Souquet, soprano
Carine Séchaye, mezzosoprano
Paul Meyer, clarinet

(I’m not quite sure why the clarinetist is named and not all the other players. Interesting.)

25. October 2018 · Comments Off on This Weekend · Categories: Concert Announcements, Listen, Symphony

We have quite the concert this weekend. (Below is just a screen shot so those links don’t work, but to order tickets simply go here for Saturday and here for Sunday.)
Symphony Silicon Valley, under the wonderful direction of Carlos Vieu, and with soloist Daniela Tabernig and the women of the Symphony Silicon Valley Chorale are performing some truly exquisite music.

This is the first time I’ve ever played two of the works: Debussy’s La Damoiselle élue, L. 62 and Strauss’s Vier Letze Lieder.

At last night’s rehearsal Carlos mentioned a video on YouTube about the final song and of course I had to find it and I have to share it. As Carlos said, this really is Strauss saying goodbye, following his long life and the horrific devastation in his country due to the war. The songs were composed in 1948 when Strauss was 84, he died in 1949, and these were published as a unit in 1950.

Through sorrow and joy
we have gone hand in hand;
we are both at rest from our wanderings
now above the quiet land.

Around us, the valleys bow,
the air already darkens.
Only two larks soar
musingly into the haze.

Come close, and let them flutter,
soon it will be time to sleep –
so that we don’t get lost
in this solitude.

O vast, tranquil peace,
so deep in the afterglow!
How weary we are of wandering–
Is this perhaps death?

24. October 2018 · Comments Off on Well Wow! · Categories: Listen, Oboe

Diana Doherty is playing Spirit of the Wild by Nigel Westlake with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, conducted by David Robertson. I’m in awe.

(Warning to my dear friend whose ears can’t handle dissonance: you’ll want to skip this unless you no longer have that issue!)

… and double wow!

26. September 2018 · Comments Off on Goodnight · Categories: Listen

Franz Schubert – Nacht und Träume, arr. Sylvia Maessen
Tenor Seil Kim; Sinfonia Rotterdam; Conrad van Alphen, Conductor

Holy night, you sink down;
The dreams flow down, too,
Like your moonlight through the rooms,
Through the people’s silent chests.
They listen softly with desire;
They call, when day awakens:
Come back, holy night!
Sweet dreams, come back!

24. September 2018 · Comments Off on Some Never Agains and Some Sadly Nevers · Categories: Listen, Ramble

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!