I really did think that I had very important parts in the last symphony concert. The conductor graciously gave me a couple of solo bows (one for Don Juan, and one for Eroica). But sometimes I think I’m more important than I am, I’m sure.

So far, the reviews of the concerts suggest I thought far too much of what I did. I always fear getting arrogant. So not being mentioned is, perhaps, a good thing for me. I wonder.

After reading the Metro review of the concert I simply had to laugh at myself. Nary a mention, and the clarinetist not only was complimented, but specifically named.

So now I take a step back. I tell myself I’m awfully silly for wishing I’d have been complimented. I don’t … I can’t … I won’t play for reviews. I play because I love to play. I play because music is a part of my soul. I play because it’s something I actually do well (sometimes!). I play because I can’t imagine doing something else. I play because I can’t imagine being as satisfied and fulfilled as I am with music making. I tell myself it isn’t about the kudos. And it honestly isn’t, although it feels good to occasionally get a nice mention.

Oh … and I tell myself, too, that I’m thankful no reviewer bashed me to pieces. I will be honest here, though, and say I really do think I played well and wouldn’t have been bashed … but one never knows! (Those of you who know me well probably dropped to the floor in shock reading that last sentence. I know I rarely say anything positive about my playing. How about that?!) Have I been bashed? Yes. The one review I have memorized is the one where I was critiqued harshly. Funny how that’s the only review I have by heart. It’s also the only one I didn’t save.

Now I’m on “down time.” I have no concerts or rehearsals this week. (I, thankfully, still have students … they keep me on my toes!) I have reeds to work on, and I have one work that needs attention. I also need to think about what I’ll be playing for next year’s UCSC faculty recital. But after last week I feel a bit empty this week. When you’ve really given something your all it’s sometimes a let down following the concerts. All that work and energy, and now it’s over. I’m sure it’s that way with anything, not just music, yes?


  1. Hilda Ramirez

    I can’t remember where I read about musical “hang-overs” but someone definitely wrote about it.  I do think that the phenomenon is real and normal.  One devotes so much energy to rehearsing and simply thinking about a certain gig.  The moments leading up to it are full of energy (and/or anxiety).  The actual playing itself is a magical feeling, regardless of whether it’s going well or not.  Then once all the applause is over it feels so empty.  It’s over now (at least until the next one).

    The following day after my little sax gigs I’d always have a music hangover.  Especially since we didn’t play regularly and I wouldn’t know when the next one would be. 

    I’m sure you played wonderfully!  If I ever get out to your area I’ll have to time it so that I can catch a performance.  🙂

  2. Patricia Mitchell

    I read that too, Hilda … I’m guessing we saw it at the same, place, but I know it is a common ailment so perhaps not!

    I think I played well and, believe me, I don’t say that very often. Most of the time I am annoyed with so many little things, or there’s one note I’m angry about. (It only takes one note to tick me off!) But this time … it felt right. I was musical. And I even had fun!