“He wants every last click of a bassoon’s keys, each scrape of horsehair on catgut to be heard,”

There’s some lovely writing in this review of the Gardiner concert, but I’m trying to understand why the key clicks of a bassoon are desired.

I prefer not to hear the key clicking. I think most of us like our instruments to be quiet, aside from the music we produce (and I don’t consider key clicking to be musical). But is this just me?

I was listening to a recording of a bunch of French woodwind music and the key clicking was incredibly distracting. It sounded as if the microphone was attempting to pick up the key clicks as much as the notes. And now, reading Davidson’s review of the Gardinner, I’m wondering if maybe the recorded key clicks were a deliberate choice.


Reading this from A Monk’s Musical Musings (Are you really a monk? I’m guessing not! But I’m so gullible I’ll believe you if you tell me you are. And, by the way, your “Favorite Books” scare me!):

Anyway, it’s now on its way back to me. What I find most irritating however, is that my $2,000.00, one-of-a-kind, custom made, fretted eleven-string Glissentar electric classical guitar SAT OUTSIDE ON HIS PORCH ALL WEEKEND!!!

I’m reminded of the time my husband spotted my oboe sitting by our front door, having been shipped back from the repair shop. It did have “Signature Required” on the box, but UPS has never bothered with that sort of thing. Maybe their drivers can’t read. I dunno. But this has happened far too many times so I vowed, from then on out, to drive the two hour drive (one way, mind you) to pick up my dear friends.

Hmmm. Speaking of which, “Oboe A” has been in the shop since January 9. I guess I should call and see what’s up. I just hope it’s not that it need major work. $500 on “Oboe 1” was expected, but “A” appeared to be in fairly good shape.

24. January 2006 · Comments Off on Typical Me · Categories: imported, Ramble

Today at UCSC is a “field trip” day. Remember those? I loved them when I was in elementary school because we often went to places that gave us free stuff. I didn’t care what the “stuff” was. It was free. That was all that mattered. In junior high and high school I liked them because I usually got to hang with friends and of course skipped school at the same time. Those were the days.

But this is university … field trips don’t really happen, do they? But we are doing one anyway. We are going to the library. I hear it’s a walk away from the music building yet I’ve never been there. So Sara will guide me and then we will look at some books I’ve been interested in. I want to see what’s in the music library—UCSC is always ready and willing to purchase music and I know we need some additions to the oboe stash there. So I’m looking forward to this!

The thing is, I didn’t bring my oboe and music since I knew we wouldn’t be playing. Wouldn’t you know it, I really would like to leave “my” coffeeshop and go practice. Now.

I always want to practice when I can’t. Go figure.

24. January 2006 · Comments Off on Needless to Say … · Categories: imported, Ramble

I’m really enjoying reading Mozart’s Letters, Mozart’s Life. He is now 21 in my reading, and is, as anyone who has read about him knows, quite a character. He’s not exactly nice, and has quite the potty mouth too. But I wonder if maybe everyone wrote that way, since one thing he writes is actually a (crass, in my opinion) German saying from the time. But reading this book puts more of a personality with the music. Interesting.

Not that I need the composer’s personality to enjoy a work (or to not enjoy it). But I must say that reading this backstage while listening to his Piano Concerto #22 was fun! It was almost as if he was right there. Maybe that sounds silly, though? (Remember … it is just silly old me!)

A friend and colleague said she didn’t think she’d really like him if she were to meet him. I wonder.

24. January 2006 · Comments Off on MQOD · Categories: imported, Quotes

This Graf is a brother of the two Grafs who live in The Hague and Zurich. Stein insisted on taking me to see him right on the spot. And what a Noble Gentleman he is indeed. He was wearing a dressing gown, which I wouldn’t mind wearing in public; he pronounces his words as if they were sitting on stilts, and, for the most part, he opens his mouth before he knows what he wants to say—and sometimes it falls shut again without anything having emerged from it. He performed, after much coaxing, a concert for 2 flutes. I had to play the First violin. The concert was like this: not good for the ear; not natural; he often marches into his tones with too much—Heaviness; and everything was without the slightest bit of magic. When it was over, I paid him many compliments because he actually deserved it. The poor Fellow must have had a plenty of trouble writing it all, he probably had to work on it quite a bit. At last, they brought out a Clavicord from a backroom, one built by Herr Stein, it was good, but full of dirt and dust. Herr Graf, who is music Director here, stood there like Someone who had always thought that he was somebody special in his Journey through music, and now finds out that somebody else can be even more special, and that without assaulting anyone’s ears; in one word, there were all quite amazed.

-Mozart (Age 21. From a letter to his father, telling a story about Friedrich Hartmann Graf.)