09. February 2006 · Comments Off on Overheard · Categories: imported, Ramble

…while walking to the parking lot after Bohème tonight:
“The guy sells his coat for nothing!”

A couple of older women were talking earlier and I only overheard the last few words but I knew they were talking about the opera and one woman said, “… hurry up and get the medicine!”

This was our final dress rehearsal and we had a full house. They seemed to really like it. It’s an opera that I always enjoy performing, and it has nothing for principal oboe to really stress me out.

Earlier … it was pretty crazy downtown when I drove in. I heard there was some sort of rap concert going on close by. This means that the free lot we often use will be full. That shouldn’t be a problem since opera gives us parking cards for a lot that’s a bit of a walk but a guaranteed space. But NO … i had to somehow misplace my parking card! I always put it in the same place in the car. It isn’t there. I haven’t a clue where to even look for the darn thing. If I can’t find it I have to pay $35 and I’m not even sure they’ll supply me with a new one. Sigh. Such is life, eh? For the first two acts of the opera I was busy worrying over this card. I’m not one to lose things, and I’m also a bit of a control freak. So this has me very bugged.

And even earlier I had mentioned to a friend and colleague that I was annoyed at the number of bad entrances people were still making with this opera. I mean, we’d had six rehearsals and still folks were blowing it. How stupid can people be?! I wasn’t putting any one person down, and I don’t like to bring up names like that anyway if I can avoid it, but I was getting pretty miffed.

But of course if you know me you know the rest of the story … sigh … tonight I came in one 8th beat too early on a run. Figures. I should know better than to ever complain about anyone else. And no, no one else made a bad entrance today. It was just yours truly.

Now we have a day off and Saturday is opening night. Should be a good show!

09. February 2006 · Comments Off on Sweeney Todd · Categories: imported, Ramble

Over at The Rest Is Noise guest writer Justin Davidson writes that the new Broadway production of Sweeney Todd is out on CD. I’m still going back and forth on whether I want to purchase it, but I suspect I’ll give in and purchase it. I don’t have a clue what I’ll think of it. I’m picky about instrumentalists, and of course I’ve been skeptical of this show, but Terry Teachout thinks it’s great, and Justin Davidson doesn’t seem to think it’s a bad recording. Other people have said they love the show. I’m still skeptical, but that’s not atypical of yours truly. I know would prefer to have a DVD. I think I’d be less picky about the instrumentalists if I was watching as well as listening.

Well, first let me say that, really, it’s all about the oboe. I’ve trained my family to know that. Any of my close musician pals know that as well. (And it really does take the pressure off of them … even when they are soloing. Some have thanked me for the information. Heck. I’m just nice that way.) When Lance Armstrong wrote his book It’s Not About the Bike I just thought, “Duh!” because of course I had been saying, “It’s all about the oboe” for eons. I was glad that this pattytruth™ had finally reached the sports world. I only wish Barry would catch on.

But anyway … ramble, ramble (sorry, it’s just that kind of morning) … the Merc has an article about the New York Philharmonic which talks about them going a bit “poppy” (my word) next season. I guess even they have to try and bring in new ears, eh?

“What our profession is all about is interacting with people,” orchestra music director Lorin Maazel told a news conference Wednesday at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

This is an interesting quote. I understand what he is saying, but I have to tell you that when I’m playing a really tough solo, or I’m concentrating on the music in some other way, I’m really not thinking about the audience! Sorry, folks. I’m busy with work, and I’m attempting to make the best music I am able to make. Of course I hope the audience is basking in the music. Of course I hope we are reaching them and touching their souls and causing them to feel something that only music can cause them to feel. But I’m really not thinking about interacting with them when I’m “in the moment” because my concentration is on what I’m doing and I’m pretty busy interacting with other musicians. Is this awful? I wonder. Certainly a pop performer is right there, interacting with the audience. (I watched a bit of the Grammy show last night and they come right up to the crowd and sing in their faces. They clearly interact and, it seems to me, even feed off of the audience, as the audience feeds off of them.) So maybe I’m just too self-absorbed. I really do wonder about this.

Anyway, it’ll give me something to think about while I’m busy with reeds today. (I need some major reed miracle and so far no reed fairy has left any reeds on my desk. Sigh.)

Oh! The dog … you must be wondering about the dog by now? Here ya go (end of article):

And then, there’s Jake the dog. The mutt comes to work with Richie Norton, a stagehand at Avery Fisher Hall, the Lincoln Center home of the Philharmonic, and is often backstage while the orchestra plays. Now he’s about to become the top dog of a children’s book.

“The title of the book is ‘Jake the Philharmonic Dog’,” said Zarin Mehta, the orchestra’s executive director.

Don’t worry. It’s still all about the oboe. The dog is merely fluff.

09. February 2006 · Comments Off on MQOD · Categories: imported, Quotes

Many people seem obsessed with the idea that I do not desire to express emotion in my music.
They are completely mistaken.
The emotion is there all right—I myself feel it and express it, and for those who cannot or will not share it, I can only suggest that they consult a psychiatrist!

-Igor Stravinksy