18. February 2006 · Comments Off on Whew, I’m Tired! · Categories: imported, Ramble

I just had a wonderful day! I was coaching two chamber music groups for the Chamber Musicians of Northern California.

CMNC is a wonderful group of musicians who meet, get put together in chamber groups, and spend a good amount of time working on a piece. For every two groups there is one coach, who “hops” (my word) back and forth to coach the groups. After being coached both in the morning and afternoon four groups meet together and perform a movement, or a portion of a movement for the others. At that point the coaches comment on the groups they haven’t worked with.

The musicians are not professionals, but that’s not to say that they are poor musicians. On the contrary! The groups I worked with were very good. They also remind me of the love for music; they have other jobs and do music for the love of it.

Today I coached the Oboe Quartet by Malcolm Arnold and a woodwind quintet that played Variations on a Free Theme by Eugene Bozza. I didn’t know the Arnold before I was told, last week, that that was a work I’d be coaching. Fun!

I would mention the players’ names here, because they all deserve a good mention and lots of kudos, but I didn’t ask their permission so I don’t think it would be right to do so. But … if any of you read this blog … GREAT JOB! It was wonderful to meet you and get to work with you, and I would love to do it again.

It’s a great experience … and I’m selfishly talking about the experience for me, not the musicians. I do hope it’s good for them as well, of course. I have to say doing this keeps me on my toes, make me really think, and I learn about new works too.

And now I have about 30 minutes before I get in the car and head to opera. After using my very small brain all day, I will have to turn it back on when I get to the pit. I hope I can manage!

PS I forgot to mention the only problem of the day, and everyone who reads this knows how I have to whine. (Heck, I’m an oboe player!) It was freezing in our rooms! So freezing I’m still trying to get warm. I’m assuming our pit will be cozy tonight, as it has been, but if it’s not I’m in big trouble. FIngers and oboes don’t like cold.

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

Throughout this first movement – and throughout the symphony – the Concertgebouw’s solo players were amazingly good: the bassoonist, the oboist, the clarinetist (actually, more than one). The oboist played so beautifully, his instrument almost didn’t sound like an oboe. (My apologies to oboists all over.)

-From a review in the New York Sun