05. May 2006 · Comments Off on One More Opera · Categories: imported, Ramble

Tonight was the second to last performance of the Opera San Jose season. It felt mighty long. We did start four minutes late (I didn’t find out why; this company is wonderful about beginning on time so this was very unusual.), some tempi were a bit on the sluggish side (I didn’t find out why, but it sure make things harder) and I had a difficult time remaining focussed (I do know why; I had a two hour rehearsal prior to the evening’s opera), but I did manage to do so. Of course one has no choice, so we make it happen even when the Evil Brain Voice™ is saying, “You aren’t gonna make it!”

Some people work full time or nearly so and then do opera to top off their night. I really don’t know how they do it!

Using $80 worth of parts, copper-colored spray paint and an air compressor, they developed a whistle that blows an almost perfect F-sharp, resembling the sound that signals a factory’s shift change.

Read here.

Fun article about a whistle, built by some students, for Shostakovich’s second symphony.

About Pitch
I’ve been reading articles about pitch lately. It’s been interesting to delve into Time Magazines archives; believe it or not, they seemed to think the discussion of the controversy over the pitch of A in orchestras was worthwhile enough to write about. The first article I found dates from September 22, 1930. Can you believe it? (I’m guessing both Newsweek and Time wouldn’t really consider pitch to be noteworthy now.) This first article is about setting an international A. And more articles appear—1945, 1947 and again in 1971. I’ll be reading them more carefully (I’ve been in skim mode recently) and I’ll blog about this whole thing later. But it seems that there has been an attempt to get an “international pitch standard” for many years.

As if even all the orchestras in the US agree. Hah!

05. May 2006 · Comments Off on MQOD · Categories: imported, Quotes

On matters of intonation and technicalities I am more than a martinet—I am a martinetissimo.

-Leopold Stokowski