30. September 2006 · Comments Off on Opening Night: Closed · Categories: imported, Ramble

… or something like that anyway!

We had our opening night concert. I only play the first half, and I must confess I didn’t stick around for the reception after the second half. I’m not great at mingling and I’m not really excited about parties, but mostly I wanted to get home because Dan is on a mini-vacation, and we still have one kiddo at home whom I hadn’t seen since 8:00 in the morning.

The Borodin was fine, including, I think, my solo. I actually had a good time playing it. I hope others enjoyed it too, but I’m learning that I can’t please everyone. I do my best. That’s what I need to do. That’s what I want to do. That’s what I try to do every time I play. Except when I try to do better than my best. That’s okay too. 🙂

The silly thing (and I hope not too distracting) is the chair exchange we have to do between that and the second work; when I’m playing English horn I prefer a “cello chair” because it is a wee bit higher than a normal chair. So it’s in the second oboe position for the Borodin, since there is no second oboe on the work. (I moved the chair myself, while the pre-concert talk was going on, and I hope I wasn’t too distracting to the audience, but it had to be done.) For the second work, the Higdon, I move down a seat to third oboe. I don’t need the cello chair at that point, but I know that the second oboist isn’t terribly comfortable on it, so we switch things back so that he can have a normal chair. I don’t mind cello chairs when playing oboe. They do keep one awake; you really can’t sit back on them. A former stage manager once suggested I needed a cello chair simply so that I couldn’t fall asleep when playing English horn. You see, we do have a lot of sitting time when playing that instrument … sometimes we sit for a movement, play a solo, and sit for the remainder of the work, in fact! But really, I like the chair because I feel it helps the response of the instrument. Honest.

Anyway, I do wonder what the audience thinks about all our chair craziness! And we do the chair moving ourselves since this symphony is a fairly small organization and we don’t have a lot of stage hands just waiting to do our bidding. (I once started to move something while on the stage at Davies in San Francisco and the stage manager nearly bit my head off. It’s a huge no-no for a musician to move anything there. Not so in San Jose.)

Tomorrow we have the same program for our 2:30 concert. More English horn. Some oboe. And some furniture moving to do.

30. September 2006 · Comments Off on Next Symphony Set · Categories: imported, Ramble

I was just listening to Gabriel Fauré’s Pelleas et Melisande, Opus 80. I do love that music. But what I especially love is the Chanson de Mélisande. Sigh. So lovely. The CD* I have includes Lorraine Hunt Lieberson (then billed as Lorraine Hunt). That voice. It’s so moving (that’s a rather lame word for a wondrous voice, really) and I do grieve to think she’s no longer here.

I have a suspicion we won’t be doing the version with the Chanson. Such a shame; it really is my favorite part of the work. It’s why I purchased this CD in fact; most don’t include it. Of course the rest is lovely as well. But that song … if you haven’t heard it, please do check it out sometime.

O no hope now forever—
Our lamps are gone out.

*My CD is Seiji Ozawa and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, on Deutsche Grammophon. Also included on this recording are Dolly (orchestral version), Après un Rêve (with Jules Eskin on cello), Pavane (with the Tanglewood Festival Chorus), and Elégie (with Jules Eskin on cello).

I don’t think many people visit the discussion page, so I’m posting this entry on the blog in case anyone is interested in purchasing a Gilbert shaper tip:

Know somebody who wants a Gilbert shaper tip? 🙂

Well, guys, as cool as hoarding all my oboe supplies is, the truth of the matter is that I really never use this shape. Also, while I may consider myself a young undiscovered phenom on the path to international renown, I can’t deny that a less optimistic title would probably be “financially independent starving artist college student”–i.e. Dirt Poor. So– anyone in the market for a Gilbert tip? I think I might have used it for all of a week or two, a few years ago. I’d like to sell it for $100. It’s as good as new, and also one of the most common shapes (at least over here on the East Coast.) Write me, please! at superlani19 (at) hotmail (dot) com. ~lani~

So there you go. And yes, at this point I’m fine with posting items here, as long as they are oboe related, and are private sales. (I don’t want to start advertising for businesses; I have links a’plenty to businesses and you can visit those pages by clicking on links on the left side of the page. Check out all the Double Reed Sources and you’ll see.)