05. November 2006 · Comments Off on A New Blog (for me, anyway) · Categories: imported, Ramble

Discovered via On An Overgrown Path, I’ve landed upon a blog by Nicholas Daniel. Very cool!

And read this, from the most recent entry:

I think the top Bb may be in! Am going to surprise John with at the rehearsal and see what he says. Terrible risk! I love risk!

Yikes! A high Bb? Incredible! I have difficult with high G, to be quite honest. I don’t really care for high notes. I suppose it’s because I spent so many years on English horn and, in the summer, Mozart second oboe parts. So I became comfortable with low notes, and I’m even comfortable with high notes on English horn (remembering a Penderecki work I played some time ago—with the composer conducting!). But oboe high notes!? Not my cuppa. But if they have to be played, they have to be played.

Of course, what with my students studying the Saint Saens for honor band auditions (I get SO annoyed that they use that work for high school students), I have to make sure I can play the high notes … along with that tough section in the last movement. So I have the work sitting out and I occasionally run through it.

And he writes this:

Good practice done but I had to spend most of it playing scales as my fingers had forgotten what it meant to move very fast!

Hah! Scales! I had a student who thought scales entirely unnecessary. So much so that she quit studying with me. I’m happy to read this remark of Daniel’s. But even without it, I certainly wish my student had just accepted my requirements. Each instructor will have his or her requirements. A student has to deal wtih it. Quitting is not the answer.

But I ramble … just go check out Daniel’s blog. (HE is one who, I’m sure, doesn’t struggle with the things I do; he’s one fine player!)

Today is a non-church day. I don’t like missing church, as it is worshipful, a good place to learn, and a time to see my family. Especially when I’m so busy. But I have a 1:00 performance (which means I leave the house around noon) as well as a 6:30 one, and sometimes I have to think reasonably to make certain that I can make it through a day … a week … a life. And I really can’t afford to get too run down and risk getting sick. So here I am. (But I’m missing seeing my parents and sister, which is sad.)

I just finished going through the Dover score of Il Barbiere di Siviglia; my Kalmus oboe part is chock full of mistakes, and I wanted to make sure I get the part corrected. I’m not certain about the change or articulation marks, so I’ve put them in, but with question marks. I suppose I’ll wait and see what rest ‘o the gang does, since we are all stuck with these Kalmus parts. And obviously I’ll ask our conductor; the Maestro (Michael Morgan) let me know he’s using the Dover score, so I wonder if he’ll stick to those printed articulations. However the main reason I wanted to go through the part was to omit all the music that I am not to play. I’m not sure where Kalmus parts come from (I once heard that these old Kalmus parts were stolen sometime during a war—WWII?—but I wonder if that’s the truth. The person who told me said that Kalmus would then put in an error to two so the parts didn’t appear to be the result of theft. I’m guessing, though, that this is just an old tale and hasn’t any truth in it. Still, I’ve often wonder why Kalmus parts are so full of mistakes!) In any case, there are several places I don’t play, even though my part has music. So I’ve taken all of that out. That stuff I gladly hand to the clarinets. It’s tough music!

I was surprised to see my part. Opera San José has done this opera before, and yet I don’t see a single mark in the part that is mine. That’s extremely odd, and makes me wonder if they gave me the second book (both oboe parts are contained in one book, and of course there are two of these books). The marks that are in the book make me think a very young player was the last to use the book. Ah well. The eraser has come in quite handy!

With those parts cut out I play much less, and even with those parts I play very little in the second act. I play, in fact, only the Act 2 Quintet, sitting through three numbers before and after that Quintet. If only I could see the opera while I sit … and sit … and sit. Sigh. But I sit under the lip of the stage. And that’s life. I guess. Hmmm. Could I manage to move elsewhere without being noticed? Doubtful, I’m sure. But I’ll see if I can make it work.