I know I can’t complain, but somehow tonight’s show was a rough one to get through. And then my reed died. Ah well.

Now I’m trying so very hard to stay up and watch Letterman to see the Met opera folk … but it’s quite doubtful that I’ll make it. This is way past my bed time.

08. November 2006 · Comments Off on Home For A Time · Categories: imported, Ramble

So here I am. I just finished the frozen pizza slices, and I’m relaxing for a moment, before I go to get in my black. (Okay, I didn’t really eat frozen pizza, in case you were wondering! I did use an oven. I’m smart that way.) Opera rehearsal went fine, and now I have to switch to the musical theatre hat. It’s not such a difficult hat change as all that, so piece ‘o cake. Besides, a friend of mine (Hi Debbie!) manages to have a full time job and plays. (She plays in more groups—and better ones!—than I too.) And she’s a fabulous bassoonist. So I really must abstain from whining.


Most folks have heard about MMO or “Music Minus One”: you can purchase CDs of the accompaniment to solo works, and then play along. Of course the accompaniment determines what you have to do tempo-wise, and it’s pretty limiting. So now there’s “Music Plus One”. The man who has put this together, Christopher Raphael, is a fellow oboist. He is, in fact, someone I believe I met sometime in the 80s. The name is quite familiar. He might have even subbed with the San Jose Symphony (RIP). I wonder!

In any case, you can see the information here.

Now of course there’s a warning light that flashes on and off, for a live musician: Is this like the Virtual Orchestra? Will this replace us? That isn’t Mr. Raphael’s intention, though. And I do like the idea of getting to pay with a flexible recording! I’d love to try this out. And I’d love to have my students be able to try it out.

You can hear Mr. Raphael play a live concert as well. Yes, he can still play that oboe!

Having had more time to study the site … you just have to go to

08. November 2006 · Comments Off on Free Downloads · Categories: Announcements, imported

… of Mozart. Only through November 10. Find them here. Featuring Orchestre de la Suisse Romande.

(I’ve not downloaded anything, so I can’t say anything about how this works. I just ran across this and thought I’d quickly post the news.)


“We’ve heard, like everyone else, that opera is dying. It’s something that people associate with octogenarians. But we believe it can be made relevant to a young demographic,” says Thiers, who received her master’s degree in opera from Northwestern University.

So gee … how the heck to make it relevant for the younger folks? Let’s see … long pause … tapping foot … ponder ponder ponder …

Oh! I know!

Let’s put together a calendar. Of opera characters. Singers will pose. With not a lot of clothes on.

YES! That’s the ticket. That’s relevance, to be sure.

(You can read the article here, but you’ll have to register. Or go to this site to “borrow” an email address and password.)

08. November 2006 · Comments Off on Orchestra Future · Categories: imported, Ramble

That’s good news for those of us in the radio biz. And, I hate to say it, but we could even get along fine if all the orchestras in the world shut down tomorrow. There are literally thousands of superb performances available on compact disc of the standard repertory and far, far beyond. Now, if orchestras did shut down, we’d have no way of playing new orchestal music on the air, but very few stations do that to any significant degree, so I doubt that anyone would notice. Not that I’m saying that’s a good thing; it’s just the way it is.

Read what this is all about here.

Now while James Reed isn’t saying “that’s a good thing” he also didn’t say it was a bad thing! Hmmm. Mr. Reel? 🙂

(Please note: I’ve had great conversations with Mr. Reel, so I’m not “dissing” him. Honest!)

The study to which he is referring includes this:

So how are those interested adults–the broadest target audience–getting their classical music? More than half of them said they listened to it “at least several times a month” on the radio. They also own classical CDs–16, on average. The single most popular venue for listening is the car, then the home. It’s not the concert hall.

I would like their definition of “listening” because I suspect listening in a car isn’t the same as listening at a concert, or at home when one puts in a CD, sits down, and does nothing but listen. I really don’t think many people know how to listen these days. But I’m mean that way.

As far as the gimmicks and other trendy, new, or imaginative additions to concerts that might not be working … I say “Whatever!” I’m happy with not trying gimmicks. I’m happy with an appreciative audience who is there to hear an orchestra, not see a show. Call me silly.

Lawrence Dillon tells a different story that I was excited to read here, at Sequenza21/. It includes this, about a new concert goer:

At the concert here, he was completely floored to see all of these people sitting in stunned silence at the conclusion of a piece, followed by enthusiastic ovations. It was his first experience with a Classical concert audience, and he was hooked.