But please don’t mess with either. That just ticks me off.

Cockman is gaining renown in the world of piano competitions with his hybrid arrangements that combine hymns with secular pieces.

Last summer, he won grand prize for instrumental performance at the Gospel Music Association’s Music in the Rockies competition. He also won the national award for instrumental solo or ensemble performance.

For the competition, Cockman performed two original pieces he wrote.

The first combined the hymn “Abide With Me” with Frederick Chopin’s “Etude Op. 10 No. 9” and Franz Liszt’s “Concert Etude No. 3.” The second used the works of George Gershwin, Scott Joplin and Louis Moreau Gottschalk to embellish the hymn “He Set Me Free.”

“Independently, they’re fine, but they’re more accessible if you combine that hymn with something else,” Cockman says. “I love to do it. It takes a creative process to think, I love this hymn. How can I make it more than it is?”

You can read the entire article here. There is so much I disagree with here I won’t go into it all. But …

The thing is, hymns—the good ones, that is—really can stand on their own. And if they aren’t any good, they can simply disappear. And good classical works? Let ’em be good classical works. (And yes, I realize that some hymns are actually old tunes, be they drinkng or just popular songs. I’m not going into that right now. And that was then, this is now … or something … maybe.)

I have no problem with playing Telemann or Bach or … well … whatever for a church offeratory or special music. I also have no problem playing It Is Well With My Soul … but you aren’t going to catch me playing “Jesu Joy Of What a Friend We Have In Jesus”. Simply isn’t going to happen. Sorry to disappoint.

I’ve talked before about oboes sounding different—different players make for different sounds Different countries often have “their” sound as well. So here are a few clips for you to peruse. If you can’t hear a difference … well … you should! You’ll also see that players hold the oboe at different angles (I like mine to be less up and out than a lot of oboists I guess).

Fumiaki Miyamoto

Yeon-Hee Kwak (Gabriel’s Oboe by Ennio Morricone)

Unknown Oboist playing Gabriel’s Oboe … you have to wait for it, as it begins with Yo-Yo Ma

Mariusz Pedzialek (or so someone wrote), playing Penderecki’s Cappriccio for oboe and orchestra

Mozart’s Oboe Concerto … snipped … (Very funny video, too; the beginning is hysterical!)

Dang Phu Vinh—just a snippet of what used to be called the Haydn Oboe Concerto

Junko Tsugami, playing Oraison et Jeux sous un rai lumineux by Hiroshi Hoshina

Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring (Love where they put the oboist!)

Um … no comment! Really. But you can comment if you’d like. 😉

And we’ll end with a woodwind trio: Super Mario Brothers

WAIT … I take it back! We’ll end with THIS because it includes a former oboe student of mine. What a joy to find this on YouTube! (And yay, Caitlyn!)

07. January 2007 · Comments Off on Steve ‘n Andy? · Categories: imported, Videos

Y’all know I like Stephen Sondheim if you know me at all. But Sondheim and Sir ALW? Yep. They are together in this video. Fun. (ALW hasn’t been a fave of mine, but he just earned some big time points.)

07. January 2007 · Comments Off on Don’t Diss The Dancer · Categories: imported, Ramble

“As a former professional ballerina and current owner of my own dance studio, I cannot believe how you can speak with such a lack of knowledge. How do you dare to even write about an art form you obviously know nothing about????”

This is the response the reviewer Marc Shulgold received when he “dissed” (minimally, from what I can tell) The Nutcracker.

I only want to ask this dancer why she’s using four question marks. 😉

The article is interesting, asking the question, “What level of experience and expertise does it take to report intelligently on dance and classical music?”

I’ve often wondered that myself. I’ve read reviews that have made me wonder just what the heck the reviewer knows … or if he or she was at the same performance I attended. I’ve also read reviews that made it clear the reviewer didn’t attend part of all of the performance (bad idea, folks). And I’ve read some where I feel as if the reviewer nailed it … merely because he or she agreed with little old me. Go figure.

The classic part of a classical music is that it will not distract the attention of the listener and at the same time be able to instill relaxed feeling in the minds of listener.

Sigh. Grumble.


Read it here. Read it and weep.

Here’s something else to read, written by someone who is a bit more knowledgeable about classical music. He admits to having a “PCMSQ — Personal Classical Music Snootiness Quotient” and it’s a fun read. I, too, cringe at certain words being used, and certain promitions that come out, regarding classical music.

But oh well.

I don’t think I’m a snob. (Well, okay, sometimes I think I am, but not always.) I’m just better than most people.

… I’m KIDDING, folks. Really! 😉