17. February 2007 · Comments Off on How We Hear · Categories: imported, Ramble

Some reviewer might pan a show that another reviewer adores. I’ve read reviews of some concerts where I even think the two writers must have attended different performances … or at least their writing would imply so. But reading Alex Ross’s latest blog entry about the Hatto scandal is truly fascinating. If a reviewer really has reviewed the exact same recording and panned one artist while raving about Hatto, something sure is amiss, don’t you think?

No matter what ends up happening with this whole mess, it is at least something we will all learn from in some ways. How do we hear? Can we listen without prejudice? Do we hear differently on different days, in different moods, in different weather? Do we “hear better” after a nice dinner or a good glass of wine? Do we “hear worse” after a fast food meal? (Or do we just feel worse?)

Just thinking.

I enjoyed the opera last night once I finally got into the hall and into the pit. Prior to that I just felt lifeless. As I was walking to the hall I met up with a few friends and they could tell from my demeanor that I wasn’t “all there”. I wanted to be home. Under some blankets. Staying warm and content. But I can’t always do what I want, so there I was, walking to the theatre. Still, I was with my lovely friends, and that was great. Once in the pit (continuing a bit with my pathetic whining) I saw a fellow oboist peering into the pit. Sigh. This is something that can really do me in sometimes … I was concerned that from then on I would worry about every note I played. That can happen. And that can really ruin a performance, at least personally.

Thankfully, I managed to delete his presence from my brain for the most part, and I began enjoying playing, even while being a bit of a tired wimp. Solos went well (if I dare say that!). I enjoyed the opera. I went home happy.

Today I taught three students but there is no opera tonight. So NOW I’ll crawl under my blankets and enjoy my time.

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