20. May 2007 · Comments Off on Hah! · Categories: imported, Ramble

The concert just ended. First thing I see at the end? A man right in front, in a pretty lavendar shirt, checks his watch.

How long was this concert anyway?!

Poor guy. Probably late for bed.


20. May 2007 · Comments Off on Shostakovich 5 · Categories: imported, Ramble

Train of thought …

So I turn on the TV and there’s an orchestra playing. I’m having an IM conversation with another blogger (hi Steve!) at the time, and I confess; I can tell it’s Shostakovich, but heck if I can name which symphony. How LAME is THAT? I’m so bad with names and numbers. But I finally figure it out. And I do love this symphony. (I can’t remember the last time I’ve played it.) The audience (I believe this is a Prom concert) claps between movements. OK. Whatever. I wouldn’t clap between some of these, but I’m the sort who thinks some works call for absolute silence even at the very end. Our hearts are too heavy, or we are too moved to ruin the moment with applause. That’s just the way I am.

The principal oboist holds her oboe higher than I do. Reed differences? I wonder. The clarinetist moves sideways, as I’ve seen other clarinetists do. What is it about those players? Oboists don’t move side to side. Go figure.

Lots of sleeveless women in the orchestra. Arms. I don’t like to see arms. I’m silly that way.

Why do the women wear no sleeves while the men have to wear jackets? Yikes.

Okay … now there is one part of this work that always reminds me of Oklahoma (the musical, not the state). Does anyone else get that? I mean … I hear “poor Judd” singing “The floor creaks, the door squeeks” … is this just me?

But I think it’s time to be quiet and listen. This piece really calls for less typing and more listening. You know?

20. May 2007 · Comments Off on The Divine Comedy, the Opera · Categories: imported, Ramble

The Vatican has challenged purist Roman Catholics by disclosing plans for a daring rock, punk and jazz opera version of Dante’s Divine Comedy with a soundtrack written by an avant-garde priest.

Monsignor Marco Frisina uses rock music as background for the Inferno, Gregorian chants for Purgatory and lyrical and symphonic classical and modern music for the advent of Paradise in the musical set to be staged in the autumn.

I guess this isn’t new news, but I hadn’t read it before. RTWT

A 100 piece orchestra, eh? I’m guessing the singers will be using microphones, then. As long as he included oboes I’m okay with it. (I’m not a “don’t you dare use mics kind of musician. Halls are larger and not all singers use that warble-y cuts through anything kind of voice.)

Besides … get this:

Mgr Frisina said that he would use heavy metal rhythms, punk rock and jazz to recount Hell, Gregorian mystical music for Purgatory and a triumphant explosion of lyrical and symphonic music, modern as well as classical, to usher in Paradise.

You SEE? It’s true! Heavy metal, punk rock and jazz are evil. Symphonic music is heavenly.

Well … DUH … 😉

20. May 2007 · Comments Off on I Do, I Do! · Categories: imported, Ramble

How many “professional” musicians truly delight in the music they are paid to produce?

Now of course sometimes I only have fear. And sometimes frustration. But, really, I do “truly delight in the music” much of the time.

I wouldn’t want to be in this biz if I didn’t.

Sometimes I am just in wonder … I get to play great music. I get to sit in the middle of an orchestra and be surrounded by incredible musicians. It can be a glorious time. There are moments when I just want to stand up and shout, “This is the best job ever!” There are times when I am so thankful I get to do what I do.

It’s not always perfect. Sometimes it’s just plain exhausting. But I love my job.

The title of the article from which I cut the quote above reads: Non-professionals care more about music.


They wanted me to basically stop playing classical music. They told me, and these are the exact words, they didn’t want to see a classical composer’s name on my next CD. I just couldn’t picture myself making an album that didn’t have anything to do with the last twenty years of my life. Classical music is what I love, and I didn’t want to leave it, and I felt that Sony wanted to take me in a different direction, and I didn’t really feel like going there.

-Denise Djokic (read here)