10. August 2007 · Comments Off on Hilda! · Categories: Ramble

Now that Hilda has blogged about our time together I am going to fill you all in some more. (I wanted to wait, just in case she wasn’t planning on yakking about it.)

Hilda and her husband arrived at about 1:30 or so on Wednesday. Prior to that, I was nervous. Yes. You read that correctly. You see, folks, it’s not just you … I get nervous! I was concerned that I wouldn’t sound good enough. I feared I’d be a great disappointment or even a shock. There is always this little voice in my head saying, ‘They’ll find out your a sham, just you wait!”

Hilda plays very well, I’m happy to say! (And Hilda, I wouldn’t write that if I didn’t mean it.) She is also witty and intelligent, as you might expect. I can’t believe that after only 2 1/2 years on this tough instrument she is playing so well. I was very impressed.

We worked on the opening of the Mozart Concerto (yeah, really!), the first Barret articulation study, and we ended with Barret duets. I had a blast!

I do have a few regrets … good old hindsight: I wish I’d demonstrated a “typical patty lesson” to Hilda, which I didn’t do (you can see that below). I wish I’d been a kind enough hostess to offer some food and water. (Geesh. That’s just ridiculous of me!) And I really wish we could have gotten together one more time. But life … it all takes time you know.

Here’s my “typical patty lesson” although of course I deviate, drop, alternate … you know how it goes!:

1) Scales: chromatic, major, minor and whole tones
2) Thirds in major keys
3) Long tones … but not always … it kind of depends
4) Lesson book. For the younger student that means Rubank or Gekeler or Edlfeson, for the older Barret or Ferling or … well … the list goes on!
5) Solo work
6) Orchestra excerpts if time
7) Duets (I consider duets the “dessert of the lesson” but I love to do them!)

Anyway, Hilda, it was an absolute delight to meet you and hear you play, and I loved meeting Juan Carlos as well. Keep up your great work on the oboe, and if you move here I’m holding a spot for you! And WOW …. thanks for the Starbuck’s card! 🙂

10. August 2007 · Comments Off on Don’t Ask Me Why · Categories: Ramble

So I read this:

East Poultney Day this year is a lot of song and dance.

Shaped-note singing is back for a second year at the annual celebration of the town’s history Saturday, and this year organizers have added contra dancing to the list of offerings.

And yes, it’s “Poultney Day” and “contra dancing” but I read these as “Poultry Day” and “conga dancing”.

Is it the double reed? Is it the back pressure? Or is it just me?

10. August 2007 · Comments Off on I’m Singing · Categories: Ramble

It ain’t just Paris who can sing (or pretend to). So here I am, singing loudly … can’t you hear me?

Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Bi

Oh. Wait. Copyright law. I could be fined if I continue …

Anyhoo, Happy Birthday TSR and welcome to the world of non-anonymity. Be brave!

10. August 2007 · Comments Off on Not I · Categories: Ramble

I’m not going to blog about Paris and her opera. Nope. Not I. Never. Not at all. But of course I did read this:

We saw many actresses for the role, and Paris sang it better than all of them.

And I immediately thought, “Well, you saw the others. did you only hear Paris?”

Because that’s the way I am.

But at least I’m not blogging about it, right?

10. August 2007 · Comments Off on A First? · Categories: Quotes, Ramble, Reviews

The orchestra — the Vienna Philharmonic — could have passed for Russian: They played with the appropriate growl, grain, and soul. They were not error-free, dropping the ball here and there. Their pizzicatos can be as ragged as any other orchestra’s. And their principal horn can flub, too. But they were still the Vienna Philharmonic. At evening’s end, Mr. Barenboim had them appear onstage, to receive their applause. This is exceedingly rare.

Wow. On stage. I’ve never heard of this before.

This just made me laugh:

Tatiana writes her letter on a typewriter. What young girl wouldn’t compose her first love letter on a typewriter? The Nurse lies down in what appears her own grave. A man appearing to be a Red Army officer physically attacks Triquet at the name-day party. And there is a violent sexual episode, violent sexual episodes being almost de rigueur in productions here. Directors would not want to lose their street cred.

But maybe this is the best:

You arrive at the opera house during the second intermission. You change into your costume. You sing some recitative, you sing the best aria in the opera, and you sing some more recitative. You get to keep the girl, which is rare for a bass. Then you go home.

Ahhh … musicians! (English hornists get the same sort of gig sometimes. Of course the rest of the orchestra hates us for it. Why is it we really want to play, but then we really want to go home early too? Hmmm.)