27. September 2007 · Comments Off on No Comment · Categories: Other People's Words

Three of the four also are women, a fact that Larionoff finds purely coincidental.

“The concertmaster job is genderless,” she explains. “Gender has nothing to do with leadership.”

Larionoff says that Kavafian and she share another element besides the concertmaster chair: a passion for shopping.

“The Consumer Spending Index rose last week when Ani was here,” she jokes. “Nordstrom stock probably went up.”


27. September 2007 · Comments Off on Sharping · Categories: Ramble

It wasn’t until after the intermission that Alagna started reverting to a reoccurring issue that peppered Acts I-III: Sharping. Scattered through Act I, II, and III, he would at times rise-up to a sharp landing. By the second half, he was ####’ing all over tha ##ing place. Roberto Alagna? More like Al Sharpton. It was only during his duets with Netrebko that he was able to level-out and come back down to Gounod’s markings. The audience didn’t seem to mind, as his stage presence was charismatic and sprite, and he certainly won over his fans in Tiffany & Co. blue, well-tailored ensembles (tight pants & fitted jackets were favored). (a href=”http://operachic.typepad.com/opera_chic/2007/09/roberto-alagna-.html”>RTWT)

Ah yes … the whole sharp issue. When I get tired I sharp all over the place, too, and have to work constantly at not doing so. So an instrument and voice (not that a voice isn’t an instrument, mind you) both struggle with this. With oboe it has to do with tensing up, getting a tighter embouchure, biting … all that stuff we do when we tire out. I’m assuming the same thing happens with voice.

Poor us. We struggle so, yes?

Now some instruments can just pull out and fix this. Clarinets can lengthen their instrument by doing this at a joint. Oboes can’t.

We suffer. We suffer for our art. We suffer in silence. No?

Well, I should probably do some reeding. And no, that’s not a misspelling of “reading”. Duh. Ciao for now.

27. September 2007 · Comments Off on MQODs (Double Your Pleasure) · Categories: Quotes

A couple of years ago. And one of the reasons is because of my love and my family’s love for “Appalachian Spring.” There are certain pieces that capture a time and an emotion, and sometimes it’s only classical music that can do that. And there’s just nothing like “Appalachian Spring.” I thought, “That’s like our family’s national anthem. And wouldn’t it be nice if we, as a family, could leave something behind to the country, too?” I’ve worked with every kind of genre of musician over the last 15 years, and it’s been everything from punk to jazz to klezmer. But the truth is we all love classical music in my family. We were raised with it. And I realize how inconceivable that is to a lot of people. They all imagine that we were at home listening to Leadbelly in our jeans, picking our guitars. And it’s true.

But we also went to the opera, and all of us were trained in piano and clarinet and flute, classical guitar, and we have a very, very deep love of classical music in our family. Our mother would put us to sleep with “Songs of the Auvergne” (by Canteloube). We were raised on all the Gilbert and Sullivan works, all the opera, real opera, all the classical, Bach, Beethoven, the whole thing. And to this day, it’s always Bach in the morning. I don’t care what anybody says. I woke up to Bach. My kids wake up to Bach. Arlo’s kids wake up to Bach.

and later…

In our house, it was not unforgivable to go from that to the old blues songs, like “Grizzly Bear,” to the soundtrack to the musical “Fiorello.” We were all over the place. We really learned to hear a good melody, I tell you.

-Nora Guthrie (RTWT)

27. September 2007 · Comments Off on MQOD · Categories: Quotes

You keep on trying to improve, and that has a wonderful, medicinal effect of being anti-aging. When you have a real crowded schedule, there’s no time to grow old. To put it in the vernacular, you just keep bopping til you drop.

-David Amram (RTWT*)

*article no longer available