We had our dress rehearsal tonight. That’s a LOT of tough music to play, to be sure. And now I’m exhausted. So perhaps I’ll sleep tonight. I can hope … and perhaps I can dream, too. Last night was one horrendous night, so nothing will beat that one. (I had blood work done yesterday. It turns out that I have low iron and something is up with my thyroid and who knows what else, so I’m hoping these things will be fixed and my sleep will be better. It could happen, right?)

I love the Beethoven. There are moments that really hit my heart. There are places where I just want to weep. (Why, when I’m in this sort of mood, do I want to say “weep” rather than “cry”?) What an absolutely wonderful work the 6th is, and what a joy and honor to get to play it.

I have a significant solo in the Amram. It isn’t the juicy, schmaltzy, main theme solo I was looking forward to on English horn, but it’s really fun to play. (There’s just something about EH that makes things so … I dunno … rich, I guess.) But the solo I do have is my type of stuff, really. Later in the work there is some jazz, some caribbean style music, and klezmer. I really do think the audience will like it, but of course time will tell.

The Janacek has one lick in it that is … well … do I dare say impossible? Sure feels like it. No one can relax during the work; it’s just major challenge. The counting is tough. There are tricky entrances. I’ve yet to play it perfectly. And yes, I’m nervous about it.

Between the Beethoven, Janacek and Amram I have a lot of concentrating to do, a lot of notes to play, and several reeds to use. There’s just so much playing I can’t trust one reed for everything. So I’ve been a nearly good girl and made some reeds that work. Amazing.

I think the audience will really love this concert. I hope so. I think Maestro Paul Polivnick (who is, according to this, “A favoite with Symphony Silicon Valley audiences and musicians” … hmmm … what is a favoite?) is doing a great job, and this is a concert that is a challenge to put together in three days (four rehearsals). I wish I knew how my playing is coming across to the Maestro and listeners. (I get compliments from colleagues, but I’m sorry to say I just assume they are being nice to little old me.) The Maestro hasn’t said anything negative, but he’s not said anything positive either. So of course I assume the worst. I’m smart that way. Or maybe it’s because I’m going through one of my typical phases that is full of feelings of inadequacy. You’d think by this age, and after nearly 35 years of professional playing, I’d be more comfortable with my playing. Maybe next year.

Sometimes I’m such an Oboe Baby.

Baby Oboe

But anyway, the concert isn’t all about me, even if it sometimes looks that way considering how I blog. So if you are a local, do consider coming!

Need tickets?


  1. Jeannette Clemons

    I played some of Amram’s music in my previous incarnation, and liked it a LOT! Approchable for musician and audience…I just read”This is your brain on musice” by Daniel J Levitin. I found it very interesting and a good read! APPROACHABLE! It goes a long way toward explaining why we like the music that we do….Its a LOT about TIMBRE! J

  2. We played another Amram last year. I hear he has a wonderful work for oboe; I’ll have to check it out.

    I blogged about Levitin’s book … maybe a year ago or so? I will confess I didn’t quite finish it, and I do plan on getting back to it. I didn’t know all of his references to pop music, and I didn’t totally agree with a few things (not the scientific things, but some of what he writes is subjective) but it was interesting. Guess I’ll try to finish up the book after I get through this weekend.

  3. That is one freaky picture (or at least the thought of it). Dave has said there is no way our child will play oboe. If they want to, I will support it. However, after hearing me curse at reeds and complain about the instrument in general over the years, I don’t think we’ll get to that point. Baby in utero does like the oboe though! He’s mom’s biggest supporter.

  4. Heh … it IS a bizarre picture, isn’t it?

    I have three kids. Not one plays oboe. My daughter tried it out for all of one day. That was enough for her! 🙂