… will it make me annoyed? I wonder.

“August Rush” tells the story of a charismatic young Irish guitarist (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) and a sheltered young cellist (Keri Russell) who have a chance encounter one magical night above New York’s Washington Square, but are soon torn apart, leaving in their wake an infant, August Rush, orphaned by circumstance. Now performing on the streets of New York and cared for by a mysterious stranger (Robin Williams), August (Freddie Highmore) uses his remarkable musical talent to seek the parents from whom he was separated at birth.

Hmmm. Doesn’t really sound promising to me.

I want to start a list of movies that are about musicians (in the classical awesome style. I’m even listing some that aren’t really about the music so much, but contain at least an oboe (!) or some bit of classical music that makes it of interest to me. Anyone wanna help with this? Please note, some of these may be awful! I’ve not seen many. I’ve put an asterisk by movies I’ve seen. Just FYI. (One asterisk means I’ve seen it. Two means I’ve seen it and oboe is featured. Three means oboe is featured but I’ve yet to see it.)

Humoresque (1920)
Intermezzo (1936)
The Great Waltz (1938)
Intermezzo (1939)
Rhapsody In Blue (1945)
A Song To Remember (1945)
Humoresque (1946)
Song of Love (1947)
The Great Caruso (1950)
*The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T
Puccini (1953)
Song Without End (1960)
Tchaikovsky (Chaykovskiy) (1969)
Five Easy Pieces (1970)
The Music Lovers (1970)
Song Of Norway (1970)
*The Great Waltz 1972)
Lisztomania (1975)
Mahler (1975)
Fingers (1978)
The Competition (1980)
Spring Symphony (Frühlingssinfonie) (1983)
*Amadeus (1984)
**The Mission (1986)
Impromptu (1991)
*Meeting Venus (1991)
Tous les matins du monde (1991)
**Enchanted Aril (1992)
*The Piano (1993)
Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould (1993)
Farinelli (1994)
*Immortal Beloved (1994)
Mr. Holland’s Opus (1995)
Shine (1996)
Hilary and Jackie (1998)
The Red Violin (1998)
Edvard Grieg: What Price Immortality (1999)
Music of the Heart (1999)
***Taking Sides (2001)
Chopin: Desire for Love (Chopin. Pragnienie milosci) (2002)
The Pianist (2002)
Sibelius (2003)
Les Choristes (2004)
Copying Beethoven (2006)

31. October 2007 · Comments Off on MQOD · Categories: Quotes

Go dance in your own room, bud.

-Pillage Idiot (RTWT)

30. October 2007 · Comments Off on Wow! · Categories: Ramble

We just had a mighty strong earthquake here. (Or “earthquack” as I wrote first.) I had to run to the doorway … the family room was swaying just a bit too much for my taste. Turns out, though, that it wasn’t as strong as the 1989; the epicenter (epicentre?) was just closer to us. And yes, I was actually scared.

And now my headache is back. (My brain doesn’t really appreciate it when immovable things are moving around me!)

No damage, but one of Kelsey’s pictures was nearly gored by a ceramic cow. Whew! Close call. (Or would that be “cattle call”? Oh. Sorry. Earthquakes do weird things to me.)

30. October 2007 · Comments Off on Sweet Story · Categories: Links, News

Pizarro: Early opera star, soloist reunited
By Sal Pizarro
Mercury News
Article Launched: 10/30/2007 01:58:04 AM PDT

When Symphony Silicon Valley honored longtime supporter John Tyers on Saturday, it also created an unexpected reunion.

Tyers and his wife, Helena, were early stars of Broadway and opera and moved to the Bay Area later in life. John Tyers, who helped recruit conductor George Cleve to the San Jose Symphony more than 35 years ago, died in July at age 92.

Helena Tyers attended Saturday’s concert honoring her husband and featuring Cleve. But she also recognized the evening’s soloist, Seymour Lipkin.

Lipkin, it turns out, had been her accompanist 65 years earlier when she was performing with the Philadelphia Opera Company and he was a 15-year-old pianist attending the Curtis Institute of Music.

Lipkin and Helena Tyers had a grand reunion after the concert. He not only remembered her but also recounted the leading roles she played and the performers who appeared opposite her.

(Found here.*)

*link no longer working

30. October 2007 · Comments Off on I Would Know This One! · Categories: Links

Miller opted for a replacement question: What other instrument does an English horn resemble? Choices included the trumpet, French horn and oboe.

On television, Miller said she was in band at school, but she had no clue, finally going with French horn.

Alas, Vieira informed her an English horn looks like an oboe. (RTWT)

Another item Father Christmas always seems to have with him is an English horn. (RTWT)

Do you think the writer meant “French horn”? I just can’t remember a Father Christmas holding an English horn before.

30. October 2007 · 1 comment · Categories: Ramble

Rats. I wish they would. I’m not disgusted by my playing, but I’m not exactly blown away either. Double rats. (Hah! I think I might have just heard a Jameson cough on the recording. Hmmm. I’ll have to ask him if that was his “voice”!) I guess I should have a less harsh ear listen sometime. (But would I be destroyed by the words I hear? I wonder.)

Tone too bright. Pitch slightly sharp. Vibrato uneven. At least to my ears.

Yeah, I’m picky that way.

Ick. Last movement … messy. Sigh.

And I hate my reed!

30. October 2007 · Comments Off on The Big Question · Categories: Ramble

So the BQ for today is: once I hear Sunday’s recital will I still be saying it was a good concert?

One never knows ….

Off to UCSC!

30. October 2007 · Comments Off on I Agree · Categories: Links, Other People's Words, Read!

We all have to figure out what we like doing for its own sake, rather than for the attention it gleans us. The college years are an optimal time to explore different studies and immerse oneself in activities that not only broaden horizons, but also kindle a whole new idea of what we may want to do with ourselves once we leave school. Conservatories, being vocational schools, do not offer these opportunities so much.

Barring extraordinary circumstances, I would urge any student not to attend a conservatory for their undergraduate years. (RTWT)

This is not to say every single student should avoid a conservatory as an undergrad, but I do believe most students would benefit more from first attending a university or college.

Keep options open. Explore other alternatives. See the whole world, not just the musical one. Continue to enjoy music. Embrace it if you are able. But keep an open mind. It’s just a good idea.

29. October 2007 · Comments Off on In New York? · Categories: Concert Announcements

Hi Folks!

There’s some great chamber music coming your way.

The Willow Ensemble will present concerts on November 9 and 10 at 8PM within the intimate confines of the Grace Church Chantry on 10th and Broadway.

On the upcoming program:

Rossini: Sonata VI for Woodwind Quartet
Beethoven: Woodwind Quintet in E-flat, Op. 71
Haydn: String Quartet in D minor, “Quinten,” Op. 76, No. 2
Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 1, BWV 1046 in F major.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. To reserve tickets at the lower price, reply to this email and specify your preferred concert date as well as how many tickets you need. Alternatively, you can leave a message at 917-698-8415.

I hope you can make it!

And feel free to pass this email along to others.


Timothy Emerson
Artistic Director, Willow Ensemble