01. October 2007 · Comments Off on Huh? · Categories: Quotes

There’s also the fascinating idea that the oboe is the instrument that tunes the whole orchestra, and that it can’t be tuned itself.

-Blair Brown (Read here)

So if the oboe can’t be tuned itself what does the second oboist do about this? I guess the player should just ignore the principal’s A, eh? 😉

01. October 2007 · Comments Off on UCLA Blog · Categories: Links

The UCLA Department of Music has a blog. Very cool.

I’ll have to show this to the UCSC Music Department folks. After we get our site up to date, that is!

01. October 2007 · Comments Off on Instant Encore · Categories: Links

I’m guessing I’m just way behind and readers already know about this, but I just discovered Instant Encore. When signing up I quickly set up my home page (more will be added later) to include concert listings in San Jose and in the San Francisco Bay Region. Right there I see Symphony Silicon Valley. Nice! I also added Imani Winds to the page as a group I like, and my home page now tells me where, when and what they are playing in the upcoming month.

I clicked on the next SSV concert and was taken here, which gives the program and a link to buy tickets. Very cool.

It’s obviously a new place … when I clicked on the oboe link I was taken to only two recordings, but still, I think this site may be one I’ll find handy. You can purchase MP3s and you can also download program notes. Program notes are something I’d really like added to emusic and iTunes. Or maybe I’ll end up at Instant Encore instead. We’ll see. (I am sorry, though, that the initials for are IE. Oh well. 😉

Anyway, check it out if you’d like!

So Mr. Bratman liked the Amram … and more. He even mentioned me. Can you feel the world bouncing as I jump up and down? (Okay, I don’t really do that. But I do experience a bit of joy when I am mentioned. I’ll admit it; I have an ego. Is that shallow of me?) What is particularly shocking to yours truly is to see my picture on the review. Now that’s a new one! More on that picture below, so keep reading if you will.

And yes, I’m relieved to read something positive. I know, I know, I shouldn’t be so darn insecure, but after reading the Merc’s take on the concert I was rather puzzled. I’m not always certain that I played well. I’m a bundle of insecurities and neurosis. Friends and family will agree. But this time … well … I really did think I played well.

And yet I always seem to need pats on the back. Sigh. How pathetic is that?

I’m not the only one, though. I remember working with a conductor some time ago. The conductor never seemed entirely certain of the performance until the audience demanded several curtain calls. I guess we all just need the assurance that they like us. They really like us.

Of course sometimes they don’t. Even when we think we’ve done our best. That’s show biz.

And I really enjoyed the Amram, so I was glad to read the review for that as well. I wasn’t sure at the start of our rehearsals, and we had some glitches we had to figure out; measures weren’t correct and time had to be taken as we repaired these problems. But, really, I thought it was a very good work.

(Yes, we could have used one more rehearsal, especially for the Janacek. And … well … I’ll ‘fess up … I was an “early bird” (I’m sure Mr. Bratman knows what I mean!), thinking I saw a cue when it wasn’t one. Sigh. So I wasn’t perfect. Rats. I don’t ask for much … just perfection.)

Anyway … about that PICTURE … it was taken at our dinner table several years ago, when we had my parents and sister over. But it isn’t quite the close up that you might think. Ah no … there’s more to the picture. And it’s a “don’t mess with me” sort as I’m … well … I could appear to be threatening someone. (But notice how nicely I smile while doing so?)

Photo by G. Dan Mitchell

01. October 2007 · Comments Off on My Husband Reminds Me … · Categories: Ramble

You weren’t performing for the reviewer.

He’s right. I don’t even think of the reviewers when I’m playing. I only think of them the day after! And I tend to take them to heart.

Ah, we are an insecure bunch. Or at least I am. I shouldn’t speak for the others, and there is only one of me. I am not a we.

Now …
And now it’s on to new things. Today I have English horn reeds to attend to. I should be playing Quiet City on October 26. I write “should” because we haven’t even scheduled rehearsals yet. Finding rehearsal time with a bunch of other musicians who are busy elsewhere can be quite the challenge. I also have a recital on October 28, for which I’ll be playing oboe. On the second recital—a UCSC faculty recital—we’ll be playing wind quartets (oboe, clarinet, horn and bassoon) by Stamitz and Freihofner.

So I have work to do. No time to fret or feel sorry for myself. Gee, what fun is THAT? 🙂

01. October 2007 · Comments Off on Sigh · Categories: Reviews

Sometimes I can’t win. Well, okay, a lot of the time I can’t win. And I know I shouldn’t take reviews personally, but of course I do.

Mr. Scheinin’s review* is posted now. Not that it matters, but there are some major things in it that I disagree with. Strongly. But I can’t write about them here. So I won’t.

I will write about liking the Amram. I loved the lengthy oboe solo in the “church movement” and I think I played the solo well. Ah well. I’ll leave it at that.

Almost. I’ll also say I had a large number of solos, and so of course when one doesn’t get mentioned at all one reads into that. A lot. That’s the way we are. A “non-mention” usually means the reviewer didn’t like your playing. And even if that’s not true, that’s how many of us read it.

Am I foolish for admitting that here? Probably. But I’ve always ‘fessed up to being foolish. 🙂

Ah well. I knew I was losing the English horn solo when I moved to principal. I knew the risks. Such is life.

(But DID I play well? Will I ever know? Can I trust my own assessment? Should I trust colleagues? I wonder.)

Okay. Enough. Whine over and out.

Truth be told, I’m glad I took on the challenge of moving up. Changing hats is a tough thing to do. Fortunately I was coming from principal in opera so the hat change wasn’t as drastic as it sometimes is. I loved playing all the works. Each had its own set of challenges … and solos! So I can’t regret moving up. I think I need to think on the bright side! Yes?

*article no longer available

01. October 2007 · Comments Off on A Necessary Adjective? · Categories: Uncategorized

Billionaire TopShop boss Philip Green forked out the sum to hear the shapely singer in aid of the Rotary Flood and Disaster Appeal.


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

I’m not a creator. It’s the composer who is the creator. I aim to focus on the way to deliver the message, according to the music, as humbly as possible, though that’s not the right word because a conductor can never be humble.

-Gianandrea Noseda (RTWT)