18. January 2008 · Comments Off on O(ld)boe Brain · Categories: Ramble

Sometimes the mind is muddled. And sometimes I find out just how muddled MY mind can get.

Yesterday I opened up my first student’s notebook to find this (with messages written to the student as well, but you don’t need to know everything, right?):

1. warm up on g
2. staples: chromatic, major: Bb (B) C (C#/Db) D Eb (E) F (F#/Gb) G (Ab) A
3. Ed 1
4. Ed 2
5. Ed 3

Yes. Really. I wrote staples rather than scales! Go figure. (Scales in parenthesis mean “You aren’t playing this one yet, but look how close you are to doing them all!”)

Today one student’s assignment book had this in it:
Chromatic scale up to

Yeah. Really. Up to what, I ask you? Who knows! (Actually it was “up to your highest note” … but I neglected to write that.)

Sometimes I open up these assignment books and I really crack up. My students must think I’m one odd duck, but at least I show them that I easily laugh at myself and I always point out my goofy errors. I think it’s terribly important for students to know I am not perfect. (Somehow they are never surprised by that. Hmm.)

18. January 2008 · Comments Off on So far … so okay … · Categories: Links, Listen, Ramble

I have decided to be brave and listen to myself. I am not good with this. Once a concert is over, after all, it is over. But yes, I can learn from listening to myself, and it’s time I stop being the coward and face the truth. So here goes …

Schubert Symphony No. 5, first movement

As all of my colleagues say, I can play louder. I always get that. Funny, but I say the same thing to my students. Go figure. I’m low to the flute at the beginning in some places. It could be compensation for thinking I’m always sharp. Hmmm.

Schubert Symphony No. 5, second movement

Well gee … do I know how to play out? Maybe not. (Or maybe it’s the placement of the microphone? Or maybe I just think there should be more oboe?) And the swelling on each note has got to stop! (Maybe I don’t do it all the time, but of course I’m hearing it that way.) I’m not going to go on and rant about other things … I’ll only “diss” myself so much. But I do hear things and I think, “Ick!” Long movement, this one.

Schubert Symphony No. 5, third movement

Okay … maybe this one isn’t so bad. So far.

Schubert Symphony No. 5, fourth movement

Not much in this for me anyway. (Actually the entire symphony doesn’t exactly feature oboe, which is why I braved this one rather than a few others that I had major solos in.)

Enough listening for now. Errands are calling.

18. January 2008 · Comments Off on It Just Doesn’t Work Sometimes · Categories: Links, Ramble

Deborah Voigt sings Broadway tunes. At least at a UCLA Live series show.

Although the balance between Sperling and Voigt was better, the idea of miking a soprano who can fill New York’s Metropolitan Opera House took some getting used to. And for all her friendly bantering, the formal divide between stage and audience wasn’t often bridged. (RTWT)

I think some “classical” sorts are just trained to strongly to disintegrate that wall. Really. Some manage just fine, but others can’t. Maybe she’s just one who can’t.

And they miked her? Why? In the “olden days of yore” I don’t believe Broadway singers were miked. Why bother with someone who doesn’t need it, I wonder?

She paid more attention to singing long, smooth lines than interpreting individual words in an upbeat “Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man” (from Kern and Hammerstein’s “Show Boat”), a vivid “Gooch’s Song” (Jerry Herman’s “Mame”), a tender “Willow, Willow, Willow” (Forrest and Wright’s “Kean”) and a hard-edged “I’m a Stranger Here Myself” (Ogden Nash and Kurt Weill’s “One Touch of Venus”).

Sort of sounds like an opera singer, right? At least to me.

Anyway, I have great admiration for classically trained singers and instrumentalists who can do it all, but not all can. Right? And I’m okay with that. Just like I’m okay with those pop artists who wisely decline to try to compose a symphony or opera. And I still admire what they do. They don’t need to prove themselves, as far as I’m concerned.

18. January 2008 · Comments Off on Oh My! The Poor Woman. · Categories: Links

This story might be funny, but for an 84 year old woman to be stuck in a bathroom at an opera house for 20 hours is just scary. And very sad.

But yeah, I’m sure there’s a joke in there for someone too.

Even scarier is that they say this isn’t the first time this has happened there. Yikes.