I’ve written before, and must say again, that I truly enjoyed (and learned a lot) reading Alex Ross’s book, The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century, but Alex Ross. But someone does have a negative thing to say:

Jamie Bernstein: OUCH: that damn Radical Chic thing is the albatross around our family’s weary neck. To think that my father wandered into an event he had nothing to do with…! It was my mother’s fund-raiser for the Panther 21, who had been jailed on totally trumped-up charges concocted by the FBI, as we found out years later through the Freedom of Information Act. The judge eventually tossed the whole case right out of his court. But meanwhile, the defendants’ families needed to be fed — hence my mother’s fundraiser, which was crashed by a) Charlotte Curtis, society editor of the NYT; b) Tom Wolfe, writing for the infant New York Magazine — there had specifically been no press invited to the event; and c) my father, who burst in all cranked up from his “Fidelio” rehearsal at the Met, and took over the room, as was his wont … and the rest is dreck. We also found out through the Freedom of Information Act that all those Jewish Defense League guys, picketing outside our building after Charlotte Curtis wrote her pissy little editorial in the Times, were — you guessed it — FBI plants. What an awful time that was.

But to answer your question: look, some people say Bernstein should have spent more time composing operas. Others say he should have written more Broadway shows. Still others think he should have been conducting exclusively. But looking back on it now, aren’t we just plain amazed by the body of work Leonard Bernstein produced in his 72 years?! The concerts, the recordings, the home videos, the television shows, the educational projects, the books, the humanitarian work — and all his extraordinary compositions! We have it all to enjoy and admire. Why be churlish and say he should have done more of this and less of that? We should all be lucky enough to produce a quarter of the worthy goods my dad gave the world — and that goes for Alex Ross too. “Experts agreed…”? Please.

The speaker? Jamie Bernstein.

Found here we are told about an oboe case:

Cordura with leather trim bag has a separate compartment for each joint to prevent damage. A plush pouch holds 3 bocals. SKB is Musician’s Friend’s premier supplier of instrument and gear cases. SKB builds their products with military-spec, ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene and premium hardware. All SKB hardshell cases are unconditionally guaranteed forever. That means if you break it, they will repair or replace it at no cost to you.

Anyone spot the error?

But Musician’s Friend probably doesn’t have a clue what the error is. Heh.

I do believe the Selmer Oboe that the case is holding is probably the appropriate instrument for the case, though. 🙂

I have the first of our two open dress rehearsals today. It begins at 11:30, so I’m pretty much ready to go. (I’m even dressed nicely; I am going disguised as a flutist today! 😉 The drive is only 7 minutes away. So I sit here, and I get apprehensive. This is the part of the day that drives me nuts; just a little too early to leave, but not enough time to do anything else. So I wind up getting nervous, which is entirely silly since we are playing something I know and we are playing for a hall full of what will probably be school kids. (Yeah, they come to see these happy little operas like Rigoletto.)

Still, I get nervous no matter what, it seems.

Believe me, a lot of us don’t get nervous because of the audience. We get nervous because of our colleagues. They are the ones who really know if we are doing well or not. At least that’s the way it is for this now somewhat anxious oboe player.

Ciompi Quartet with Josephy Robinson, oboe
2/16/2008 – 2/16/2008

Mozart, String Quartet in E-Flat Major, K.428 (1783), Arnold Bax, Oboe Quintet (1925), Beethoven, String Quartet in E Minor, Op. 59, No. 2 (1806)

2138 Campus Dr
Durham, NC 27704

(found here)

Does “Josephy” mean “sort of Joseph but not quite” or something?

Anyway, this is actually Joseph Robinson, former principal oboist of New York Phil.

06. February 2008 · Comments Off on What does it mean? · Categories: Links, Ramble

So … when i plug my birth date into the MET site, I find that Tosca played on that very day. Callas starred. (Thanks to The Reverberate Hills for the idea.)

I’m trying to figure out what this means. Will I be jumping to my death at some point? Oh dear ….

06. February 2008 · Comments Off on In Case You Couldn’t Read It · Categories: Links, Ramble

Jason Heath was featured in the International Musician, as I mentioned before. Now you can read the article here. (Handy for those who don’t get the International Musician.)