11. February 2008 · Comments Off on Oh Dear · Categories: Links, Ramble

A Miss Manners question …

But that was the only way the two bellowers agreed. One, who is usually my guide in these matters, had surprised me by bellowing “bravo” again and again. He gave voice to my concern: Madame X was obviously a woman, and wasn’t the appropriate bellow therefore “brava”? He began to castigate the other, calling him a philistine and a particularly uncouth and noisy one at that.

When he finally ended his tirade, the other calmly announced that since the word soprano is masculine in gender, the appropriate modifier should also be masculine in gender.

Uh-oh. Have I been wrong all these years? 😉


11. February 2008 · Comments Off on The Talk · Categories: Links

“You know classical music is a difficult business, right?” he said. “You can work and practice until you are as good as you think possible and it still might not be enough. The competition is stiff, and do not kid yourself, everybody wants it just as bad as you do. If you are lucky and talented enough to get a job, you still might not make enough to live on. Sometimes having a job doesn’t offer any security either; orchestras go out of business.”

This is from a very good blog entry. Check it out.

11. February 2008 · Comments Off on A Surprising Day Off · Categories: Ramble

Monday is frequently a light day; I only have one student on the calendar*. But I heard from my “Monday parent” that my dear student has the stomach flu (so sorry, E! Get well soon!). So Monday is, as always, “catch up day” but it’s not teaching day. I’m hoping to get a lot done:

  • clean the house; dust, vacuum, bathrooms!
  • return some clothes (I got some mighty fine deals at Coldwater Creek, but a few things have to go back)
  • banking
  • get the Prius washed
  • practice, practice, practice: new music Strauss (Der Rosenkavalier Suite, Till Eulenspiegel) and Stravinsky (Rite of Spring)
  • reeds, reeds, reeds
  • make an actually dinner (we do a lot of leftovers here, now that there are only two of us
  • work on taxes (well, if I have time and energy)

We’ll see how I do. I’m not certain I’ll get to all of this. Mondays are “catch up days” but they are often also energy-less days.

*Update: TWO students on Monday beginning next week! Hello M!

11. February 2008 · Comments Off on WHY WHY WHY · Categories: Links, Quotes, Ramble

You know how it is … writers … especially for newspapers … they just try to be witty. So do the folks who write the headlines.

Get this one:

Symphony trombonist overcomes horn failure

As second trombonist for Johnstown Symphony Orchestra, Dana Menser of Somerset can’t let anything slide.

Heh. Yeah. Kind of sad, isn’t it?

I’m glad the lowly trombone (ignoring what Berlioz thought*) got its moment in the sun. But geesh.

* “I regard the trombone as the true leader of the race of wind instruments which I have described as ‘epic.’ It possesses nobility and grandeur to a high degree and it has all the solemnity of high musical poetry, ranging from a calm, imposing, devotional aura to the wild clamors of an orgy. It is up to the composer to make it chant like a chorus of priests, or utter threats, then muffled groans, then a subdued funeral knell, then a resounding hymn of glory, then a piercing shriek, then a mighty fanfare for the waking of the dead or the death of the living.”

-Hector Berlioz

We all know better, of course.

And notice how Berlioz may have said that but he gave the English horn some fine, fine moments. So we forgive him his momentary insanity.