18. April 2008 · Comments Off on This Is What We Do · Categories: Ramble

American conductor Gerard Schwarz has enjoyed a lengthy tenure as music director of the Seattle Symphony, although from a front-page New York Times expose earlier this year of player discontent in Starbucks City, perhaps the verb “enjoy” is a questionable choice. At the Seattle Symphony’s Copley Hall concert Friday evening (April 11), however, the orchestra was the picture of discipline and unfailing response to their maestro. If there was trouble aboard ship, none of us passengers could detect it from the crew.

I’ve never heard from any Seattle Symphony member personally, so I don’t know if they are unhappy at this point or not. But they could be entirely upset and if they are doing what we usually do, no one would know.

We are actors as well as musicians sometimes. And we really like to keep an audience happy. And sometimes clueless. They can be as honest as they want—and, believe me, they are brutal at times—but our goal is to keep personal and personnel issues private. It’s the way it should be, for the most part.

There are times I wish this wasn’t the case (when I’ve really had it with a situation and can’t take it any more … and I’m not talking about a current situation so don’t go fretting over that!) but usually I’m fine with it.

I loved this little line in the review:

Oboist Ben Hausmann provided several dreamy solos…

Too cool! We get called plaintive a lot. But dreamy? I’ll take dreamy!

… and they did two Strauss works, too. Don Juan and Der Rosenkavalier Suite, compared to our “Til & Rosen”. Interesting!

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