02. June 2008 · Comments Off on Shame on You! · Categories: Havin' Fun, Links

I was visiting Amsterdam’s Torture Museum the other day – as you do, when it’s raining and you’ve reached saturation point with sex, drugs and the little men selling tulips and asking for money to take your photo – when a fiendish little device caught my attention. It was called the Flute of Shame, a medieval instrument of torture used for the express purpose of punishing bad musicians.

The contraption, which does indeed look like a flute, although you really wouldn’t want to try and play it, was hung around the neck of an offender whose fingers would be stuck through the flute, rendering the offending muso unable to play. As if this wasn’t enough punishment for the heinous crime of performing an earlobe-bashing melody or – equally punishable – “offending public morals'” the ‘orrible little miscreant would also be forced to parade around the streets, where he or she would receive a pelting of rotten fruit and the kind of verbal humiliation with which James Blunt is familiar.

RTWT—and see the picture

Hmmm. Might be useful …?

Anyone want to put their nominees up here? (Me? I’m gonna remain silent on the issue. Must. Be. Cautious.)

02. June 2008 · Comments Off on Come Hear the UCSC Woodwind Quintet · Categories: Concert Announcements

Chamber Music Concert/Open Rehearsal

Tuesday, June 3, 2008 – 7:00 p.m.

Music Center Recital Hall

Various chamber groups from the Chamber Music Workshop perform in the end-of-quarter open studio.

Admission: Free

Bass Quartet – Adagio by Tomaso Albinoni
Flute Choir – Academie of Dance: Chante and Ecossaise by Catherine McMichael;
Marche Militaire Francaise from Algerian Suite op 60 by Camille Saint Saens
Piano Trio – Trio No. 1 by Joseph Haydn
Woodwind Quintet – 3 pièces brèves by Jacques Ibert
Bass Quintet – Air (From Suite #3) by J.S. Bach; Simple Samba by Peter Hansen
Contemporary Music Ensemble – For 1, 2, or 3 people by Christian Wolff
Latin American Ensemble – Vientos Del Pueblo by Victor Jara (Chile); Zuriki traditional/Bolivia

02. June 2008 · Comments Off on Happy Birthday! · Categories: Ramble

… and I’m on time this time … whew!

Today is Sir Edward Elgar’s birthday (2 June 1857 – 23 February 1934), so I have a few clips for you.

This first is of the man himself. Can’t say much for that conducting … but I’m sure they all know the tune!:

And then we have a young Barenboim conducting Du Pré:

And finally a slightly older Barenboim:

02. June 2008 · Comments Off on Nelson Riddle · Categories: Ramble

Yesterday was Nelson Riddle’s birthday. (For some reason I’m a day late with birthdays much of the time.) He died in 1985, which is just so hard for me to believe, since it doesn’t seem like that much time has passed. He seemed like he was ancient when he was here — now I see that he was only 64 when he died. But when you are in your twenties 64 looks much older than it does when you are in your fifties!

Riddle came to San Jose for a concert and I played in the thing. I can’t remember what it was for … I have in my head an image of an outdoor concert at Stanford, so maybe it was that. Who knows? But I do remember him getting furious at me for playing a wrong note. He even said something out loud during the concert. I was sight reading that piece in the concert, as we didn’t get through all the music. (I do remember that much!) And there it was … a blaring, ugly, horrendous and obvious wrong note. In a solo.

Only trouble was that the error was printed in my part. I was just reading what was there.

Now sometimes I correct a mistake without even realizing it. (And sometimes, yes, I do play wrong notes too!) I remember coming across a work I had already played several times with the San Jose Symphony (RIP) and finding a mistake that I’d never played as written; the brain sometimes just corrects something and there you go.

But, sadly, I didn’t do that for Mr. Riddle. And boy was he angry. I think he died shortly after that. I hope it wasn’t my fault.

Anyway, I used to love the Linda Rondstadt set of his arrangements. So here you go: