13. July 2008 · Comments Off on Tristan & Isolde · Categories: English horn, Links, Opera, Ramble, Videos, Watch

I’m watching — listening too! — to the third act of the Met’s Tristan & Isolde. I wonder about the problems with the sound glitches during the English horn solo. Hmmm. Were they there at the live broadcast as well, or is this a recording glitch? (It doesn’t sound like the EH player is having a problem, but that something is awry with the technologically — some sort of glitch in the recording.) I’m assuming the English hornist was Pedro Diaz. He sounded great to these ears.

(I heard and saw San Francisco’s performance live and in person and Janet Archibald was stunning in that performance. … I just have to mention a local, fabulous player who also happens to be a wonderful person!)

Anyway, I don’t like the breaking the picture into 6 different boxes so we can see six different things on stage. Probably just my problem, eh?

And seeing a recorder like instrument carried around and miming playing while hearing an English horn doesn’t do it for me. I know it’s frequently done, but it bugs this double reed player.

Again, probably just my problem.

I was hoping to find the EH section on YouTube, but didn’t locate that. This is all I found, so it will have to do:

(I can’t even watch/listen yet, as the opera isn’t over on the tube yet … and I’d better get back to it.)

13. July 2008 · Comments Off on Music Dream · Categories: Ramble

I had a dream last night that included all sorts of yucky things that I won’t write about. But one bizarre one was that I had a huge English horn solo … but I had to play it while sitting on the floor. That’s rather impossible to do, unless you hold the EH up high, which is what I tried to do.

The good news was that at the first big rehearsal I thought I’d forgotten my music so I had to skip the solo. A colleague (and French hornist) played it instead. On English horn. (Gee, I didn’t know BZ played EH too!) I was quite willing to have her take it for the performance as well, but the conductor said I had to play it. Oh well. We never did get to the concert.

Why we were sitting on the ground is beyond me.

13. July 2008 · Comments Off on New Opera · Categories: Links, Opera

Nobel literary laureates Seamus Heaney and Derek Walcott are collaborating on a new opera due to be unveiled this fall at the Globe Theatre in London.

The piece, according to the Guardian newspaper, is based on Heaney’s acclaimed play The Burial at Thebes and will be set in a South American republic.

The 2004 work retells the original ancient play by Sophocles, which examines Antigone’s punishment, to be walled up in a cave, for defying the king of Thebes. Antigone chooses to take her own life rather than submit.

The Irish poet said he’s hoping to get a “huge enhancement” of his work from Walcott, who will direct the production with the Trinidadian composer Dominique Le Gendre providing the compositions.

“Heaney’s text is so pressing and so contemporary that it has real relevance to the dilemmas we face today, to questions of competing loyalty which recur everywhere in this story,” Le Gendre told the newspaper.

I read the article here

What does listening mean? I’m not talking about putting music on and hearing it in the background. I’m talking about the concentrated — sometimes tiring — act of listening.

Sometimes, when studying a work I’ve never played, I pull out my part and follow along with a recording. Sometimes I listen, and sometimes I realize I’ve stopped paying attention. I have to backtrack and pull my attention back to the task. It’s really work to listen carefully.

I know that the person who wrote the following has good intentions, but can one really listen while washing dishes?

Some listen to classical music while painting. Others have the radio on in the background at work. I’ve also talked to people who listen to classical radio programs while on the treadmill.

At concerts, we all sit and listen and watch the performers, but listening to recordings or the radio is often an accompaniment to other parts of our life.

As for me, I spend Saturday afternoons listening to the opera while washing dishes and catching up on housework. Of course, I also listen at work, but since it’s my (happy) duty to be listening to the radio. And like many others, the radio in our car is constantly tuned to West Virginia Public Radio. But Saturdays at home with the opera are some of my favorite times. If I get the housework done (what a wonderful feeling!), I just sit and relax, listening to the rest of the opera, and maybe reading a few pages of a book.

So, how about you? What do you like to do while listening to classical music?


I read the above blog entry here in case you want to visit and answer the question.

13. July 2008 · Comments Off on Oboist As Bully? Huh? · Categories: Books, Links, Ramble

Ipswich resident Maggie Lewis has just published her latest in the children’s Morgy series, ‘Morgy’s Musical Summer.’

This time Morgy goes to a summer music camp with his friends to learn to play the trumpet. But, he misses his family, his cat and his dog and can barely read music. To top it off, Damian, the oboe prodigy and bully, is also at camp this summer.

How does Morgy deal with it all? You’ll have to read the book. ‘Morgy’s Musical Summer’ is published by Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston.

I read it here.

Gee. I almost want to buy this book. Even though I think I’m not the right age for it.

13. July 2008 · Comments Off on MQOD · Categories: Quotes

In classical music you are not supposed to say ‘groove’, but groove is the rhythmic propulsion which is our spirit and soul – if you ask me, classical performers need to find their groove all over again.

-Kristjan Järvi

I read it here.