17. July 2008 · 2 comments · Categories: Ramble

I have a teenager here, although only for one more year (Happy 19th birthday, Jameson!), and having three children I’ve gone through two already. So I laughed when I read How to listen to classical music (for teenagers). The writer is, i’m guessing, only shortly out of “teendom”, although I can’t say for sure.

Anyway, the post made me laugh. A little.


When you are between 12-18 years old do not listen to your stupid teachers who say you should do art this way or that way because they are stupid and old and pathetic and they JUST GIVE STUPID ARBITRARY RULES.

Yup. That’s me, all right. 😉

17. July 2008 · Comments Off on I’d Name It Differently · Categories: Links, Opera

A special opera written by Vietnamese bloggers is about to be produced, “Dream and Reality”.
Blog Opera (/blogviet/blogopera/), sponsored by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Swedish Embassy in Vietnam, is a forum for Vietnamese youth, especially bloggers, to share their ideas, feelings and sentiments about the topic “Dream and Reality”.
The programme also aims to encourage Vietnamese youth to approach opera through contributing their ideas and initiatives. Based on super-short stories (around 100 words) of bloggers on Blog Opera, a jury will select the best and unique ideas to develop them into an opera entitled “Dream and Reality”.

I’d call it Blopera, myself. But that’s just me.


For its first program of the season, the Midsummer Mozart Festival Orchestra will perform the aforementioned early Divertimento; the romantic Piano Concerto No. 23, featuring Jon Nakamatsu; the first of Mozart’s four last, increasingly complex symphonies, No. 38, known as “Prague” after its premiere there in 1786; and the lyrical Oboe Concerto, featuring Laura Griffiths. This piece has only been known in this form since the 1920s when it was discovered that Mozart’s Flute Concerto, K.314, was a transcription of this previously composed work for oboe.

The Midsummer Mozart Festival program will be performed this evening, Thursday, July 17, 7:30 p.m., at Mission Santa Clara, SCU Campus, Santa Clara; Friday, July 18, 7:30 p.m., Herbst Theatre, San Francisco; Saturday, July 19, 6:30 p.m., Gundlach Bundschu Winery, Sonoma (outdoors), where dinner can be ordered with tickets; and Sunday, July 20, 7:30 p.m., First Congregational Church, here in Berkeley.

The second program of the festival will feature two spectacular compositions, the Serenade for Woodwinds and Contrabass, “Gran Partita,” and the Piano Concerto No. 24, with Nikolai Demidenko as soloist. In the “Gran Partita” Mozart plays six pairs of horns and a string bass like an organ. These are the greatest horn orchestrations before Duke Ellington. The Piano Concerto, one of only two that he wrote in a minor key, was one of the few pieces by Mozart to be popular in the 19th century. Its emotional sturm und drang anticipates romanticism.

This second program will be performed Thursday, July 24, 7:30 p.m., Mission Santa Clara, SCU Campus, Santa Clara; Friday, July 25, 7:30 p.m., Herbst Theatre, San Francisco; Saturday, July 26, 6:30 p.m., Gundlach Bundschu Winery, Sonoma; and Sunday, July 27, 7:30 p.m., First Congregational Church, Berkeley.

For its unprecedented third week of programming, Midsummer Mozart has come up with three ambitious concerts. First, a solo piano recital bringing back Nikolai Demidenko to perform well-known favorites such as the Piano Sonata, another dark piece in a minor key; and the Adagio, K.540; as well as less well-known works like the remarkable, Bach-influenced Praeludium and Fugue, K.394; the touching Allegro, which he wrote for his wife Constanze and her youngest sister Sophie; and the almost never performed Andante for a mechanical organ. As a lagniappe, Demidenko will also give out with all 24 Preludes of Chopin’s Op. 28. This concert will only be performed on Thursday, July 31, 7:30 p.m., First Congregational Church, Berkeley.

I read this here.

I’ve always thought George Cleve’s Mozart interpretations to be excellent. I played in the group for a number years (as second oboist) and certainly learned a ton of Mozart.

My only quibble with the article is the use of the word “unprecedented”. When I was in the group (back in the 80s) we did three weeks’ worth of concerts. In addition, we sometimes did a special concert at Davies and we did a run at Buena Vista Winery. So where the writer gets the idea that the third week is unprecedented I do not know.

17. July 2008 · Comments Off on Isn’t This Old News? · Categories: Links, Old News, Ramble · Tags:

Arts Journal has a link up, posted just today, about something I blogged about quite a while ago. Geesh. Maybe AJ needs me. Ya think? So sure, certain pieces can make wine taste better. Anyone who reads my site already knew that. So there.

I guess AJ doesn’t read my blog and … well … how mind-boggling is that?! (And how mind-boggling is it that I typed “mind-bloggling” first?)

What I want to know, though, is which wine will make the music sound better? Because if we can figure that out think of how our audiences might grow.

17. July 2008 · Comments Off on Concerto de Aranjuez · Categories: English horn, Links, Videos, Watch

I was only going to put the slow movement up, but I decided that was just wrong. So here you go, beginning at the beginning!

I loved what a listener wrote in the comment section of this part of the concerto:

Don’t listen to it when you are lovesick, it makes you want to die.

I love playing the English horn solo in this piece. I think I’ve played it with three different guitarists … I just can’t remember who!