02. October 2008 · 6 comments · Categories: BQOD

At master classes, I got to play an English Horn! I swear, it’s the most easiest thing to play. I think I might ditch oboe for EH, seeing as it uses the same fingering…


  1. Yeah, right…. I’m not sure I agree with that, especially not now, with less than a week to Tristan dress rehearsal…
    I might change my mind after the hopefully very succesful !st performance next saturday 11th, though;-)

  2. I know. I just have to laugh whenever I hear this, and I do think a lot of people say it. When they FIRST pick up an EH they think, “Oh, how easy!” They of course don’t have a clue ….

    Hope it all goes great, Katarina! 🙂

  3. That’s it, isn’t it? Any oboist can pick up an EH and with a decent reed it sounds great for a while. But when you start treating it as a separate instrument, there’s quite a few obstacles to overcome…. But it’s nice when you’re over a few of them!

    Thanks for the well-wishing, today I’m sceptical… But in the end it usually works somehow, we’ll see!

  4. That IS it. And I was the same way back when I started, to be honest. Then I realized (and was told by the maestro) that I had to treat it like its own voice. AND then I started getting all the big solos in orchestra. And I realized it wasn’t easy, and it was, in fact, rather scary since we do the sit … sit … wait … wait … quiet moment … huge English horn solo!

    I’m sure it’ll work out for you. Count on the past, yes? It has before, it will again. Not that that doesn’t mean you don’t first have to stress out. Not fun, I know. (And I’ve never even done Tristan, and probably never will, since our little company doesn’t do the “Huge Stuff”.)

  5. HAHAHA. Actually I fluctuate between thinking the English horn is better or the oboe, depending on who has the best reed. Of course they never BOTH have a good reed at the same time! It is so different, playing 1st oboe or EH, and 2nd oboe – holy cow that is something I would be terrible at (low register is NOT my thing, although I am getting better!)

  6. Playing second oboe is definitely the most thankless position. Because of the demise of San Jose Symphony I was moved from English horn to second oboe (we don’t have three tenured members any longer). I really don’t enjoy oboe 2 all that much. Which is why I opt to move to EH most of the time.

    It seems to me that the only time anyone notices the second oboe is when it’s not right. Sigh.