11. December 2008 · Comments Off on Mastering Something · Categories: Ramble

Read online:

He has decided to remain unmarried till he masters the majority of forms of Indian classical music.

I wonder when one knows they’ve mastered something. I guess he did leave himself an out by saying “the majority of forms” rather than “all the forms” … but still … I’m glad I didn’t say I wouldn’t marry until I mastered anything about the oboe. Whew! It’s a never ending quest. (The mastering thing, not the marrying thing.)

11. December 2008 · Comments Off on Twelfth Day Of Advent · Categories: Christmas, Videos, Watch

Magnificat, J. S. Bach, “Quia fecit mihi”

Many, perhaps most, well-known modern composers get short shift from Boulez. The minimalists like Glass and Reich “are too simple to be interesting”. John Adams? “I cannot say I will spit on his music, but I cannot admire it either. His opera The Death of Klinghoffer sounded like bad film music.” John Cage, whom he knew in the Forties, was “very trivial”. Erik Satie “could be funny, but was a small man.”

Pierre Boulez certainly isn’t afraid to speak his mind.

But then it sounds like John Adams isn’t afraid to do the same:

Boulez still does a limited amount of teaching, something he feels is best done as a “short and violent” activity, and even his musical enemies such as John Adams (who called Boulez “a mannerist… a niche composer… a master with a very small hammer”) acknowledge his prowess as a conductor, especially of contemporary works, which he has performed with many of the great orchestras of the world.

I read it here.

11. December 2008 · Comments Off on “I Want You To Bleed Scales” · Categories: Links, News, Ramble

The quote above is something my students will recognize. What I mean by that is that I want them to know them so well they are simply in their blood. There will be no question of a mistake; it would be impossible. Of course we have “brain glitches” on occasion; there are times when a wrong note comes out and I wonder why the fingers did what they did, but for the most part scales should just be.

That being said, I would never want to see blood. I don’t expect my students to take me literally and start to use reed knives on themselves. After reading the following I thought I’d better make that clear!

An actor narrowly escaped death after slashing his throat on stage with a real knife, instead of a blunt stage-prop blade.

Daniel Hoevels slumped to the floor with blood pouring from his neck during a performance at Vienna’s Burgtheater.

He was rushed to hospital with a deep slice to his throat which fortunately missed his main artery.

Yikes! They are now investigating to see if this was a murder plot or an accident. (How could it be an accident?)

Of course shows go on:

Mr Hoevels recovered after hospital treatment and, in true theatrical tradition, appeared on stage the following night although with a bandage around his neck.

I read it here.