05. January 2009 · Comments Off on Contractors · Categories: Links

Do you want an oboe player who has a dry sound or someone with a warm sound? Do you want the trumpet to be high and screeching like in, say, “City of Angels,” or more symphonic like in “Les Miserables?” A violin sound that’s light on the vibrato or something bold and bravura?

This is from an article about a New York music contractor. It’s a fun little read.

I’m fortunate. I play in orchestras with tenure, and I rarely do freelance work. I can tell you, from past experience, that the freelance life is stressful and difficult. You never know when you’ll be deleted from a list. The rights of a freelancer are minimal.

During high school, he learned how to play flute, which led to him appearing as an oboist and baritone saxophonist on several Frank Sinatra recording sessions.

… because of course that’s what playing flute leads to. Right?

Hmm. Okay then.

I don’t know much about a lot of composers. In Carl Orff’s case, I didn’t know anything. Until now. Mr. Orff doesn’t sound like a great guy.

How important is it to know this? I wonder. Will I ever hear Carmina Burana and not think of what he was? I suspect so.

I know, I know, a lot of composers were scoundrels. Bad people can write good music (although I’m actually not a huge admirer of Carmina Burana). But when does one draw a line — or does one — about a composer. If Hitler had been a composer and wrote a good tune, would we play it? I rather doubt it. But he didn’t write a good tune, so that is merely a guess.

I’m just rambling, and I know this has been hashed and rehashed. But still ….