05. March 2009 · Comments Off on Wow! · Categories: Links, MTT, Ramble, Symphony

I’m just home from the San Francisco Symphony concert. I know they say it’s sold out, but maybe they get turn backs … it’s sure worth a try! Martha Argerich is really incredible. Her second movement just had me mesmerized. The Ravel Piano Concerto really is such a great work. (Rumor has it we may be doing it again down here, but I haven’t received anything official yet.) The Ligeti was amazing and powerful, and also quite painful in a Requiem appropriate kind of way. NOT easy listening, but truly worth a serious listen. I’d encourage you to attempt to get to this concert aside from the sold out part. Hmmm. Stand at their door and yell that you have to get in, maybe? Cry? Beg? 🙂

As you know, I don’t review here. I just enjoy concerts and let you know what I enjoyed. But I do sometimes make a few comments. Here goes …

Audience: Funny comment of the night was when MTT walked out for the Ligeti. An audience member nearby said, “Uh-oh. He’s gonna talk.” And he did talk. Funny thing was, I was so distracted by the audience member I forgot to listen to what he said, so Dan had to fill me in later. Silly me!

Choir: The men all wear tuxes. The women wear whatever they like and some looked … well … less that stellar. I’ve felt this way for a while now: Men have to look so uniform and put together and we women get to decide what looks good. And some women don’t know what looks good. Maybe it’s time to step it up a notch. OR let the men dress down, perhaps. I wonder.

I had blogged two (?) concerts ago about a very distracting first violinist. I noticed that he wasn’t playing last week’s concert or this one. Perhaps he was a sub and hasn’t been called back.

Why, when a blonde singer and a brunette singer come out, do I just assume the blonde will be the soprano? And yes, I was right. (Man, the notes they have to nail in the Ligeti … astounding! Brava to both of them!)

So Dan and I had a great time, loved the concert, and Louisa (hope you read this), you are SO wonderful. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Gotta get to bed; I have an early wake up time and long day ahead of me.

05. March 2009 · Comments Off on San Francisco Symphony · Categories: Concerts, Links, Symphony

I’m really looking forward to hearing the San Francisco Symphony concert that includes the Ravel Piano Concerto. It’s a sold out performance that features Martha Argerich. But of course I’m mostly focused on the wonderful English horn solo.

I hope that doesn’t surprise anyone. 😎

Many, many thanks to Louisa and Michelle. I owe you big time!

05. March 2009 · 3 comments · Categories: TQOD

my new oboe reeds are much easier to play, but produce a sound quality that even I think is like a honking duck

05. March 2009 · Comments Off on Go Read This · Categories: Links, Ramble, Symphony

Here’s a snippet:

But have you ever wondered what would happen if the whole orchestra just happened to take a break from warming up at the same time? This is what we refer to as the dreaded “Awkward Silence,” in which it is clearly not yet time for the concert to begin, and yet we have all, for one reason or another, ceased making noise, which has caused the audience to cease talking, and everyone just sort of sits there looking at each other, wondering what’s going on.

This is from an Inside the Classics blog entry and it’s a fun read. This silence thing really does happen on occasion, and it’s quite disconcerting (no pun intended, but there you go). Sam Bergman, the writer, is a violist with the Minnesota Orchestra. He and assistant conductor Sarah Hicks blog at Inside the Classics and they are currently on tour so they are blogging about that. (They really need to have links to their bios at the blog, but I sure didn’t find any.)

I’ll never forget an Opera San José performance we had in our former, much smaller hall. We were all warming up and of course the audience was chatting away as well. It was the typical before-concert buzz and noise, something I’m rather fond of. (Kind of like when I was a young child and my parents had people over; I loved to hear the chatting and sort of drift in and out of consciousness.) I realized I had water in my top octave, so I quickly blew through the vent to get it out. When I do that I blow deep from the bottom of my lungs, and I do make a very loud sound (I don’t know why, but I’ve never heard anyone else make the noise I make). I guess the audience and orchestra thought I was shushing them, because it was suddenly completely quiet.

Oh the power!

I did look up and say something like, “Keep talking!” or some such silly thing, I was so caught off guard.

05. March 2009 · Comments Off on MQOD · Categories: Quotes

Africa is everything that something like classical music isn’t. Classical – perhaps I should say “orchestral” – music is so digital, so cut up, rhythmically, pitchwise and in terms of the roles of the musicians. It’s all in little boxes. The reason you get child prodigies in chess, arithmetic, and classical composition is that they are all worlds of discontinuous, parceled-up possibilities. And the fact that orchestras play the same thing over and over bothers me. Classical music is music without Africa. It represents old-fashioned hierarchical structures, ranking, all the levels of control. Orchestral music represents everything I don’t want from the Renaissance: extremely slow feedback loops.

-Kevin Kelly

Found here.