It was a really good show though I have to confess I kept thinking throughout “does Bob (Redford) like classical music? Will he like this? I sort of figured he would cause he’s black Irish so issues of life and death and such resonate.

-Jane Fonda

I wish I lived nearer New York sometimes. I’d love to see the play Jane Fonda is in that is about a musicologist and Beethoven and who knows what else. And now I learn that Jane Fonda has a blog. How cool is that? With pictures too. (Well sure, she can put up pictures of herself. She’s so darn beautiful. Me? I guess I should put more pictures of … um … oboe reeds … something … but not me!)

I also read this:

Jane Fonda has just opened on Broadway, to rave reviews, in the play 33 Variations, and I have tickets for tomorrow night, which kind of amazes me. I’ve always been a Jane fan, and even met her back in 1972, but a play about Beethoven where his music is reputedly the “real star”? Is that any place for a guy who was executive editor at the legendary Crawdaddy from 1971 to 1979, when my generation’s main exposure to Ludvig Van was via Stanley Kubrick’s Clockwork Orange?

You can read the whole article that includes the above quote here. Fun read.

Meanwhile … we just finished our dress of Barber Adagio for Strings, Schubert Symphony No. 9 (“The Great”) and some other guy … hold on while I check the symphony site … Guilmant. Anyone ever heard of him? I can’t say I’m thrilled by his organ concerto, but what do I know? Not a lot, I’m sure. But the other two works are certainly well worth the price of admission. And you do get to see a very gaudy organ … and hear the instrument too. So there you go.

Now it’s really time to hit the hay. I have students and a concert tomorrow. And I’m rather weary these days.

13. March 2009 · Comments Off on News To Me · Categories: Huh?, Links

I had never heard of the superstition regarding Tchaikovsky’s Sixth. But there’s a lot I don’t know … as all of YOU already know.

Tchaikovsky’s sudden death in the autumn of 1893 startled the world. There were rumors that he committed suicide. It was believed that he died of cholera.

Whatever the cause of his death, it occurred shortly after he had conducted an orchestra in the premiere of his Sixth Symphony. Among those in the audience on the night of his premiere were his nephew and a talented young musician, Ossip Gabrilowitsch. Three days after the concert the nephew committed suicide and the series of sinister coincidences associated with the Pathetique began.

From then on whenever it was played someone in the audience or one of the musicians met a sudden, unexpected end. It wasn’t long before many musicians came to dread the Sixth Symphony and a number refused to play or listen to it.

You can read the entire thing here.

So am I the only one in the world who didn’t know this? (And no, it won’t cause me to skip playing Tchaik. 6 if it’s on the schedule.)

13. March 2009 · Comments Off on BQOD · Categories: Quotes

During a Music for Poets class that I took years ago, when our teacher played for us Beethoven’s 7th Symphony he explained to us that in the 2nd movement, in the 85th measure, the tympani–after going boom -rest- boom -rest- , goes -rest- boom–which from what I gathered was supposed to be an indication of Beethoven’s ingenuity and sense of humor. With that handy bit of info, I can now participate in any conversation about music–something that I have done on average about once every ten years since then.

13. March 2009 · 3 comments · Categories: Ramble

When I was young, my father sometimes suspected I was wearing lipstick and school and wiping it off before I got home (no makeup was allowed when we were younger) because my lips were so red. I never did wear makeup without his knowing (I did roll up my skirts, though). I just had extremely chapped lips. Playing oboe can aggravate them, although I’ve not had the horrible issue I had when I was younger.

But today? Today my lips are a total mess. If you saw me from a little bit of a distance I might appear to be one of those old ladies who doesn’t look in a mirror when applying lipstick, so it smeared in the corners.


When I’m playing stiffer reeds this can happen. When I’m making reeds and doing a lot of testing it might happen too. But right now there’s really not been that extreme amount of reed making, and I haven’t felt as if my reeds are all that stiff (I am breaking some in, but still). I guess it’s just the dry weather. I dunno. But it sure doesn’t feel good to play. (I typed “It don’t feel good to play” first. Hmmm. Maybe I’m losing my language skills.)

So to all our folks out there: Any great cures for chapped lips? Do tell. Please.

13. March 2009 · 5 comments · Categories: TQOD

another asian, violin playing, only-child pointed out my fascination w/ oboe & french horn reflects my tendency towards difficult tasks.

13. March 2009 · 1 comment · Categories: Links, Oboe

I can’t really argue with these, so check ’em out. (I wouldn’t write “resist playing on plastic reeds” but, rather, “if you play plastic reeds, you are not an oboist.” Yeah. That works for me. 😉

(Oh … but feel free to prove me wrong!)

The thing that I cringe at, when looking at the page I’ve linked to above is the bassoon and oboe sitting on the chairs. Maybe another suggestion would be “put your instrument away when you aren’t playing.” But I live in earthquake country, so maybe I think differently about this.