17. March 2009 · Comments Off on Happy St. Patty’s · Categories: Videos

Thank you, Lone Oboe for alerting me to this:

I’m not Catholic, and I wasn’t in even a speck ‘o green today (it was all black, since I was too lazy to change after the concerts … really!), but this it a lot of fun. 🙂

And now I bid you all g’night.

17. March 2009 · Comments Off on Um. Okay. Is this for real? · Categories: Fun, Links

The San Francisco Opera House is exactly the same, same coffered ceiling, same sweeping balconies, but the music isn’t.

I’ve been invited to sit through 3-1/2 hours of Dr. Atomic, the new opera about Robert Oppenheimer and the first atomic bomb test. Long recitations from declassified government files and the Bhagavad Gita set to trilling, clattering, pulsing sounds, atonal explosions and lyrical flights.

You made it through Parsifal, Peterman, I keep reminding myself.

So you can buy a dress based on what this guy saw at the opera? Or something. RTWT.

Way beyond my means, though, so while it’s a lovely dress, I’m gonna let it go. (I did read up on the company and while it’s based on the Seinfeld character it’s for real.)

It is also the kind of event that, during Denève’s tenure, the RSNO does increasingly well. He feels that, four years into the job, the orchestra is finally taking the shape he wants. “They have had to cope with a lot of changes. At last, I have fantastic new first oboe, which is so hard to find.” (There is, apparently, a world shortage of oboe players.) “Many orchestras struggle to find a great first oboe.” Denève stops and giggles. “By the way, he’s French”

Hmmm. Is there really a shortage of oboists? I wonder.

(And why is it that the word “giggles” bothers me? “Laugh” is fine. But “giggle” sounds so … I dunno. Childish, maybe?)


17. March 2009 · Comments Off on BQOD · Categories: BQOD

I’m always excited about a Mike Oldfield release and particularly about this one as it is his first classical album. Peformed by an orchestra with real instruments.

But I knew that I don’t get classical music and that in general classical music leaves me perplexed as to why it has had such a fan base throughout the centuries.

And this CD did not change that. It is boring and uninspiring and not at all how I imagined The Music of the Spheres.

Read here.

17. March 2009 · Comments Off on Home · Categories: Conductors, Links, Ramble, Reeds, Symphony

I’m home from the Kiddie Concerts. The concerts are nicely put together by the conductor, Peter Jaffe. He is full of energy, and is really good with children; enough humor to get them up for things, enough control to get them quiet. So it was fun, even though I managed to count wrong TWICE! (Mr. Jaffe was gracious enough not to glare, but boy did the oboe section get a lovely and clear cue for the entrance the next time we played.)

Something about 10:00 AM and all … sigh.

One thing to note: Because I was an English horn player for so many years, this is the first time in my career I’ve played the second movement of the Tchaikovsky sixth. Same with the March from The Love For Three Oranges by Prokofiev (but that’s not quite as common as the sixth). Funny how that happens, eh?

I also tried three of my EH reeds and, dare I say this, I think I like them for next week. I hate saying anything, though, because while of course I’m not at all superstitious I worry about saying anything confident like that. Go figure.

I have two hours now to eat (I forgot breakfast again!), rest up, and get ready to teach three students.

Then I have a night off. Woo hoo!

17. March 2009 · Comments Off on Kiddie Concerts · Categories: Concerts, English horn, Ramble, Symphony

I’m getting ready for the Symphony Silicon Valley back-to-back kiddie concerts today. We do them beginning at 10:00 … early for a musician, but probably perfect for them — because they get out of school! I remember loving to go anywhere if it meant getting out of school. This year’s program is about meter. We play works in 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7. Kinda cute, don’t you think? Funny that when you get to 8 it’s often 3+3+2 or some variation on that. But we aren’t getting that far, so that’s just an unnecessary sentence. Silly me.

Now to finish getting ready. Shoes — I need to wear shoes! — and get to the hall. I need to get in early so I can see how my pesky English horn reeds sound there (although I don’t play EH in these shows). Testing them at home doesn’t really give me the correct picture. I’m hoping to at least land two that feel good for New World and Roman Carnival next week. We’ll see.

17. March 2009 · Comments Off on TQOD · Categories: TQOD

So far this morning I have heard a flute, oboe and trumpet across the hall in apt. C. She starts music lessons way too early in the morning.