04. May 2009 · Comments Off on I’ll Just Call It “Interesting” · Categories: Ramble, Symphony

We had our first SSV rehearsal tonight for the set. The conductor is Gregory Vajda. I enjoyed him the last time he was here conducting, so it was nice to see him back.

But the ears …. ahhhh, the ears!

Have you ever seen a flute player do that thing where he or she blows but not hard enough to get true notes? Instead it’s this sort of airy sound. Then the flutist also sings, and you can actually hear multiple notes? Well, when the orchestra is playing softly I hear that kind of sound in my ear, and it’s as if those notes in my ear go up and down with whatever the real music out in the real world is doing. Same thing happens when the conductor is talking to us. My ear reacts to pitches, and seems to create it’s own little music. It’s a very strange thing, and rather distracting. But I’ll just say, for now, that it’s “interesting”.

I’m a wee bit frustrated, but I’m attempting to have the attitude of “I will live with this as long as it is here and make it work.”

But do expect some whining along with that attitude.

We got through all of the Shostakovich, and did the first and last movements of the Beethoven. I have a bit more work to do on the former — there are a huge number of very fast notes in some of the movements! — but really it’s not a very stressful set, so it’s a perfect one to help me get my bearings as I learn to cope with this tinnitus.

04. May 2009 · 1 comment · Categories: Links

Half a century ago, most female musicians did not care about their appearance: what mattered was how they sounded. Indeed, a “high priestess” attitude seemed to be positively encouraged; anything visual was downplayed so that the music could sing out unimpeded.

The article suggests that female instrumentalists these days have to be thin and beautiful in order to make it. (Or at least that’s what my skimming says; I have to race off to symphony!)

So is it true? Are there any “plain Jane” sorts out there who are younger than fifty? I can’t think of any. But how surprising is this? Doesn’t shock me at all.

I don’t have time to go into this … nor do I want to at the moment. Too many other things to fret over. I guess, to me, it’s just not a big deal right now. Maybe it’s because I’m a fifty-two year old plain Jane who was never contemplating a solo career, and it’s not something I even worry about.


04. May 2009 · Comments Off on Orchestrators · Categories: Links, Ramble

Terry Teachout has an article about orchestrators of musicals.

I remember the first time I found out that the composer of a musical didn’t actually orchestrate the thing. I was in a bit of shock. I mean, Beethoven orchestrated his own works, why couldn’t these guys? Mr. Teachout explains this.

I remember meeting Michael Starobin when I was hired to play the horribly reviewed and short-lived Hans Christian Anderson musical that starred the then not so well known John Glover (soon to move on to the Superman TV series, Smallville, which I was so happy to see, as I thought he was such a nice guy and pretty incredible on stage). Mr. Starobin and I talked a bit about his work, as he orchestrated my favorite Sondheim, Sunday in the Park With George and I wanted to whine about the fact that I could never play it since I wasn’t a doubler. I saw how he worked, too, as HCA was being put together. It was a great lesson, and I found him pretty incredible at what he did.

My disappointment in composers of musicals equaled my disappointment in pop singers … I always thought they wrote their own songs and that they were somehow quite personal. How silly was that?

Yep. That silly.

04. May 2009 · Comments Off on Shostakovich Symphony No. 9 – V Allegretto-Allegro · Categories: Symphony, Videos

04. May 2009 · Comments Off on Shostakovich Symphony No. 9 – III Presto · Categories: Symphony, Videos

04. May 2009 · Comments Off on Shostakovich Symphony No. 9 – II Moderato · Categories: Symphony, Videos

04. May 2009 · Comments Off on Shostakovich Symphony No. 9 – I Allegro · Categories: Symphony, Videos

This week (Thursday, Saturday and Sunday) Symphony Silicon Valley is playing Beethoven’s fourth symphony, Shostakovich’s first piano concerto and his ninth symphony. I’m going to put up movements of the Shostakovich symphony today. I don’t know if I’ll get to the other works. Time will tell. I’m looking forward to this week of music! (As long as my ears cooperate.)

04. May 2009 · Comments Off on TQOD · Categories: TQOD

Arranging an oboe concerto. Dear God, I am a nerd.