02. November 2009 · Comments Off on Read Online · Categories: Read Online

There are more available tonal color combinations in a wind ensemble than in symphony orchestra. While there are some variations between a violin and a cello, a string is a string, whereas, in a wind ensemble, you are blending instruments of completely different timbres — euphonium and clarinets, for example, or trumpet and oboe.

(… because an oboe is never combined with a trumpet in a symphony orchestra.)

02. November 2009 · Comments Off on The Supremes · Categories: Links, News

Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia will have nonspeaking roles Saturday night in a production by the Washington National Opera. They’ll be dressed in black-tie attire and remain on stage for nearly 90 minutes during the opening performance of “Ariadne auf Naxos” (are-EE-AHD-nay off NACKS-ohs).

Heh … hope they have fun. No gavels allowed, I’m sure. Oh … in case you don’t know the names, they are supreme (suh-PREEM or soo-PREEM) court justices. (See how helpful I can be?!)

I read it here.

02. November 2009 · Comments Off on It IS Hard Work, You Know? · Categories: Links, Symphony

This appears to be old news (2005), but if I blogged about it then I sure don’t remember!

Members of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra have been accused by their audiences of looking too miserable. I have myself looked miserable in Bournemouth in the autumn. It’s not an offence. But the residents of Bournemouth like their orchestras to put on a happy face. It was reported this week that complaints have been posted on the orchestra’s website about how down in the dumps the players look. The distinguished ensemble has even been nicknamed The Glums.

Audience dissatisfaction with unsmiling musicians is spreading. The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Sir Simon Rattle’s former outfit, has also fallen foul of its audience for not wearing sunny Birmingham grins.

Heh. Do I smile when I’m working? (Do you?!) Mostly I’m concentrating and thinking about the music and attempting to give it my all. Sometimes I smile as I’m sitting there listening to what my colleagues are doing, but gee, if I responded to everything I was hearing I might also cry when we play something that tugs at my heart. Our job is to make music. I think the crying and smiling can, for the most part, be left to the audience. Call me silly.

Sarah Gee, the director of communications for the CBSO, says that one woman told them that her enjoyment of a concert had been wrecked by a dour musician. “She caught one of the musician’s eyes and gave him the thumbs up, but he lowered his gaze. It destroyed the evening for her.”

02. November 2009 · Comments Off on Matchmaker, Matchmaker · Categories: Links

New York City Opera has a special deal:

Find Your Perfect Match at New York City Opera!

Mingle with other Jewish singles on the Promenade of the David H. Koch Theater. Enjoy complimentary cocktails and light kosher fare before a performance of Hugo Weisgall’s critically acclaimed Esther, based on the Biblical tale of the brave young queen. Return to the Promenade during two intermissions to socialize over drinks.

So I’m wondering … what opera would you choose for various religions? And should we separate various Christian sects? Maybe so. Will NYCO have an equal opportunity offer for each religion?

Let’s start a list for them! Help NYCO out!

YOU start …

02. November 2009 · Comments Off on Oh Well! · Categories: Ramble

It’s just hitting me: I have a rehearsal tonight at 7:30 at UCSC. I’m guessing we’ll go two hours or so. So I’ll get home at … what? … maybe 10:30 or so. Then I have to be back there at 8:30 in the morning.

Oh well.

If I had unlimited funds I think I’d get a hotel. What a silly thing to drive home, fall into bed, wake early, and head right back out the door.

Double oh well.

02. November 2009 · Comments Off on This I Did Not Know · Categories: Links

Nearly everyone who listens to classical music will recognize this: “Sir Neville Marriner and St Martin-in-the-Fields”. I never really thought about when or how the group was formed.

NEVILLE Marriner puts down his cup and saucer and waves an invisible baton around the living room of his Kensington, London, home. “We used to rehearse right here,” says the world-famous conductor, 84, with a smile. “We’d move the furniture, kick out the cats and play 17th and 18th-century music just for fun. Back then we had no intention of doing any concerts at all.”

Back then was 1958. As principal second violinist with the London Symphony Orchestra, Marriner had grown bored of playing the constant rounds of Beethoven, Tchaikovksy and Wagner demanded by that institution. So he founded a chamber orchestra, a sort of glorified string quartet, comprised of 13 stellar players who came together once or twice a week on a carpet (long since replaced) next to the same grandfather clock, under the same watchful ancestral portraits. Afterwards, they all went out for dinner.

“After a while our keyboard player John Churchill, whose proper job was looking after the organ at St Martin-in-the-Fields” – the famous steepled church in the northeast corner of Trafalgar Square – “proposed that we give a concert there on a Sunday. Most of us weren’t keen. We were already playing concerts with the LSO and besides, we didn’t think there’d be an audience.”

Marriner’s eyes sparkle. “John said, ‘Oh come on, there will be people left over from the service and others will walk in off the street’. So we agreed,” he adds. “And now look.”

RTWT. Do read it … a couple of “funnies” and a good comment about musicians compared to conductors when it comes to pay. And the guy has been married to the same woman for 51 years! (Now I don’t want anyone to spoil this picture … please don’t be telling me about anything sketchy, K?)

02. November 2009 · Comments Off on Some Conductors Do Seem Like Darth Vader · Categories: Videos

… but Darth Vader doesn’t look like much of a conductor. 😉