08. March 2010 · Comments Off on MQOD & More · Categories: Ballet, Links, Quotes, Ramble, Symphony

Listen as if it were the last time your ears could hear. Savor it.

-Greg Anderson & Elizabeth Joy Roe

This is from a “music listening manifesto” I found here.

As I was playing Prokofiev’s Romeo & Juliet yesterday it hit me, “I don’t know if I’ll do this ballet again in my lifetime.” This season has been one of thoughts like those. Now we did just do R&J in 2004, so it is possible that I will do it again in another 6 years, but who knows for sure? At the final Marriage of Figaro performance a dear friend sitting next to me sadly said, “I don’t know if I’ll do this again. It makes me sad.”

So I’d like to suggest to performers that we play as if we may never play something again. I want to remember to relish each wonderful work. I want to attempt to always play my best. I don’t want to take anything for granted. I get sad — and yes, I get frustrated too — when it appears that musicians are playing as if it doesn’t matter. I get angry at myself when I catch myself doing that.

Romeo and Juliet was rather enjoyable for me this run. I had reeds that really cooperated. (I used one — orange thread — for the first two acts and another — dark blue thread — for the final act. The low C that has, in past runs, given me such grief and fear worked every single time!! And yes, it really is just that italicized sort of exciting! The balcony scene with a little English horn solo I love makes me happy to be an English horn player. The end of the entire ballet has what feels like a pretty darn important English horn solo (I’ll have to pull out my recording to see if I agree when I’m listening rather than playing) and I really enjoyed doing that as well, waiting just that extra snippet of time to land on the final C (G on EH of course). Man, Prokofiev knew how to write some fine, fine stuff. 🙂

And speaking of Prokofiev, after this week of no playing work I move on to Prokofiev’s fifth symphony. I know I’ve played it before, as I see my writing on the English horn part, but I do need to start working on it again; I can’t even remember doing it!

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