03. May 2010 · Comments Off on Looks Like It’s A Success · Categories: Opera, Reviews

Moby Dick, the opera. Who knew it could work? But the reviews are coming in, and so far, so good.

Joshua Kosman, SF Gate/Chronicle
Anne Midgette, Washington Post
Scott Cantrell, Dallas News
Steve Smith, New York Times
Wayne Lee Gay, D Magazine
Ronald Blum, AP

03. May 2010 · Comments Off on More Tchaik #3 · Categories: Symphony, Videos

The EH solo is toward the end (7:10):

This is a real EH solo … one I can wrap my brain around. The one in the earlier blog entry is one I find less comfortable and harder to figure out. It does help, though, when I’m playing with full orchestra. Practicing it alone at home makes it more difficult. I do love the support of an orchestra! 🙂

But the toughest movement of all to me? The Scherzo. No joke. (Pun intended.) Where the beat IS and where it sounds like it is are two different things. Really. I’m assuming with a conductor it will feel a whole better.

The Scherzo begins at 5:45:

The winds are not playing on the downbeat. The piece is in 6/8 and they come in on the second 8th note. It’s a bit discombobulating to my ear.


Or maybe I just want to use the word “discombobulating”! 😉

In Other News

My blog rank is not getting better. I am dismayed.

(Okay, not terribly … but still …!!)

03. May 2010 · Comments Off on Three To Go · Categories: Opera, Symphony, Videos

I now have only three more performances of La Rondine to do. Then I move back to symphony, playing English horn in Tchaikovsky’s Orchestral Suite No. 3. We were discussing the work in the opera pit today. I know I’ve played it before, but I’m thinking perhaps it wasn’t with symphony, but with the ballet. Hmmm. I wonder.

[time lapse]

Yep, we did the final movement of it with the ballet back in 2000. But it was only the last movement and I am certain I’ve played the rest, so we must have done it with symphony as well. I’m sure it was with San Jose Symphony, and I don’t have a good record of all those years I played there (1975-2002 or whenever it was it folded) because I didn’t save symphony programs. (I actually gave most of them to the symphony back when I was symphony, because I realized no one there was saving even one copy of programs or keeping any sort of records at all.)

The work has some rather significant English horn solos. The first is at 8:33 in this video:

Moving from principal oboe to solo English horn means reed work! And yes, I’ve been working on them. 🙂

03. May 2010 · Comments Off on Read Online · Categories: Read Online

I think I remember hearing in a psychology class that if you’re feeling drowsy while driving, you should listen to classical music because it stimulates the brain more than regular pop music, and therefore keeps you awake better.

However, I can’t find anything on it by Googling, so I’m wondering if I misremembered. Other than your personal opinions (e.g., “Classcal muzic is soooo boring lol”), is there any scientific evidence that classical music is better or worse than other music at keeping you awake?

Read here.

It’s kind of funny to read this, after reading so frequently that classical music can relax you and help you sleep!

How about just listening to music you love when you really wants to listen? Not to sleep. Not to relax. Not to stay awake.

Just an idea ….

03. May 2010 · Comments Off on For Your Listening Pleasure · Categories: Oboe, Videos

Joshua Tree and Moth by Jenni Brandon
Oboist: Ryan Zwahlen (Website here)

I think this is a work well worth checking out. Ms. Brandon’s website is here.

03. May 2010 · Comments Off on TQOD · Categories: TQOD

I think the guy with the flute thing a ma bob or oboe should probably not play its not that great -_-

03. May 2010 · Comments Off on MQOD · Categories: Quotes

A man labors and fumes for a whole year to write a symphony in G minor. He puts enormous diligence into it, and much talent, and maybe no little downright genius. It draws his blood and wrings his soul. He dies in it that he may live again…. Nevertheless, its final value, in the open market of the world, is a great deal less than that of a fur overcoat, half a Rolls-Royce automobile, or a handful of authentic hair from the whiskers of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

-H. L. Mencken