A tribute to Mahler (again, it’s his birthday today!) in Star Trek Voyager? I don’t remember this. (The picture isn’t great … but watch this and you’ll hear Mahler. Really.)

07. July 2010 · Comments Off on Oboe Phobia? · Categories: TV

Anyone remember the TV show “Civil Wars”? Turns out there was an episode titled “Oboe Phobia”. If you saw it and can fill me in I’d love to hear about it.

Now I really want to see the episode. Go figure.

07. July 2010 · Comments Off on FBQD · Categories: FBQD

Facebook and oboe are sooooooo addicting…..

07. July 2010 · Comments Off on TQOD · Categories: TQOD

What is with all the banjoes in popular music these days? The banjo is about as good as an oboe and oboes are rubbish.

07. July 2010 · 2 comments · Categories: TV

“The Choir” was made in England, where it is an award-winning hit TV series. But it premieres this week in the U.S. on BBC America, and not only is it the finest new TV show of the summer, it speaks directly to the situation of music programs in school systems like Baltimore’s. If you are a music-lover, teacher or parent, this is a production not to be missed.

The reality TV series stars Gareth Malone, a boyish-looking 30-year-old choirmaster with the London Symphony Orchestra who goes into schools without singing programs and starts choral groups from scratch. His goal is to demonstrate the power of music to bring disparate and often alienated students together and transform their lives through the act of singing together.


I didn’t even KNOW there was a BBC America until now … guess I need to check things on our AT&T Uverse schedule more carefully! Channel 188, for any who have Uverse in my location. Who knows if I’ll actually like the show or not, but it’s worth a watch. The first episode is tonight (10:00 in my neck ‘o the woods).

07. July 2010 · 4 comments · Categories: Quotes

That was a pretty heady experience. I’d had the previous experience of singing a Schubert Mass with Herbert von Karajan at the Vatican. In both cases, I didn’t really meet the Pope. But Benedict looked over and winked at me in a very favourable way. It was his wink of approval!

-Kathleen Battle


07. July 2010 · Comments Off on MQOD · Categories: Quotes, Reviews

There also appeared to be some heat, as in hot around the collar, down in the orchestra pit. Maazel, one of the greatest conductors of our time, did not look like he was having a good time. This was especially the case during “Suor Angelica,” the last third of Puccini’s “Il Trittico,” when he could be heard stomping on the podium and (if my ears didn’t deceive me) expressing verbal annoyance with the response of the players. Significantly, Maazel did not take a bow, as custom dictates, at the end of the production; that meant the orchestra got no bow, either. I can’t say I noticed anything terribly awry in the playing, just little things that might have been smoother or more expressive, but Maazel certainly gave every impression of being displeased.

-Tim Smith


Many thanks to Sound Mind for informing me of Mahler’s birthday, and sharing one of my most favorite works (that I much prefer to listen to and prefer not to perform).

I really shouldn’t even include my own trite words with this particular blog entry. The music is sheer beauty. I think it demands silence before and after. So pause a moment. Breathe deeply, and then listen. After, perhaps a bit more silence, yes?


I am lost to the world with
which I used to waste so much time,
It has heard nothing from me for so long
that it may very well believe that I am dead!

It is of no consequence to me
Whether it thinks me dead;
I cannot deny it,
for I really am dead to the world.

I am dead to the world’s tumult,
And I rest in a quiet realm!
I live alone in my heaven,
In my love and in my song!