22. May 2013 · Comments Off on How the Oboist’s Art is Like a Bad Marriage · Categories: Listen, Read!

Although many musicians won’t admit it, there are conversations that go on between an instrumentalist and their instrument. Making all that beautiful music together requires the cooperation of both parties and there is always a subtle negotiation that goes on between them. For some instruments, these conversations are fairly straight-forward. For example, violinists have conversations that go like this:

VIOLINIST: I’d like to practice my orchestral part.
VIOLIN: Sounds good. Which page should we start on?
VIOLIN: Ready whenever you are, pal.

There are also instruments whose capabilities are so great that they start making suggestions:

PIANIST: I’d like to practice some Chopin.
PIANO: Wonderful! Etude or Nocturne?
PIANIST: Nocturne.
PIANO: You know, we could also play Liszt or Brahms or Bach or Mozart or Tchaikovsky.
PIANIST: Let’s stick with Chopin
PIANO: Right, Chopin it is. Good call. How about some Schumann later?

And then there are those instruments that are just plain difficult. Before I moved to New York, I was a professional oboist. In many ways, an oboe player and their oboe are like a bad marriage. You put on a good face at parties and always appear to be in love when in public, but behind the scenes there is constant bickering and non-stop drama.

AARON: Shall we practice?
OBOE: Sorry, not now.
AARON: What? Why not?
OBOE: I don’t feel like it. Besides, it’s raining.

and listen …

Many thanks to Pam Hakl for this link, as well as the Cleveland at the Bar link. 🙂

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