28. July 2019 · Comments Off on Sunday Evening Music · Categories: Sunday Evening Music · Tags: , , ,

William Harris: Bring us, O Lord God
Trinity College Choir; Stephen Layton, Conductor

28. July 2019 · Comments Off on Sunday Morning Music · Categories: Sunday Morning Music · Tags: , ,

Mendelssohn: Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir, Op. 23 No. 1
Collegium Vocale Seoul; Kim Sunah, Conductor

From Psalm 130:
Out of the depths I have cried to thee, O Lord:
Lord, hear my voice. Let thy ears be attentive to the voice of my supplication.
If thou, O Lord, wilt mark iniquities: Lord, who shall stand it.
For with thee there is merciful forgiveness:
and by reason of thy law, I have waited for thee, O Lord.
My soul hath relied on his word:
my soul hath hoped in the Lord.
From the morning watch even until night,
let Israel hope in the Lord.
Because with the Lord there is mercy:
and with him plentiful redemption.
And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.

27. July 2019 · 2 comments · Categories: Ramble

MANY years ago a university student I was teaching — one who wasn’t practicing, failed her scales, and really didn’t like me — wrote to another oboe instructor in our area during spring break. She asked him if he would be able to teach her. She told him it could even be on weekends, and she could find a room at the university that he could use. She did this without my knowledge.

Sort of.

His response to her email was to suggest she contact the oboe instructor on campus, and named me.

He also Cc’d me on the email!

No, he didn’t know she was going behind my back. He didn’t deliberately cause her harm. But it sure DID cause a problem. I wrote to her and asked if there was an issue. She never returned my email, and she never took lessons again.

A few years later she would up at the other university where I was teaching! She pretended not to know me. She wasn’t studying oboe at that point, as she’d moved on to conducting. But one day she emailed me to see if I could play for the orchestra and I responded by asking why she didn’t just play in it herself. I suspect she somehow thought I’d forget who she was!

The music world is small. What we say and do, even when we think it is in secret, usually ends up getting known. Silly behavior done out of anger may come back to harm us. Vindictive behavior nearly always will, or so it seems to me. I wish more younger musicians would realize that. They do and say things that cause them great harm. I witnessed this recently and I can only shake my head.

And yes, older musicians do this stuff too. But they should know better so I roll my eyes rather than shake my head.

Careers can end quickly. It may be frustrating to have to hold one’s tongue (or fingers if one is using social media and writing things they shouldn’t). But it has to be done if you want to navigate safely through our tricky business.

Think, dear musicians. Think!

27. July 2019 · Comments Off on Acknowledge the Listeners! · Categories: Ramble

I’m currently watching a wonderful video of Piazzolla’s Four Seasons by a trio. I won’t name them and I won’t paste the video here, but honestly, I’m enjoying it tremendously.

BUT (You knew it was coming, right? That’s why I won’t post the video here: I don’t want to berate the group in such a public way.) they finished one season with flair and the audience really applauded. Clearly they loved it.

The trio didn’t even LOOK at the audience. Not even a smidge of acknowledgement. Perhaps they didn’t want the audience to applaud until they were finished with all the seasons, but the applause made sense and was well deserved. I think not acknowledging the audience dismisses this group of people who have paid money and come to enjoy and be entertained. Without them, after all, the trio would be playing only to themselves.

Oh. Wait. That’s what it looks like they are doing!

26. July 2019 · Comments Off on Back With My Babies · Categories: Ramble

My main oboe and my English horn had been with Mark Chudnow for a while, as they were leaking horribly and I knew other work needed to be done as well. I went to pick them up a few days ago and, ah!, what a difference.

Our instruments can go out of adjustment in subtle ways sometimes, making me think, instead, that it’s either my reeds or me causing problems. EVERY time I take them to Mark I’m reminded of how important upkeep is! I’m grateful to have him close enough that I can drive to and fro (although I hate that drive), so no shipping is involved: I had once decided shipping would be a time saver and while that’s true it also means things might go out of adjustment due to the jostling in shipping.

Next up for me, beginning week after next, is a four-week long run of the musical Wicked. This summer has been void of work aside from teaching the students who have stayed in the area (most do travel), so I’m extremely relieved to get back to work … and back to some income!

Ah, the musician’s life: we don’t get vacation pay and if we have no work we get no checks.

I barely remember playing Wicked, which I did for a three-week run back in 2014. I’m sure it’ll all come back the minute we start playing it, but I look at the music and think, “Really?! I played this before?!” I’ve listened to the recording, though, and watched the conductor video we are provided, and of course I DO recognize the music. So I have no doubt it’ll be back in my fingers in no time.

Now to line up reeds: playing for four weeks, eight shows a week, can be a reed eater. In addition, I overlap Wicked with Opera San José’s Die Fledermaus.

Let the work begin!

21. July 2019 · Comments Off on Sunday Evening Music · Categories: Sunday Evening Music

Bach: So gehst du non BWV 500
Netherlands Bach Society: Charles Daniels, tenor; Mieneke van der Velden, viola da gamba; Fred Jacobs, theorbo; Menno van Delft, organ

21. July 2019 · Comments Off on Sunday Morning Music · Categories: Sunday Morning Music · Tags: , ,

Thomas Tallis: A New Commandment
Georgia Boy Choir; David R. White, Artistic Director and Conductor

14. July 2019 · Comments Off on Sunday Evening Music · Categories: Sunday Evening Music

Paul Meleor: The Beatitudes
Sofia Vokalensemble; Susan Radif, Soloist

14. July 2019 · 2 comments · Categories: Losses

Just yesterday I was looking up Robert Orth because I ran across this video of him singing Heggie’s “Grow Old Along With Me” and today I read that he has died. I know nothing more than that at this point. But what a sad loss.

Robert performed “A Water Bird Talk” by Dominick Argento with San Jose Chamber Orchestra some years back and it was wonderful. I also heard him with San Francisco Opera, in Moby Dick.

When I had looked him up I ran across his very hysterical bio that he has somewhat hidden on his site. It’s a fun and entertaining read!

Gabriel Fauré: Pie Jesu