Someone pointed out today that I haven’t really written about Alma Deutscher and her opera Cinderella.

Let me start with this confession: when I heard we were doing an opera by a twelve year old prodigy I thought, “How hard can it be? This will probably make my December relaxed and easy. I’ll skip Nutcracker and do this little opera called Cinderella!”

Oh how wrong I was!

But back to one possible reason I’ve not written since we began.

Maybe I’ve not written a lot because I’m having difficulty wrapping my head around these past weeks (or a bit longer, if we include the Symphony Silicon Valley concert). Working with someone who is a mere twelve years old but writes music that hits my heart is difficult to fathom and I honestly don’t know HOW to write about it.

The music is frequently lovely. It is creative. It can make us laugh and it certainly causes me to want to cry (for good reasons, mind you). And then there are moments where what it does harmonically is quite surpising.

In the finale melodies from earlier moemnts come back and fit together. Magically.

And then there is Alma the instrumentalist. She plays violin. She plays piano. And in the finale she plays … wait for it! … organ.

This is an experience I won’t ever forget. It’s quite likely a once-in-a-lifetime experience for this sixty-one year old. After all, it’s doubtful I’ll be playing too much longer. Then again, wouldn’t it be delightful to do this each December?! Or perhaps Alma will enjoy her experience enough with us she’ll write another work and we will premier it. I could live with that!

If you didn’t get to attend the opera you can see and hear it online through March 21, 2018. How about THAT?! Just go here.

Alma is, as I’ve mentioned an ancient twelve now. When she was eight she did this:

Side Note: I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention working with that wonderful Jane Glover has been fabulous! She doesn’t settle for “close enough”. She is clear and let’s us know what she wants. I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to play under her excellent direction.

… but it’s all about the wonder that is Alma Deutscher.

She really is all that they are saying, and a complete delight as well!

18. October 2017 · Comments Off on But Let’s Hear it for These Young Ladies! · Categories: Baroque, Children Making Music, Listen

… not oboes, but their recorder playing is mighty nice. I don’t know their ages, but the YouTube page says they are from the ChunCheon Seonglim Elementary School.

17. October 2017 · Comments Off on Awwww … · Categories: Children Making Music, Listen

Are the two young ones playing the little bassoons adorable or what?

Lyadov, Cui, Rimsky-Korsakov – Variations on The Children’s Theme “Tati-tati”

Victor Khotulev (flute),
Anastasiya Tabankova (oboe),
Ekaterina Voroshilova (oboe),
Nikolay Ageev (clarinet),
Sergey Strishenko (clarinet),
Anastasiya Batrakova (bassoon),
Ilya Kashtan (bassoon),
Leonid Guryev (trumpet),
Dmitry Kuznetsov (horn),
Mary Maystrenko (horn),
Yaroslav Mikheev (fagottino),
Polina Provotorova (fagottino).
Conductor – Valery Berezin.

Okay … THIS.

This video makes me smile and smile, and that is something we all can use right now, I think. What sweet music making by these young girls! (The video is from August 2016, so I now must go look for more!)

From the YouTube page:
Tomaso Albinoni Concerto for 2 oboes opus 9 no 3 in F major – First Movement – ABRSM High Achiever Concert 2016 HK

young oboe duet player – Wong Sa Wong Si
Pianist – Ms Lai Bo Ling (trio)
@DBS Hong Kong

22. March 2017 · Comments Off on If One is Good, Three Must Be Better · Categories: Children Making Music

This is one very good 12 year old musician! He certainly gets the expressivity of the music down!

(Choosing to do the Marcello on three instruments is an interesting idea and a bit of a gimmick, really. I don’t care for it for a number of reasons, but he’s fine player, to be sure.)

From the YouTube page:

Timothy Yahnov, 12, St. Petersburg. Timothy plays the oboe. He studies at the School of Music at St. Petersburg College of Music. Rimsky-Korsakov. Acts in the ensemble and as part of the Youth Symphony Orchestra, in addition engaged in piano and vocals. In the future, he plans to master the oboe d’amore, baroque oboe and oboe da Caccia. In his spare time he likes to ride a bike.

All issues of succession: https:? // list …

The official channel of the contest All-Russian competition of young talents “Blue Bird”.
The main objective of the competition – to open up new names of young artists, who in a few years will become world stars. “The Blue Bird” will help materialize the dreams of the young participants!
Every child is talented in his own way. But there are children who are already at a young age affect the surrounding rare musicality, sense of rhythm, plasticity, sharp movements.
For the first time in the history of Russian television in the performance of children in the same competition presents all the major types of contemporary performing arts: solo singing – classical, folk and pop, playing musical instruments – academic and folk choreography – classical ballet, ballroom and folk dance, circus arts and some other genres.

17. February 2017 · Comments Off on And One More … · Categories: Children Making Music, Choral, Listen, Videos

Caroline Shaw’s “So Quietly” (I’m unable to locate the text, so perhaps it’s Shaw’s own?)

Again, by the very talented Brooklyn Youth Chorus. I don’t see a conductor listed, but I’m thinking this might be Dianne Berkun Menaker, just from glancing at their site.

17. February 2017 · Comments Off on Because I like it · Categories: Children Making Music, Choral, Listen, Videos

This is the very talented and adventurous Brooklyn Youth Chorus singing Nico Myhly’s “Advice to a Young Woman”. I have yet to find the full text available, but I know it’s from The lady’s new-years gift, or, Advice to a daughter by George Saville, Marquie of Halifax (1633-1695).

Below I include any of the text I located via his writing that I can hear or see on the video. I copied it completely, although Muhly may have deleted a few words here and there.

…it must engage you to have a perpetual watch upon your eyes, and to remember that one careless glance giveth more advantage than a hundred words not enough considered; the language of the eyes being very much the most significant, and the most observed.

It is better for a woman never to dance becasue she hat no skill in it, than to do it often, because she doth it well.

13. November 2016 · Comments Off on Go Ahead … Be Amazed · Categories: Children Making Music

She’s five years old. Her name is Anke Chen. (I LOVE that smile at the end!)