I know there are more CAM stories out there … I’ll keep looking. You keep writing!
I read here that the NY Phil is including estimated timings of the works in their program notes now. I’m trying to understand why they want to do this. I’m sure they have a reason.
I remember when Paul Hertelendy used to review the San Jose Symphony (RIP) and would often inform us of just how long a work was, and whether this was typical of that work. I never understood why that mattered; works can vary depending upon conductor, soloist and orchestra. That’s the way it is. I like hearing works at varying tempi … it can cause me to hear new things, and/or to listen differently. Of course there are times when the tempo must be commented on; sometimes a conductor chooses poorly. I do understand the need to remark on that. I’m not saying that tempi don’t matter!
Anyway, we musicians can be a bit annoying about time, too. I’ll confess that right here. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a member of the orchestra turn around to look at our large clock, checking to see how many more minutes until break or the end of the rehearsal. (During symphony rehearsals there is usually a large clock placed somewhere so that the conductor can see it.) We look more frequently when we have a conductor we don’t care for. (We had one of those this year. He was patronizing. He was annoying. And he wasn’t very good. The review came out and basically implied that we finally found a conductor who could get us to play well. Go figure.)
Anyway, I just wonder about why the timing is so important. Maybe so the audience knows how long they have to wait until they can get to the bathroom? Or get a beer.
The San Jose Merc has an article on classical* music blogging today. I see some of the blogs I frequent mentioned. Check it out.
Oh … and while the article says most blogs started about a year ago, mine is a bit older than that if you begin with my original site. (I’m keeping the blogs up at that site, so I can occasionally go back and see what silly things I wrote.) My first post was on January 17, 2003.
*I still wonder about this term. I’m still stuck thinking of a particular era of music when I type that. I suspect I’m one of the few with that problem though. Comments?
I read this article about pianist Joanne MacGregor. She isn’t afraid to program unusual combinations of works. She isn’t stuck with one genre. And is sounds to me as if … well … it’s fun.
Not that what I do isn’t fun! I have the best job ever. Especially since I move from opera to symphony to musical theater* to sometimes a dash of chamber music (with the occasional punishment of ballet** thrown in).
But I’m realizing how old fashioned my notion of programing is. (So often it’s Overture-Concerto-Symphony, and we have to worry about the keys of each work and how it all works together.) And it’s time to change. I wasn’t happy with a bit ‘o programming I read about recently and now, looking it over again, I realize that I complained because it wasn’t the typical old thing! My husband suggests we need to move out of the Romantic era of programming.
Not that the programming shouldn’t make sense. I’m not saying we should serve cake with hot dogs cooked in, served on a bed of cole slaw. I do think there has to be something that makes the listener (finally – maybe even a day or so later) say “Ah. I see how that works now!” Hmmm. I like my movies to stick with me and cause me to think for days about them … and many that I didn’t quite get at first look-see become my favorites as time passes … so maybe concerts could become similar to that. I wonder.
So maybe I’m changing my tune.
The article I have linked to (above) ends with these words from MacGregor:
“Musicians do want to break out of these constraints,” she said. “It’s slightly boring to just play the same cycle of pieces over and over again.”
*I will write about enjoyment of musical theater at some point. My colleagues tend to think musicals are beneath them. I like playing them. Call me odd.
**Ballet. Sigh. Another post for another time. Not all of it is bad. Honest.
Or, if you are some sort of genius you can click on either of the links above.
But if you were some sort of genius would you be reading an oboe blog?
Hmmm. Food for thought.
I received an alert to this article from Paul Howe of New Jersey. Thanks Paul!
The soloist, Diana Doherty, says this:
If I didn’t have to dance, maybe I could play well. If I didn’t have to play, maybe I could dance well. I’m stuck between the two.
I don’t have her problem. I could never dance well, no matter what!