There are things I wish I could write about. But I can’t. Things I’d grumble about. But it’s not possible. Things I’d tell you, but, well, it “wouldn’t be prudent.”
I suppose I should have made this blog anonymous. Then you all would be getting an earful right now.
But on to other things …
I had a symphony concert tonight. It began at 8:00. I was home by 8:45. Yes, there are nights like these, although not very often. I actually don’t care for them all that much (although no one heard me complain as I walked in my front door); I don’t feel very connected to the orchestra when I’m there and gone so quickly.
Normally I play second oboe in the symphony. This year I’ve been playing principal on every other set (which gave me the opportunity to play, along with other works, Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5, the Corigliano Chaconne for Violin and Orchestra from The Red Violin, Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4 and (most importantly, to me, anyway) Stravinsky’s Song of the Nightingale). It’s been a great opportunity for me, and I’m very grateful to Pam for allowing me these sets.
But this week I opted for English horn. Normally I like to play the EH chair because we often get such fabulous solos. But not this week. I’m guessing, in fact, that most of the audience was wondering if that woman sitting there with the funny looking oboe even played one note! (I did, and I even had 8 measures that might be considered a soli, with flute, if anyone was paying close attention.) We were playing Sullivan’s Pineapple Poll, a piece I would suggest would be more appropriate for a Pops concert, but maybe that’s the snob in me speaking. We’ll see what the reviewers say!
Anyway, I chose it this week just to keep my EH brain in gear. It’s not the same as playing oboe. Besides, I do love my EH! I’m hoping that some year we do the Ravel Piano Concerto again. I miss that solo.
In our street, we have friends with lots in common. We discuss new books, films, popular culture, politics – everything except serious music. That shuts everyone up. I don’t think they even know what I do.
-John Adams (American composer)
(I found this quote here.) You might want to scan the article while you’re at it.)
Yes, I’m supposed to get ready to teach … give me a minute, would ya?
Because Drew drew (hah!) my attention to Jeff Tsai’s site, I’m reading more of it. There’s one post where he talks about his new iPod. In that entry he writes:
Obviously, any concert/playlist with unrecorded music is incomplete (my playlist for the 1.7.05 New Jersey Symphony concert only has one song on it when four were performed). These playlists help me not only build my collection of music (easily and conveniently) but they also help me expand my knowledge of repertoire.
My students will read this and know exactly what my gripe is going to be.
It’s that darn word “song”. Unless Tsai is speaking of a song, I think he really means “work” or “piece”. But is this just the evolution of language? Will I have to relax on this one? Am I being a snob? Am I alienating everyone in the world? Is it time to jump off this dusty planet?
I remember when Penderecki was here, and he talked at my husband’s college. Someone asked him where he got his ideas for his songs and Penderecki nearly bit the poor student’s head off. It obviously bugged him as much as it bugs me. Probably even more.
Sidebar: I love my iPod too. But getting classical works from the iTunes store can be a problem: if a movement is split into sections, or if two movements should actually not have a break, you’ll have a break between them, no matter. When you put your own CDs on, you can choose to delete those breaks … but only if you remember before you transfer them to iTunes. This means you have to be attentive every time you add an opera, a Mahler symphony … etc., etc.. I’ve written to Apple about this, but so far I haven’t seen that they’ve changed the store to allow “join CD tracks”, as they allow with your own music. (Guess I should check again — maybe they’ve heard me by now?)
And of course on the iPod and on iTunes they call every track a “song”.
Sorry … this ramble was as long, or longer, than the earlier one. ;-)
Dreq McManus wrote some very encouraging words about my post on what I do. Thank you Drew; the voices of insecurity were very loud and reading your post helps keep those guys quiet. At least for a while.
He also wrote about musicians not really understanding manager’s duties and vice versa. This isn’t quite the case with me; there was a time when I worked in the San Jose Symphony (RIP) box office and I was also symphony librarian for a good amount of time. So I actually did see the manager (and everyone else there) work, and understood their long hours and, in most cases, their dedication to the organization. (We had one woman who worked there who didn’t like symphony music at all. She never came to a concert. She was the one who was to romance folks into giving us money. I couldn’t figure out how or why she wanted to do that for music she didn’t even like!) But anyway, maybe I’ll write on my experiences on “the other side” some time soon. We’ll see.
terminaldegree wrote a post about “musical hangovers” … yes, I experience those two. It’s especially bad if I’m doing a long run of something that requires so much of my heart. When the run is over, I’m a wreck, and those particular hangovers last very long unless I’m moving directly into something new that is equally fulfilling.
And now it’s time to get myself up and ready to teach.
See, here’s another thing; I work a good number of days. Let’s see … mostly I work every day of the week when I have rehearsals, performances and teaching on the calendar (which is most of my weeks, although March is looking a bit sad because there’s a hole in my performance schedule.) I tried to leave Mondays free, but that just didn’t work this quarter. Maybe that’s why it doesn’t appear to be full time work … many of us have our work spread out like that.