If you go here you can hear (and watch) some of Martinu’s Fantasie for oboe, string quartet, piano and theremin. The oboist is Heinz Holliger (which you will know the minute you see him, of course) and the theremin is played by Carolina Eyck.
If you can’t view that high speed video, go here and you’ll see one for modem speed or just an audio sample.
After taking my little reed making lesson from Cooper, I have thought I really should go over my tutorial and make a few changes. But … well … I’m too lazy for that. So never mind. ;-)
But I did run across this flickr account that includes a whole lot of reed making photos, beginning from the very start of the adventure. Check it out!
For the first time, Dan and I have season tickets to San Francisco Opera. I bought a very small season of four operas, all taking place in October and November. We’ll be going to Wagner’s Tannhäuser, the new Philip Glass opera, Appomattox, La Rondine (a Puccini opera with which I’m completely unfamiliar) and The Rake’s Progress by Stravinsky.
After surprising Dan with the (birthday present) tickets while on our mini-vacation (well, my maxi-vacation as well, since that’s it for this year!), I was even more excited about the operas. (And I managed to surprise Dan, too. He figured I’d be getting Appomattox tickets. Hah!)
Then, just a week or so ago, we received a mailing from the opera. Not only do we get to see four operas, but they send along a few perks as well: a CD covering all the operas and some passes for a few special things, including a dress rehearsal we can attend.
I’m totally impressed! You can bet we’ll want to buy more tickets to SFOpera. The company—or is this all David Gockley?—knows how to win us over.
Of course now I’m looking at Samson and Delilah and thinking, “Hmmm. Great oboe solo in this one, and I’d love to hear the new principal oboist play it*. Double hmmm.” (I don’t know much more than that, to be honest; I know the operas I’ve played, and that’s not made the list.
*The winner of the principal position is not yet listed on the roster. I know who it is, but am I allowed to name him? Triple hmmm …?
Last night Anthony Quartuccio, the conductor of Lucia, took care of my book. Whew. It is finally nearly correct. (It’s Kalmus, so completely correct isn’t something I’ll ever write!) Still, it shouldn’t have been Tony’s responsibility; we need a librarian!
Lucia di Lammermoor isn’t much of an oboe opera, as anyone who has heard it knows. I have one nice little solo. That’s about it. The flute rules of course.
Speaking of flutes … I wore a skirt to yesterday’s rehearsal. It has a split in the front. Well, when sitting down I was just a bit uncomfortable. Too much leg showing for yours truly. So I was fidgeting and fussing with it. The flutists both said they liked the skirt and that it was sexy.
THAT was the problem.
I’m an oboe player. Duh. So I took the skirt twisted it around, and put the slit on the side.
Without a single stitch sewn I managed to turn an FluteSkirt™ into an OboeSkirt™! ;-)
Oh … and to whoever was searching on “English horn Lucia Lammermoor” … nope. No EH at all in this one.
I hope that if we ever sell this place and buy another we don’t get a lovely little article about it at some site, with an arrow pointing directly at our new place. (I’m guessing this is some sort of realtor site?)
Nothing is private anymore though. Right?
I especially wouldn’t want my photo there. But that’s just about me and photos. Of me, that is.
After yesterday I was hoping today would be a great deal clearer when it came to our parts. I always carry sticky notes with me to rehearsals and concerts; they are great to quickly attach to pages with problems. Yesterday, when we had completed the OSJ rehearsal of Lucia di Lammermoor there were a number of sticky notes, pointing out where I needed clarification about articulation.
Today my part was put on the stand somewhat close to rehearsal time. “Great,” I thought, “it’s been fixed!”
But not all of it.
I guess whoever was marking the part thought by simply writing “yes” on the sticky notes I would know what to slur. And at one point, where I have a whole note A repeated measure after measure he wrote, “Tie”.
Sure. Okay. But for how long? Do I articulate at all? And where do the slurs begin and end (as I clearly asked on the front of the book)?
As for everyone else’s books? It appeared they hadn’t even been touched. I guess mine only got attention because of all my obnoxious sticky notes.
Sometimes I get pretty darn angry. But of course I hold it in for the most part. And I never name names.
But … to whoever decided to half-mark my part … what would you like? Shall I give the music half the effort as you did? :-(
Okay. Rant over.
So if Dan (my husband) ever writes a piece of music that includes oboe, at least I know he can demand I get to play the gig. Or at least Vaclav Havel feels that his play should include his wife as a lead.
I dunno. Does a composer, writer, or other kind of “creator” get to have a say in things once he or she has released a work to a director or conductor? I wonder.
Anyone out there have an opinion on this?
Anyone out there …?
If you watch and hear this do you thinking “classical music”?
And yet the title says “Classical Music and Home Improvement”.
But then you read further and it also says “On weekends, grand piano players perform between the escalators at the 2-year-old St. Paul Menards – not a typical feature at home improvement stores.”
Heh. Are there specific “grand piano players” and then mere “piano players”.
(I prefer pianist myself, but maybe some of you grand piano and piano and even keyboard players can tell me what’s best.)
I honestly don’t know the answer to this. But then I can’t imagine Iran would allow a US orchestra to play so i doubt I’ll have to face this problem.
First a conductor sues some players, and now a Seattle Symphony Orchestra violinist sues his employer.
The fun never ends in this business. I do, however, doubt the subject header to this post is true.
We oboists worry about reeds. A lot. But I had never thought about guitarists, and the problem with fingernails. Sure, I know strings can break. But nails? Just hadn’t ever entered my mind.
I wonder if people with weak nails that have permanent splits running down them simply can’t play guitar. (Yeah, I’m talking about me.) Or I guess we’d have to do fake nails. I don’t do nails. Period. I’m lazy that way.
Anyway, just a little tidbit about a different instrument.
I do love guitar, and particularly (no surprise here) Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez, which I’ve played it at least three times. Yeah, playing the wonderful English horn part. Great stuff!
I was right when I fretted over the Lucia music. There were so many mistakes we wasted far too much time on incorrect markings. Sigh.
I hate wasting time.
I really wish OSJ would consider hiring a real music librarian. Someone who knows that when you purchase Kalmus parts there’s a LOT of correcting to do.
One musical topic I didn’t tackle along the way is the popular “Everything Was Better Once” story, which I have read elsewhere in many variations, almost all of them written in a tone of elegiac glee. Where Have All the Tenors Gone? Why Is There No New Beethoven? Record Companies Are Dying! Orchestras Are Dying! Audiences for Classical Music Are Graying! They’re Shrinking! They’re Dying, Too!
Some of this is true: Many audience members are graying, some of them are shrinking a bit and all of them eventually will die. The same could be said of Fantasy Baseball fans and hedge-fund billionaires, but we don’t obsessively fret over their demise. I’ve never been sure why the appetite for apocalyptic stories about classical music seems to be unquenchable. Maybe it’s that in populist America, we take pleasure in the thought that democratic culture can expunge an ancient tradition associated with the aristocratic.
-Justin Davidson (RTWT)
I certainly enjoyed what Mr. Davidson has to say. You might too.
… well, unless it’s in the score.
I really hate the whole light show thing. It seems so … I dunno … contrived? Or like a big production.
I guess I should lighten up. After all, opera requires lighting. Same with ballet. But for a symphony or chamber concert I just want the music to speak for itself. I feel as if the lighting is supposed to be telling me something. And I don’t think the composers want that. Or maybe they do?
As somebody who grew up playing in bands as well as playing classical music, I’ve always railed against the rather boring way in which classical music is presented,” Talbot says. “I had a long time to think about this when I played a concert of Mozart’s Idomineo once and my heart almost stopped from boredom and I nearly sank into a coma. I just thought, there’s got to be a way that you can present music in the concert hall in a way that can engage on something other than just a sonic level.
“It’s the most obvious thing in the world from playing in bands that people pay their money and expect some kind of light show and dialogue to go on between the audience and performers, and that it will be some kind of event that’ll take them out of their everyday lives, does something with their heads and takes them out the other side.
What do the composers who read this blog think? Would you mind if a light show was added to your work? Does it matter?