Our first rehearsal is today. I’m anxious … and a bit nervous, as this is an entirely new opera to all of us (to most everyone, really, since it’s only been done a couple of times). There’s a lengthy article in the Merc. You might want to check it out!
Carlson was interested, though the work took time. In 2000, he visited St. Petersburg and heard a men’s chorus performing the Czar’s Hymn, used by Tchaikovsky in the 1812 Overture. Carlson employs it as a “fate motif” in “Anna.” He also heard the bells of Kazan Cathedral: “It’s next door to the train station where Anna was supposed to have killed herself,” he says, “and I thought, ‘Wow, I’m putting that in.’ I specified three tubular bells with the ends sawn off to create quarter tones to simulate the sounds of the cathedral.”
Carlson describes the opera as entirely tonal (though without key signatures) and “pretty” — while drawing on modern compositional techniques, including serialism. Some people can’t hear a melody anywhere in it, he jokes, while others find it so emotional and melodic that it’s “anachronistic.”
Together with the flute, oboe, English horn, clarinet, and contrabassoon, it covers the position of the bass and tenor instrument of the orchestra.
Maybe it’s just me, but the way I’m reading this it seems as if all the instruments are covering “the position of the bass and tenor instrument of the orchestra”. But I have been known to read this incorrectly, so there’s that ….
And if they are including English horn and contrabassoon, why aren’t they including piccolo and bass clarinet (and other clarinets, for that matter!).
I read it online. I’ll leave out a link; don’t want to be embarrassing anyone.
I haven’t blogged about the DSO … or if I have it’s been a while back … but they are dealing with some major problems. Yesterday I read this:
Management has presented two proposals to cover the next three years. Proposal A called for a cut in base salary of about 28 percent for the first year (from $104,650 to $74,880), according to reports in The Detroit News, with modest increases for the second and third, along with other concessions. Proposal B called for a 33 percent cut in the first year for current players (to $70,200) and a base starting salary of $63,000 for new members. The players have made a counterproposal offering a 22 percent cut in the first year (to $82,000) but with larger increases in the second and third.
No further talks are scheduled. “We are disappointed with this outcome and are considering next steps,” the orchestra said in a statement, while noting that “as a matter of law, no action can be taken until Sept. 24.”
The players, in a news release on their Web site, amplified slightly: “As a result of management’s failure to file notices required by the National Labor Relations Act, the D.S.O. will now be required to continue the terms and conditions of the expired contract at least until Sept. 23.”
It’s good to have someone around who can take a picture of me that doesn’t make me look too huge. Whew! Here’s proof that I was checking out all those double reeds at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (thanks, Dan!):
He sent me a ton of (huge) files for better photos, since he has a camera that does a bit better job than my little one or my iPhone. But for now I just wanted to put this up. Because. (I’m also hoping he’ll get more pictures from the Cosi event so I can post some of those as well.)
And now I’m hitting the hay … Dan managed to catch a cold while we were in New York. I was smart. I waited until yesterday. But it sure is wiping me out now. With