(I’d credit whoever brought this to my attention but I’m sorry to say I can’t even remember how I landed at this YouTube video! If the responsible person reads this blog please let take credit by leaving a comment. Thanks!)
The diverse audience seemed satisfied. Only Armando, a man with white hair, made grimaces when people applauded between an allegro and an andante in the second symphony. “You’re not supposed to applaud yet,” he grumbled while covering his head in his hands.
And this, friends, was in Havana!
Here’s the thing: I understand both sides. The old school folks are cringing because of the applause. They really do things like grumble stare harshly at offenders. The newbies put their noses in the air and cry “snobbism” regarding the applause issue. The newbies (not all, mind you, but some) want to text and clap and do what they want when they want. I find them equally disturbing. Or even more so since many tend toward ageism as well. I’m not sure exactly WHAT I really want. I’m not sure what the answer is. But I get annoyed with both groups.
I read the above quote here. In the same article I read this:
Prior to that, the orchestra had played Symphony No. 34 in D minor K. 338 and the Concert for English Horn and Orchestra K. 417, interpreted by soloist Debbie Velez (English horn), both by Mozart.
I’m guessing this is a French horn work. Mozart mentions English horn in his letters, but as far as writing for it, well … there’s the Adagio, K Anh. 94 (580a), but I have never heard if that was truly for English horn.
Sometimes, when listening to orchestral music, I find myself waiting for an English horn solo.
I read it here, in an article about Julliard and young composers. Now I want to hear some of their music!
The quote made me laugh. But not because it was ridiculous or anything. Only because i wanted to reply, “Yep, that’s usually what the English horn player is doing too! Just waiting. And waiting. For the solo.”
(I wish I could find a video of Mr. Smirnov’s English horn piece. So far I’ve not found anything, and I can’t tell if the other pieces I’ve found are by this Smirnov. Perhaps, if he reads this, he can share some of his music with us!)
English horn players do a lot of sitting around before some whopping big solo. I realize that the other musicians are working incredibly hard while we sit (some have been known to talk to me about my earning too much for what I do), but what the English horn player has to do is deal with the huge fear factor of TheLongWait™.
I was recently listening to Renee Fleming, Susan Graham and Thomas Hampson talking. They all know it’s the wait that’s the worst! Once you’re up there and doing it, well, then you’re just in it and dealing. But the waiting … there isn’t anything like that! We all have to deal with that. It’s just that the English hornist frequently has to do it not only the entire day of a performance, but during the performance as well! It’s an interesting life.