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Showing posts from February, 2017

Mozart Preparation

I'm working on Mozart this month.

On March 24, I'll be playing the Mozart Oboe Concerto with the Northwest Indiana Symphony.  It's a piece I've performed many times, but it never gets easy. Working on it in my room was feeling more like a chore than a pleasure - all those scales!  All that busywork!

Last week I went in for a lesson with a colleague, which was intensely inspiring, and exactly what I needed. It was a stand-out moment - I've known the Mozart for a long time, but I've been out of the habit of thinking of it as a big deal.  I started at the beginning and immediately she stopped me and demanded MORE.  More energy, more quality, more sparkle, more PLAYING.  We spent two hours working through the entire piece and I was glowing with effort and joy the whole time.  THIS is what working on a concerto is supposed to feel like.

The soloist's job is to be the hero.  To bring the appropriate energy to the piece of music, to set the tone for the orchestra…

CD Release Concert!

My studio has turned into a black hole for sheet music.  Two weeks ago I lost - completely lost - an envelope of music that I'd been sent to prepare for a gig.  Fortunately, that envelope was full of photocopies, that music was public domain, and I was easily able to print it off from the internet, learn my part, and then play from the orchestra's originals when I showed up to work - but this was unprofessional and unlike me.

Then, today, I searched through three large stacks of material for my Gershwin and Debussy arrangements.  I have another CD Release Recital this weekend and I thought I'd brush them up, you know? My focus had been on the solo Bach pieces as I performed them last Monday for a South Bend Symphony press event, and somehow the other works went entirely missing.  Fortunately, they are MY arrangements, and I have plenty of copies and could even have just printed them off from the computer again - but still.

What's the next thing to go?

Possibly my br…

Upcoming Concert

Northwest Indiana Symphony is performing tonight out in Schererville.  I'm enjoying this concert quite a lot.

Dvorak's 8th Symphony is a classic of the repertoire.  Like everyone else, I've been playing it since I was in youth orchestra, and its not a work I usually get excited about.  But there's something really pleasant, sometimes, about playing a piece that is uncomplicatedly, unironically lovely, and well written for the instruments, and full of catchy tunes.  It surprised me how much I enjoyed the first rehearsal on it.  And the second. In general I prefer a darker work, with edge and grit, to challenge my ear and my technique - but this is a nice piece and it's nice to just play something nice.

My favorite part of the concert, though, is the concerto.  Manuel De Falla's Nights in the Gardens of Spain is a terrific piece that I did not know before.  It's impressionistic, rich, lush, delicate, danceable, and just a real joy to play.  Our soloist, Yan…