Zappa invents the internet

Truly, the prophet is not recognized in his own land. Re-reading this, I’m amazed at how much his world view (and his take on the recording industry) has stayed with me over twenty-plus years since I first became a listener. Re-reading the book, it’s quite depressing just how little American culture has moved forward in […]

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Wand on Bruckner 9

From Gunter Wand’s program note on Bruckner 9-  “The greater brusqueness of the Ninth Symphony’s sound world, when compared with that of its predecessors, sometimes creates the impression of a conscious aloofness and results from a greater rigour in the polyphonic part-writing, an aspect of the work that puzzles some listeners on their first encounter with […]

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Bits of wisdom

“In order to play a pizzicato perfectly together with the entire string section, everyone else must wait until they’ve heard the bass section’s pizz begin to sound, and then play theirs.”  Walter Weller  PS- Yes, it works    KW

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That first downbeat

I often get asked “what is the weirdest thing about being a conductor?” Of course, it does beg the other question- “why does anything have to be weird about being a conductor?” But, hey, who are we kidding? So… Here’s an attempt to describe at least one aspect of my job that I still find […]

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Gigclips

The life of the gigging musician can be pretty tough. Weddings, parties, receptions, corporate events, muddy field concerts…. All can involve many hours of sight-reading a wide variety of arrangements with new colleagues in adverse conditions. Cramped quarters, dark corners, and, worst of all, outside. Wind is not the musician’s friend! I doubt there is […]

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Managing Change

I came across this recent post from Charles Noble a few days ago discussing some challenges currently being faced by the Oregon Symphony. I would not presume to comment directly on the Oregon Symphony, but Charles’ post did get me thinking about general principles of managing change in an orchestra. Of course, readers are more […]

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The red light is still on….

Check out this interesting piece from Scott Spiegelberg on the state of the classical recording industry. Scott wisely points out that one reason we’re seeing fewer new artists at the major label is that classical recordings were always subsidized from somewhere, and it is that subsidy that has become harder to come by.  More or […]

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Concert Review- Surrey Mozart Players

From the Surrey Advertiser, December 1, 2006      Surrey Mozart Players/Kenneth Woods      The small but acoustically favourable Menuhin Hall in Stoke d’Abernon resounded to the music of Mozart and Haydn, as the Surrey Mozart Players under the direction of Kenneth Woods presented another of their enterprising concerts.  The opening item was adventurous- an […]

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Score Questioning- the quest for understanding

In the last installment of this series, I tried to look at some of the questions that leading musicians of the past may have been asking when they were performing in ways that we might now find foreign. We can’t go back to that old, Furtwanglerian, manner of performance because we’ve found lots of new […]

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