OES- Thanks

To the January 2007 incarnation of the Oregon East Symphony-    Just a very quick shout out to everyone who played in the last OES concert, from the lifers to the new faces….    It was a tough week, a tough schedule, a tough program, lousy weather, cold building, over-worked staff, over-worked musicians, bad piano. Nobody […]

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Spot the conductor with sh*t-eating grin

After months of worry, possible repertoire changes, concern about personnel and budgets, travel problems, back problems, general irritability….. when Ken is flipping through his score 20 minutes before the first rehearsal and gradually, all around him, players are warming up practicing bits of Das Lied von der Erde….  PS- I think it will be good.  PPS- […]

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Duty of care

Five years ago, I would never have guessed he would be the one. He was known in the orchestra for his acerbic wit and penchant for practicing Paganini. He knew more about violins than anyone else in the band. He didn’t seem to exude job satisfaction, but he had that battle-tested tough-guy swagger that so […]

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Beethoven 6- wilder than Beethoven 5!

To those of you waiting anxiously for the next Kindertotenlieder piece, I’m sorry for the delay. I had a long trans-Atlantic this week en route to the current Oregon East Symphony concert, and I’m trying to whip my cello playing back into shape for a concert on Sunday, and those Mahler blogs are quite time […]

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KTL2- So what do all those notes really mean?

Music, even vocal music, is ultimately an abstract art form. Musical ideas, even those attached to words, are inherently abstract. Nevertheless, we all find ourselves searching for the meaning of musical ideas. Wagner went so far as to assign meanings to themes through his technique of Leitmotif. He even expected his audiences to know who […]

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KTL 2- I can feel it in air tonight

There are some pieces of music which are widely misunderstood because they’re too popular. I had a “teacher” in grad school who taught the History of Opera course who thought Puccini was an idiot because he was popular, and that we should all be listening to Pfitzner every day. Nothing against Pfitzner, but Puccini was […]

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