IDRS Day Four: Impressions
This was the best day of performances by far. I heard nothing but excellent oboe playing, and the standout was the Berlin Philharmonic’s Christoph Hartmann (ohmygodohmygodohmygod). He played a program called “Virtuosity” which included about a thousand notes by Lalliet, Skalkottas, and Pasculli, and ended with the most beautifully communicated Poulenc Trio I’ve ever heard. He was spectacular in his smoothness, and in the clarity of his phrasing and intentions, and the control he had over the oboe, and the effortlessness of his fingers. And the thing that stood out to me so much – was that the concert wasn’t perfect.
I heard low notes that didn’t quite speak, and not-quite-pure notes here and there – but I DO NOT IN ANY WAY say this to run him down. No, the magic was that we believed every musical thing he said, and the tiny misses didn’t detract from that at all. In the Poulenc, he was just too busy being completely and totally awesome to bother to notice the exact accidentals. It actually made the piece a little more amazing, even. More unique.
And this is exactly the point, and where I want to take my own work. I’d like the technique to be perfect, sure- but mostly I want to be in that place where the whole picture is so compelling that a flaw here and there is actually the best part. Where the monster that is the oboe is so much under control that we love to hear it fight a little – just so we can tell that it’s hard.
There is another whole day of IDRS tomorrow, but I am done. I’ve been away from Zoe too long, and it’s just too much oboe, even for me. I’m driving home tonight, to be there all day tomorrow, and I have no regrets about my choice. Today was spectacular, and I’ve learned a ton from the event as a whole. Now I just need the time to assimilate and work on what I have. Oh, and my pocketbook can not afford one more sheet music purchase, so it’s extra good that I am escaping now.
What a week!