Somehow, astonishingly, the last time I published anything here was two weeks ago. Since that time, my orchestra had its first huge masterworks concert (The Planets, the Dvorak Cello Concerto, Short Ride in a Fast Machine), I had two amazing rehearsals with colleagues for a chamber music thingy we’re doing in November, I gave a solo recital in Chicago, I was interviewed for an in depth article, I hosted a Barret Night masterclass at Valparaiso University, I mailed more than ninety hand-made reeds, and I just today had another two hour meeting with my grant-writing partners at The Music Village for my spring chamber music series. Tomorrow I leave for Ohio University, where I will perform a DIFFERENT solo recital – CHROMA – on Monday.
Topics that occurred to me – that every evening when I went to bed I thought, Oh, I should wake up early and write this up for my blog! – included the amazing transformation of my orchestra from a bunch of rusty, summer-tired musicians to a tight, exciting group in just 4 days of rehearsals. How great it feels to turn off the multi-tasking brain and focus on my one small job in an orchestra rehearsal. The pleasures and difficulties of contemporary music in a small group. The transition back to full, active employment from a comparatively leisurely summer schedule. How I am newly impressed by people who can sound coherent in interviews, and can find a topic and stick to it, which is MUCH harder than I expected. Oh, let’s see – the skill of relaxing in performance, which I rediscovered playing the Bach Gavotte in recital, and the challenge of putting that intuitive skill into words for a group of students.
I can’t imagine why I couldn’t find the time to write any of these up. I do apologize to anyone who was waiting for MY notification of the South Bend Symphony concert or the Music That Should Have Been Written for the Oboe recital and missed these events. It continues to be my mission to bring people out to hear classical music and I HOPE that my concert previews are helpful, but somehow in the insanity of the past two weeks nothing got out of my head and onto the page.
Here and now I start up again. This is going to be an entire weekend of oboe fun – I’ll be driving to Fort Wayne Saturday night to hear the Philharmonic perform the Christopher Rouse Oboe Concerto with Liang Wang. Sunday morning I’ll make my way down to Ohio University in Athens, in time to hear the Columbus Symphony’s principal oboist, Stephen Secan, give a masterclass. That afternoon Dr. Michele Fiala will play the Mozart Oboe Concerto with the University Orchestra, and then I get to rehearse for my recital. What a treat be a part of OU’s OktOBOEfest!
I’m performing my CHROMA recital on Monday at 5:00 in the Recital Hall. I’m really looking forward to this performance, not least because I’m tweaking the program again. CHROMA started out in 2010 as an Art and Opera concert – I played multiple opera arias and featured the Silvestrini Etudes which are all based on works of Impressionist art. From there Paul and I began to add video elements and by the time we performed this program last – in April of 2012 – we had eight movements with visuals. This year, though, as I’m practicing, I’ve been loving the songs less and less, and I can’t even tell you how tired I am of Pasculli’s bravura Donizetti opera transcription which I’ve been playing forever. It’s hard just to be hard – hard on purpose – and exhausting to play. For this latest iteration I get to change it out, and I’m ecstatic.
CHROMA is now exclusively an audio and visual exploration of color, with no operatic overtones, and I get to close with the Mendelssohn transcription that I’ve been working on so hard and that was so well received in Chicago last weekend. I’m excited to present it. And from here on I swear I will keep you all posted!