Upcoming Concert, and Confession

The Symphony season is finally starting up again! With the shrinking of all of my little orchestras’ little contracts, this is an unprecedentedly late start – but at least we’re off.

Friday night’s concert with the Northwest Indiana Symphony features a collection of opera arias and choruses on the first half and concludes with Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite. Click HERE for more information.

I always enjoy playing opera and and will be particularly interested this time around as I am in the early stage of gathering material for my spring recital, “Art and Opera”. If I hear something that will suit the oboe I can snag it, and if not I can still look for inspiration from the soloists.

The Firebird is one of the few repertoire pieces that has actually gotten harder for me since high school. I played it in youth orchestra, and at the National High School Honors Orchestra in New Orleans. (I know, big whoop. But it felt like a huge deal at the time. Watch out or I’ll start bragging about my SAT scores…) At the time, I was blown away by the difficult technical material in the “Variation of the Firebird” and the “Infernal Dance”. And right now all the flute and clarinet players in the world are rolling their eyes, since their parts are actually really really difficult and mine is just hard for a high school oboist. But this is my whole point.

The technical material for oboe in this piece is no longer a problem. But the slow solos get scarier every time I encounter this work. The intervals are easy and any of my 9th graders could play them, but for some reason the acoustical environment leaves me feeling terribly exposed and then I clench down on the reed and then the oboe doesn’t go. I have played plenty of harder pieces with oboe solos that actually are significant, and I certainly do not fear the spotlight, but Firebird is just unnervingly delicate in my mind. But it is wonderful. I love it. I am looking forward to it. Please come.

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