Redesigned Oboe

I think this would be a GREAT idea for all makers of Oboes to do.
“For the last two years I have been working with the oboe maker Howarth of London on the redesign of some of the key-work of the oboe. The aim has been to develop an oboe which is specifically designed for the performance of contemporary repertoire. The photos here and the description below offers an overview of the new instrument.”

Philadelphia Orchestra Goes Bankrupt

Seems that the Philadelphia Orchestra, the same orchestra under the baton of Stokowski recorded the soundtrack to Fantasia 70 years ago, is filing for Chapter 11 and is going to reorganize.

Well, it is sad, but what is even more sad is that people don’t seem to care. Gas prices are on the rise thanks to yet another military action (which seems to be quagmiring), unemployment is still high, and we are facing proposed tax hikes. So, the same people who might have given some money to keep the Orchestra alive are now going to have to give the money to the government for all the politicians to decide on what to use it for.

It is great to live in America……this wasn’t the change I voted for.

Orchestras Play TOO Perfectly?

Via the Guardian
“But there’s something missing in our orchestral culture, at least according to many musicians based in Europe: a vital spark of intensity and engagement. British orchestras have an unimpeach-able reputation for speed and accuracy. Talking to Simon Rattle ahead of his London residency with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, he told me that one of the principal players in Berlin had a stint as a section leader at one of London’s orchestras. He was amazed at the brilliance of the British musicians in the first rehearsal of a complex piece by Bartók.”

Interesting article. I think that we could learn something from the world of recording, where we do everything digital. They have plugins that add warmth and analog qualities to recordings. Perhaps a little imperfection would be a good thing in an orchestra?

Mass User Purge

Over December, my sites were hit with a TON of spam users registering. And they post stories about viagra for sale and whatnot. I decided to purge any users without any comments or posts, and implement a CAPTCHA for new registrations to help cut down on the spam.

Thanks for understanding.

Figuring Out What Bach Wanted

This is an older article I starred in Google Reader. From the Wall Street Journal:

Gonzalo Ruiz is always on the lookout for another piece to add to his repertoire. Because he’d already mastered most of the finest Baroque music composed for oboe, Mr. Ruiz—a faculty member at New York’s Juilliard School and one of today’s most sought-after woodwind soloists—decided to look through J.S. Bach’s music for pieces originally featuring other instruments to transcribe into new versions showcasing his oboe. In the flexible practices of the 18th century, flutes were often substituted for oboes—Mozart himself once tried to pass off a rewritten oboe concerto as a “new” flute concerto—so Mr. Ruiz turned to Bach’s flute literature, which led him directly to one of the most famous flute-centric works in classical music, “Orchestral Suite No. 2.” How would it sound, he wondered, if transposed to an oboe-friendlier key?

Great read.