Sunday, July 08, 2007

Flying fingers!

I will be playing a piece with Dave on his recital, Paganini's Moto Perpetuo, arranged for flute, oboe, clarinet (played by Dave on soprano sax) and piano. I am pretty much certain that my fingers will be the slowest-moving on that stage. To sight-read, I was taking it at quarter=80 (or so), and Dave wants to take it between 120-130. I CAN play my scales and pieces that fast (and faster), but this piece at constant sixteenth notes, in a very precise line passed from instrument-to-instrument, is making me a little nervous. I don't want to let my hubby down. I have until September to learn it. (Maybe I shouldn't admit that this is hard for me? Other oboists might read this, know the piece and scoff!...Please don't scoff.)

I just got a reed in the mail, intended for one of my students, but I thought I'd try it out (and maybe keep it for myself if I loved it)...I did not love it. In fact, it was completely buzzy, flat (you'd think clipping it would help, but it didn't), and pretty much unbearable to play. I won't even be passing this along to my student. I'm not normally one to ask for my money back, especially on reeds, which can generally be adjusted to your or your student's liking, but where do you draw the line? This person is usually a great reed-maker too, so this is disappointing--in fact, this was a replacement reed from an order in which one was already broken when I took it out of its tube. Sigh.

Anyway, I practiced about two lines of the Paganini on this reed to see how it played, and I had to stop. Need better reeds. Haven't made any myself in a little while. Still, I need to practice, no matter what. Maybe I'll have more time this week before we leave for Calgary.


Patty said...

Oh no ... definitely no scoffing from me, to be sure! I'm sure you'll make it work, though. :-)

I'd love to know who you ordered the reeds from; maybe send an email though, since you might not want to make it public here. (?) I like to know where folks are getting reeds. How were the reeds sent?

(I had a reed problem with a recent dealer as well, and the replacement reeds were just as unplayable -- horribly flat.)

I tell you, so far ordering reeds has meant that I get a few that work out of a ton that don't. And I still find it's worth it when I get a few that work because I am, indeed, the world's WORST reed maker. Honest and true.

I have found Lisa Hudson's reeds sometimes work. I've been playing three of Cooper's reeds -- he kindly sent me some. (!) I can't play some of the reeds I've ordered at all. Sigh. A costly endeavor, for sure.

C.J. said...

Hopefully my reeds will come to you by Saturday or so. There's 9 of them do you should have enough to share at least a few of them!

By the way, please don't feel you are hurting my feelings or betraying my reeds by adjusting them. I EXPECT you to adjust them (maybe I wouldn't of a student, but knowing that you're a fine, capable oboist, I know you should have no problems.)

When I was making them and faced with that decision to "Clip or play for a day and see if it needed the clip", I didn't. And the decision to "thin a little bit more or see how it plays in" i left a bit on. Better for you to adjust it to your oboe than me to mine. So don't be afraid to adjust away!