Yeah, yeah, yeah!
In order, we started our new season of the Cedar Rapids Symphony tonight. On the program: Saint Saens Organ Symphony (No. 3) and Bernstein's "On the Town". (And Grieg's Piano Concerto...read more here.) This is the first orchestra gig in Iowa where Dave and I will be playing together! Of course, we're not playing at the same time. No sax in the Saint Saens, and we play in different movements in the Bernstein. Dave didn't play in the first 3/4 of tonight's rehearsal, but when it got close for his part, he came and sat next to me (in the "sax chair"). I must say, I was very aware of him while I played, and I was a little nervous as he followed along in my part of the Saint Saens. I kept having to tell myself to get it together and focus. I think he realized it, because at some point I didn't feel the reading-over/next-to-your-shoulder stare. The good news is...
I have a great English horn reed...and possibly even two! No, I did not make them. I bought them from Cheryl at Cascade Reeds in Eugene. But I do not feel bad about this. I got plenty of compliments (well, from my own section, but that's what counts the most, I think!) and the reed felt really good. Much better than in my practice room at home.
The Paganini is going really well. OK students, this is what happens when you practice every day: you can play your part! Not only that, but it gets better each time you pick up your instrument. Who'd have thunk it? I can play the whole piece up to performance tempo. In the next two days before the recital, I just need to keep up the pace to ensure that I can play it 150% perfectly. That way, when I get nervous and 50% goes out the window, I'll still have 100%. Hmmm...math...maybe I mean 200% perfectly for a total of...nevermind.
I'm working on sharpening my knives so I can actually make reeds again, and I have a new toy, suggested by Cooper, that I hope will help. It's Weber's steel to re-align the burr...Patty, you have this too! Let's learn how to use it together. I've got the instructions and pictures, but so far it hasn't made that much of a difference. Most likely this is not because of the steel, but because my knives are not sharp to begin with. The steel doesn't sharpen your knife, it helps KEEP it sharp. So maybe I'll need to reground these things. I have a Chudnow knife (beveled), an Ando (way overdue for a regrinding), and a couple of Landwells, one of which is my sharpest knife. I'll see if I can send the other one to Calgary for Daryl Caswell to help me.
Wow, I'm amazed I was able to type that much. Baby is keeping me up, but not keeping me awake. I just feel terrible. Read disclaimer below. I'm going to attempt going to bed now.
*Forgive any typos. It is way past my bedtime, and because of this baby, I can't sleep...or think.