Saturday, May 19, 2007


I am still here, just back from a little vacation at home after the Houston audition. I will write more later, this is just to check in.

I'm listening to Shostakovich 10, I'm playing it with Debut and first rehearsal is tomorrow. I love Shostakovich, and I'm excited to be playing this. I feel like all my most intense musical experiences have been with Shostakovich. I have a distinct--{oh dear, this second movement is FAST! 3rd movement, there's the EH solo I need to look at}. Anyway, I clearly remember the first time I heard a Shostakovich symphony. It was number 11, at Rice, when I was in 7th grade. I had only just started playing oboe at the time, but I played violin, and my teacher went to Rice, and she was playing. I was amazed by the power of that symphony. That concert began a long tradition of regular attendance at Rice concerts. A few years later, I had now switched to cello, and my cello teacher (again at Rice) was playing Shostakovich 7. I had an even stronger reaction to that symphony, sort of obsessed over it for a while. And then in college we played Shostakovich 4, once of the most exhilarating performances of my life. Our conductor had actually been at the premiere in the USSR, which I thought was pretty amazing. (The premiere of the 4th occurred considerably later than it was written, due to problems with Stalin). Plus, Shostakovich had received an honorary doctorate from Northwestern shortly before he died, and one of the Russian lit professors there had hosted him. I was able to interview him, and a composition professor who had also met him, for a paper about it. {Oh, there's the DSCH.} The paper didn't turn out to be much, but it was great to talk to these people who actually had interacted with Shostakovich. {Hmm this part's awfully fast too, oh there's the end. Dude.}

Since then, I think I've achieved more of a balance with the music I obsess over, but I still love Shostakovich, and always enjoy hearing his music.

Well, gotta get going. More on auditions etc later.

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