Monday, September 26

Playing with myself (OBOE!!!)

Playing the 2 parts of the duet myself.
Here is one movement of the Telemann Flute Duet in A major (without continuo). I’ll do artistic reflections in the next  post.

I think this went pretty well. I had never played this piece at all before and have been practicing less than 30 minutes a day for about a month because work has been rather demanding. I think the sound quality is much better than before:

  1. the microphone position in the room really helped quite a lot
  2. I think the season is helping me play with a better sound and develop more discriminating ears
  3. I think Facebook discussions have developed more demanding ears, requiring me to breathe better in order to achieve that sound I seek.

I am amazed at how much the Oboe BBoard, Facebook and You-Tube have helped me develop musically and artistically. This was simply impossible back in the days I was a music student and beginning pro, unless you were wealthy and could travel often overseas. This is truly an exciting time to be a budding musician!

Nerves while recording

Recording this required 2 runs at it:

  1. The first time, before lunch, I had to do many, many takes because I was always making silly mistakes that I just could not hide in any way. So I just stopped with one merely half-decent take.
  2. The second time, after a lunch break in front of the TV, I felt more relaxed and did everything just right on the first try! I fact, oboe 1 and oboe 2, I did two (relatively) fine full recordings without stopping or repeating anything. Though the recordings still have flaws, I decided to stop here while I was happy with the work.


I stopped the first run completely discouraged and feeling ridiculous. This is NOT a difficult piece and when practicing, it always goes fine. Yes, it does need to mature: the 1 month I have gained its acquaintance is not enough to really feel its flow, but I have still been playing it with feeling from the very first reading. Different takes should be to change a phrasing, not because of mistakes.

During the second run, I was motivated and just enjoyed the energy of the piece while playing. Maybe I was hungry before and needed some energy and a break. But I think the mental aspect was the worst of it. I think I need to do more recordings, more often, and not care if they sound well or not. The exercise of recording and showing on You-Tube might act as a surrogate for live performance, challenging stage fright and allowing me to focus more on the musicality.


Howard Ng said...

Bravo bravo! A suggestion Robin, try the following fingerings:
2nd octave A, add D key.
2nd octave B, add LH 2 and RH 1 & 2.
2nd octave C, add RH 2.

The performance could have benefited from a few more "artificial" breathing spots that would help physically as well as musically.

RobinDesHautbois said...

Thank you, my dear friend! Yes, quite right, all your comments.

The big problem with the pairings A#-B is that I was using the trill fingering.... usually no problem with that.

I also used a metronome while playing (a feature of the recording device). But generally, I think musical expression is lacking of maturity more than anything.

I'll be discussing that in my next post.

Steven K. Ramsdell said...

When recording, my nerves fall apart once the big red button is pushed. I always have to remind myself that music is about fun and emotion, and not to get so uptight. Breaks are great for clearing ones mind, and letting our ears rest. Come back ready and refreshed, physically and mentally.