Saturday, January 14

Nino Rota Duet for 2 oboes (2/3) … but 3rd recorded

3rd duet for 2 oboes by Nino Rota

Here it is, the triptych is now complete!

This one is called “il Mulino”: the mill (wind-mill, grain-mill, saw-mill, river-mill) and it is easy to imagine the squeaky machinery rolling and turning! The cool thing about this one is the 1st oboe part being mostly in the altissimo register, usually between:

oboe1registerI have found that practicing this high actually improved my sound in the middle and lower registers.


Thank you Michele Mancaniello for re-introducing me to this fantastic composer and also for providing me with this very special music. The 3 duets were very enjoyable to play, funny to listen to but also really difficult to record the 2 parts together.

Reeds and Recording:

One thing I learned this year is that the entire process of recording influences the sound as much as (or more than) the reed! I’ll do a blog post about that and my thoughts on this recording next week.

What is “Allegro”?

This is a 12/8 movement marked allegro. The metronomes often indicate Allegro = [120, 160], but what is to be used as the beat? I think it’s important to put things in context, these words do not always denote speed (tempo) but often character:

  • Moderato : moderate speed
  • Allegro : happy
  • Vivace : lively
  • Presto : swift

… of course, these words can be interpreted differently, but in comparison to each other, this makes sense.

I played the 3rd duet at dotQuart88, but I don’t think anyone would say it’s too slow for an Allegro. It could be considered too fast, but slower just didn’t seem right… it was also much more difficult to play the rhythm and togetherness cleanly at slower speeds…. apparently, Franz Liszt once said he didn’t know his own etudes well enough to play them slowly!!!!

Physical Update: ouch

Just before the holidays, my physiotherapist scolded me for not doing my nerve flossing exercises. I told her it was because I never feel anything when I do them……. uuuhhhhh, now I feel a lot (ouch) when I do them!

The point of those exercises is to ensure mobility of the nerves to prevent irritation. Well, a few months of too much social networking (internet stuff) in front of the TV in the morning and evening has left its mark. Especially after having shovelled the snow last night, my shoulders are now rather bothersome, feeling as if I have strings inside my arms, neck and back that pull whenever I move.

…… ah well, back on the floor to do those simple exercises!!!!!!!

Also, if you do muscle strengthening exercises, the trainer I often see at my gym explained that the really easy exercises given by physiotherapists strengthen a set of small muscles. If you do the same exercises with heavier weights or stronger rubber bands, the bigger muscles will take over and the whole point of the workout is lost.

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