musings of a professional bassoonist

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Dances and Dreams

On June 18, a few musicians of the Columbus Symphony with guest pianist Ahlin Min are presenting a chamber music concert entitled  Dances and Dreams to benefit the Columbus Symphony.  The music of Debussy, Stravinsky and Poulenc will be performed by the Columbus Symphony Woodwind Quintet, Columbus Symphony violinist Tatiana Hanna, and pianist Ahlin Min. Although admission is free, donations are welcome and will be fully donated to the Columbus Symphony.

Columbus Symphony's Principal Clarinetist David Thomas organized this event, and part of his plan was to hold a June 5 "preview performance" in his beautiful house:

http://blog.davidhthomas.net/wp-content/uploads/397.jpg

David's house is located in Clintonville, an older (early 1900s) neighborhood within the city of Columbus.  I was so impressed that Martin Inglis and his wife Sue Inglis showed up early, laden with cases of fine wine and huge platters of catered food to offer the guests, and then they stayed late to clean up!   Our orchestra is incredibly lucky to be so strongly supported.  Martin Inglis also happens to be the Chair of the Columbus Symphony Board of Directors, and Sue Inglis is a very active member of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra League and Music Director Search Committee.

The evening was delightful in every way. The atmosphere was perfectly festive, with appreciative guests, memorable refreshments, exciting live classical music, and of course, David's lovely house and gardens.  David was so pleased with the evening that he wrote about it on his blog.

Here's a brief comment from a grateful concert attendee who visited David's blog:
It was a fantastic evening! I know it takes time and energy, but this is so good for Columbus--to have some of its best musicians giving chamber recitals like this. Good for the musicians too.Thank you to Susan and Martin Inglis for the wonderful wine and food . It made for a perfect evening.
Even though this performance was a preview of the main event occurring on June 18, donations were eagerly accepted, and were doubled by our anonymous donor.  Thank you to David Thomas and his Columbus Symphony colleagues, to Sue and Martin Inglis, to our anonymous donor and to all of  the people who showed up on June 5 and who will show up on June 18 to support the Symphony!

.

4 comments:

Audrey said...

Hi Betsy,
I was wondering if you might take a second to answer a question from an aspiring bassoonist!

Ever since I've started playing bassoon, I've had difficulty getting my bflat 3 to sound good. it always comes out muffled, sometimes flat, and sometimes with low undertones. I try flicking, but even then I get poor response. I've had this problem on several bassoons that I've played.

Do you have any suggestions about changes to my reeds, maybe different keys i could press to improve this note?

I've been bothered by this forever and any input you have would be so so helpful!
Thanks

B.S. said...

Dear Audrey,

That note is troublesome on almost every bassoon! There are ways to deal with it, though. Try adding the low D flat key with your left pinky. If that doesn't work, try the low E flat key with the same finger. Another possibility is instead of flicking, try holding down the high A or high B key, whichever works better, for the duration of the note.

There is also a reed adjustment which is supposed to stabilize that note- it's near the 4 top corners of the reed. I have not had much luck with that particular solution but I believe that others have.

I'm interested to know if any of these solutions work for you!

Good luck~
Betsy

Audrey said...

Thanks for your suggestions! I tend to have the best results with the D flat key, but this does affected the tuning of the note. I hope that long tones might help to improve tuning on these particular notes.

Also, would you have any suggestions on solutions to a buzzy reed?

B.S. said...

Hi Audrey- Long tones always help with the problem you described! You might also want to try the low d flat and Low e flat keys together. that's awkward at first, but sometimes works.

Reeds that are the same thickness on the sides as in the middle tend to buzz more. Try scarping, filing or sanding away cane on the sides of the reed so that it has a defined heart in the middle which is thicker.

Good luck!
Betsy