I managed to pry this one from his clenched jaw before it embarked on its intended journey through his digestive tract. He did, however, manage to ingest the most delectable part of the reed: the ever-so-carefully crafted blades.
Luckily for the dog, this was my "embouchure maintenance" reed. An "embouchure maintenance" reed is a reed with undesirable playing characteristics which, instead of throwing in the trash, I keep in my mouth when I'm not playing the bassoon, with an embouchure formed tightly around it. ( For anyone unfamiliar with the term, embouchure is defined as the application of the lips and surrounding facial muscles to the reed and/or mouthpiece of a wind instrument. The position of the jaw is also involved in the formation of an embouchure.) Sometimes I blow into the "embouchure maintenance" reed, but that doesn't really seem to make a difference. The point is to build up the embouchure muscles without actually playing the bassoon.
Why not just practice the bassoon to build up the embouchure? you might ask. Well, I am practicing the bassoon, but after a certain point (when the player becomes too tired) continuing to practice does more harm than good, and I need an embouchure of Herculean strength this week. I need an embouchure which is stronger than that which can be attained through mere practicing.
Why? Well, my music stand is overloaded this week:
This is the list of pieces I am preparing to rehearse and perform this week, beginning tomorrow:
Beethoven Symphony No. 8
Britten Soirees Musicales
Ravel Piano Concerto in G Major
Rimsky-Korsakov Overture on Russian Themes
Shostakovich Festive Overture
Tchaikowsky Piano Concerto No. 1
Tchaikowsky Symphony No. 2 "Little Russian"
Tower Made in America
You can see why I think I need a strong embouchure (among other things). I am daunted!
Yet, as always, I remind myself that anyone who is employed as a classical musician is fortunate. I'm not sure how I'm going to manage to perform each of these pieces at a professional level all within the same week, but I'm ready to give it my best shot.