Last night the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra presented Fanfare, its 2008-2009 season opener, featuring the U.S. Army's Herald Trumpets. As always, it was an enjoyable concert, though odd in a way, since I often found the orchestra too loud. I'm accustomed to that in everyday life, and carry earplugs with me nearly everywhere I go, because whatever is amplified is nearly always amplified too much for my taste. Yet this was live, acoustic music, and it wasn't just the guest trumpets that were too loud. Orchestras are supposed to be too loud only if you're sitting directly in front of the percussion or the trumpets—not when you're far away in the balcony. Weird. Perhaps my ears are getting better as my eyes are getting worse.As the oboe section is of primary importance to our family, we immediately noticed a gaping hole—where was Principal Jared Hauser? And Laura Hauser was not amongst the bassoons, either. There turns out to be a good reason for their absense: Jared left to take the position of oboe professor at the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University. Good for them, but very sad for us. I'm particular about oboe playing, and I loved Jared's sound. This reminds me of when Principal Flute Aaron Goldman left to become Assistant Principal Flute of the National Symphony Orchestra. The OPO seems to be a sending-off point for really good (and nice) musicians. I'll never forget the fun we had listening in one night when Jared and Janet played baroque oboe duets together. I was hoping for a repeat some day—but now one is in Nashville, and the other in Switzerland.
Oddly enough, in a concert that featured such greats as Verdi, Shostakovich, and Richard Strauss, my favorite work was Tromba Lontana, by the living composer John Adams, whose Short Ride in a Fast Machine I had enjoyed when Janet performed it at Eastman.
Added 2008-09-29: Stephan was kind enough to point out that I had written "Tromba Iontana" instead of "Tromba Lontana." It comes of not knowing Italian, I suppose. (The title was translated as "Distant Trumpet.") I will grumble just a bit and ask why the program chooses to use a lower-case letter in a font where the lower case L and the upper case I are identical, and in a publication where most of the other titles have all major words capitalized—but I checked in the pdf version and it is, indeed, a lower-case L.
In my efforts to confirm the true title, I discovered these two YouTube videos, which you might enjoy. I wonder, just a bit, about copyright issues when works like this are put on YouTube, but for now I'll give them the benefit of the doubt.