The Luck of the Draw

It has been a few weeks since my last post, with a trip to Canada in between for the International ClarinetFest in Vancouver. I was not hired as a staff pianist for that festival, so I only had to prepare one concert, and a short one at that. Now I am getting ready for a staff pianist job at the Beijing International Clarinet/Saxophone Festival in mid-August. Packages of music have been arriving every few days from Italy, Greece, Poland and other places. Some of the repertoire is standard fare, such as Tableaux de Provence, Hindemith Eb sonata, Bernstein sonata for clarinet, etc. One piece has me sweating already: the Florent Schmitt Légende for Saxophone and Orch, transcribed by the composer. I happen to be a fan of Schmitt’s works, and recently performed the beautiful Sonata libre for violin and piano. That piece prepared me well for the complexities of this reduction.

One of the artists sent a stack of single-sided xerox pages. Whenever this happens, the first thing I do is head to Kinko’s and have them spiral bound back to back to make a book. It really helps to keep things in order and works better on stage. I understand their reluctance to send original music in the mail, so I tolerate playing copied music, although I still prefer original music whenever possible. Fortunately, I have many of the standard pieces in my own music library.

I will be busy for the next few weeks getting ready for Beijing. I know you’re busy too, so I will stop writing now and get back to work.

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