* I didn't practice on Friday. We went out to eat at Zanaro's (a nearby Italian place we like) and to watch Episode III. Overall we liked it a lot even though the acting was not believable in some spots.
* I practiced nearly two hours on both Saturday and Sunday to try to make up for Friday. I had to break it up into two sessions in order to do this. That I can do this at all is a good sign. By the end of the summer I want to be up to a solid two hours every day.
* I am about to go order one set of tickets to the Philharmonic (for the Mother Goose suite). I am not sure yet if I can afford the second show. My friend might be able to get me cheaper or free tickets though so I might still be able to attend.
* I am also about to pack up the Renard oboe I had been practicing on before I bought mine. My rental period ends at the end of this month so I have to get it back to them before that. It was a good little oboe.
* As recent as last summer I had no idea what an oboe sounded like. I mean, I had heard it in songs before and liked it, but I couldn't readily recognize it consistently. In fact, our wedding song has an oboe intro and for years I just knew I liked that melody in the beginning but wasn't sure what was playing it. The intro was the reason we picked that as our wedding song in the first place. I had figured it was the oboe because it was the orchestral instrument I was LEAST familiar with. That's why when I heard the "Swan of Tuonela" last summer I had absolutely no clue what that instrument was either. An English Horn? "It's neither English nor a horn . . ." After I started learning more about it I kept finding out about more pieces in which I had enjoyed it before (like the Adagio of "Concierto de Aranjuez"). During my clarinet vs. oboe debate month (Nov-Dec 2004) I listened to Mozart's "Sinfonia Concertante" over and over again because it was the only thing I had which featured both clarinet and oboe. Can I tell you that I had a hard time telling them apart sometimes (particularly when the clarinet was playing in its highest register)? Now I listen to it and laugh at myself because I always recognize the oboe now.
* Speaking of English Horns this morning I heard Albeniz's "Evocacion", the orchestrated version. It had a hauntingly beautiful EH part in the beginning.
* I'm not sure how to get better at playing faster. Is it all just scales? I guess I can start slow and speed up gradually. But what happens later on when you have to sight read something at a fast tempo? Do you get used to always starting slow first? Is that something that comes with time?