Concert Review: A music school parody

Many times, in a studio class at music school, your peers are invited to comment on your performance. While this  encourages active listening and the ability to offer and receive criticism, the comments of fellow students frequently didn’t offer anything new, or that the teacher couldn’t say better. 

And mostly, you got confusion, and conflicting ideas, either contradicting your own preferences or another peer’s thoughts. My favorite peer comment, after a performance of mine: “Raise your stand. You look overly tall.” 

Perhaps your experience was better than mine; but even if it was, you can probably recall some hopeless peer comments and recognize the comedic potential for parody here. 

Last night, I went to a concert with the Seattle Chamber Music Society. I heard 4 groups of people play their hearts out, and what a wonderful job they did. It’s unsurprising; they’re all absolutely the bee’s knees, top of their game. But during the last piece, a Brahms Piano Trio with James Ehnes, my all time top favorite violinist ever… I remembered my studio classes. For your entertainment, here are some of the comments that group could have received from a room of their peers. Keep in mind, it was a spectacular performance and this is a parody. 


James, you’re so still Have more fun! Move around a bit!

Paul, hold stiller, your motions are distracting.


Guys, for real, don’t move your feet. 

I loved the way even your feet got involved when you got ready for big beats.


Alessio, I couldn’t hear you enough. Don’t forget you’re behind the cello. 

The piano was too loud, it covered up the cello in the tender moments.


Ummm like around measure 200, you nearly ran out of bow, so like, watch your bow distribution because like, Brahms? he’s like the hardest to not sound like you’re running out of breath. I mean, like, you really have to plan ahead, and like, not waste an inch? Yeah, so watch out for that. 


So, I didn’t love your choice of mute. Have you considered using a wooden one? I’ve found it offers a warmer tone than the rubber ones you’re using. 


I wondered how you’d handle the Presto non assai vs. Allegro Molto tempi. (tut) I think you played them both at exactly the same tempo. You should get together, and choose a metronome speed  and then practice with the metronome, until you have that all ironed out.

Merry Monday!

Morning Ya’ll!

I hope you had a restful, exciting, fun, or successful weekend. But here it’s Monday, and that is not always a happy thing. As I have said before in a silly doggerel,

“Monday morning is the worst
Against life’s waking it was cursed.”

But there is hope! We Egotists have weapons against the “mneeeeaaarrgh” of Monday, and we are here to share some of those weapons with you today.

Terpsichore is delighted that the warm summer weather has fully come. She recommends you get yourself some nice bourbon and create a Havana Bourbonade with it. Check out her blog for directions!

I, Thalia, am feeling dippy and surreal on this drippy and serious day. Nothing suits my mood quite as well as the Debussy violin sonata. Written in 1917 right before Debussy died, this lovely sonata is full of colors, timbres, and impossible imaginings. James Ehnes, my violin hero, plays a gorgeous interpretation.

The two of us are trying to use up the cans in our pantry before we move out and have to heft their cheap but valuable bulks around. We’re going to make some delicious Tomato and Sausage Risotto, recipe by the fabulously wise food oracle Deb.

Melpomene hasn’t really told me what she thinks you should read today, but I’ll pass along a recent recommendation that she made to me. Make a bourbonade, listen to the Debussy and read Richard Wilbur’s The Writer .

Have a great week!


The Egotists