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Karen Allendoerfer


November 14, 2009 at 1:04 PM

 Season cycles.  Orchestral cycles.  Bicycles.  All moving too fast.

Last Sunday was our Fall Concert, the first of the season.  I hadn't thought of it this way before, but the Holiday Concert has holiday music, the Family Concert is targeted at kids (and is free of charge), the Sponsors' Concert invites the sponsors, and the POPS Concert has POPS music.  We usually get a respectable-to-good audience for all of them.  But the Fall Concert is the least well-attended, and it doesn't have a "hook" to draw people in.

Still, I did my part.  I provided the section with bowings by email and by xerox.  I fixed the measure where I didn't noodle long enough and dropped a beat (and at first was managing to lead the whole section astray), and did it right in performance.  I learned to think in 1 and didn't die.  I bought a magnetic mute that doesn't rattle and doesn't fall off, and got it on and off smoothly for the muted 4-measure violin solo.  My husband came to the performance, and he brought a coworker.  I also invited fellow v.commer, Karin Lin, who recently moved to the area, and she came too.  I announced it on Facebook.  I listened to the music on the T, and even on my bike, and I practiced it (almost) every day.  

All of which adds up to something of a letdown when the concert is over.

The rehearsal schedule marches on, too, and a whole new set of music, some of it copied by hand with the E-naturals written lower than the E-flats (Bavicchi 3 Psalms), some of it with a virtual forest of 8th notes that goes on for pages (Schubert Messe) lands on my stand.  While I've still got Schumann in my head, trailing clouds of glory.  

I've always said that I'm an orchestral player, not a solo player.  I feel an almost obsessive need to announce this whenever the opportunity presents itself.  But now I think I finally am coming around to understanding the need to balance the two.  I found the music for the concert program challenging enough that it occupied most of my lessons and virtually all of my practice time for 2 months.  It was time well-spent, and I learned a great deal.  But I had been working on the 4th movement of the Franck sonata, and I had to set it aside entirely.  

And, I missed it.

From Terez Mertes
Posted on November 14, 2009 at 3:22 PM

 Omigosh, Karin LEFT the SF Bay Area? Sob! Well, my loss is your gain.

Your comment about the post-performance letdown brought back such memories of my dance performance years, where we had a fall concert and then Nutcracker in December. The letdown after the last performance of the fall concert always had such a bittersweet tinge to it. But oh, how nice it was to ramp up for Nutcracker rehearsals, a few short weeks later. (The letdown after Nutcracker was a different ball of wax. Very un-fun.) I like that the Schumann is still in your mind. It has been in mine, too, since we traded blog comments back in October. Yup, he's definitely got to play a part in my current story. His ghost is tapping on my shoulder. 

Happy cycling to you - and tell Karin to get her butt back here at! (For all I know, she does come here, and it's my own erratic presence that keeps us from connecting.)

From Anne-Marie Proulx
Posted on November 14, 2009 at 7:49 PM

Good luck!!!


From E. Smith
Posted on November 14, 2009 at 8:41 PM

 That's wonderful that you got to meet Karin and she came to the concert!

From Tom Holzman
Posted on November 16, 2009 at 9:33 PM

Karen - it sounds as if things are going great for you, although I am sorry to hear that you had to put Franck aside.   All I have to add is be careful on your bike!  Good luck.

From Karen Allendoerfer
Posted on November 17, 2009 at 11:35 AM

 I'm a little surprised the weather is still good enough to be riding the bike, but it is.

From Tom Holzman
Posted on November 17, 2009 at 1:44 PM

Karen - back in the days between college and law school, when I lived in Watertown, did not own a car, was a real cheapskate, and worked in Cambridge, I biked all year round including in some weather which was not that nice.  On really awful days, however, I did have the option of taking the bus which went down Mt. Auburn St. since I only lived a couple of blocks from the stop.  Keep up the biking.  It's nice in that part of the world.

From Karen Allendoerfer
Posted on November 17, 2009 at 2:31 PM

 I take that bus too--#73.  But you actually probably took the #71, which splits off from the #73 route by the Star Market and goes into Watertown.  I take the 71 sometimes if I have shopping to do at the Star Market.  One of my friends in orchestra said she thinks biking around here is too dangerous--she saw a cyclist hit and flip over a suddenly opened car door, right in front of her.  

Since she told me about that I've been a little more aware of the parked cars, but I still think what I told her in response is true.  I don't go that fast.  Even if a car door opened surprisingly in front of me, I'd either be able to stop in time, or I'd hit it at a speed that would hurt a bit but wouldn't cause me to flip or cause serious injury.  And I am one of the slower cyclists on the road.  I get passed a lot (especially by cyclists who think stop signs and red lights are optional--I don't).  So I don't think I'm in denial about that.

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