LA Phil Blog

Wide Awake In Lisbon

Wide Awake In Lisbon

I don’t get it. Slept great last night, had a good breakfast, practiced for three hours (apparently a little too much Adams), walked around town with our Principal Bassoonist, Whitney Crockett, got some dinner . . . did all the things one should do so that this doesn’t happen . . .

Maybe I shouldn’t have had that bacalhao or pulpo, or that second helping of domada . . . or any of the seven duseuti the chef of that tiny tiled restaurant pile on a plate for six gregarious, ridiculously loud Americans. Oh man, were those good. And man, were we loud . . . My tour nickname, apparently, is Fisheye. Don’t ask.

Before we left LA, we were sounding awesome. I’ve never heard the band play like this. Veterans are telling me they’re proud of the orchestra, of taking these programs across Europe. The real challenge on this tour will be keeping to that level of playing and pushing it further, climbing to the end, to Vienna, Mahler’s hall, my Mecca – the Source.

No. The real challenge this tour will be getting any sleep tonight. There’s a wakeup call in three hours shortly followed by a rehearsal and meetings with the Maestro. Nope, not even blinking. I’ve got passages from Mahler 9 screaming through my brain, and dreams (albeit daydreams) of the Musikverein.

How could I possibly sleep?