Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Oblivion - Weiss Family Woodwinds

As musical families go, the Weiss family is probably not be as famous as the Osmonds but they are probably more famous than the Raichles and certainly just as talented as either group. There are three siblings in the Weiss Family Woodwinds: Dawn Weiss who recently retired from her role as the Principal Flute for the Oregon Symphony, Abe Weiss who is Principal Bassoon for the Rochester Philharmonic and David Weiss who for many years was Principal Oboe for the Los Angeles Philharmonic. They have recorded together and still appear together today as a family woodwind trio. In today's video, they are joined by pianist, Alpha H. Walker, in a performance of Oblivion. The Oblivion arrangement is by Ms. Walker who is also a Weiss-by-marriage since she is the wife of David.

The choice of Oblivion is a good one for a woodwind group. The composition was written for the movie Enrico IV and appears three times in that movie - once briefly in the opening train ride scene with a clarinet solo, more fully in the courtyard scene with an oboe solo and finally in the closing credits with a bandoneón solo. You can hear most of the original if you start at the three minute mark in this video. To hear David Weiss perform the oboe solo of Oblivion in the trio would be a privilege so I was bit surprised to see no evidence of an oboe in the opening of the video. Instead, in addition to Dawn, Abe and Alpha, there is a fourth person holding an ordinary, hardware-store variety Stanley Handyman saw. Is the third person really David or is it Yo-Yo Saw sitting in with the band. Whoever it is they do an admirable and very musical job of the solo on that saw.

These are serious musicians and it is refreshing to see them comfortable enough with themselves to add the novelty of a saw to their stage performance. And, you will have to wait for a future blog to read more about the reclusive Yo-Yo Saw because it is indeed brother David on the saw. If, after all of this, you are more interested in musical saws than Piazzolla, you need to view this video to bring yourself back to your senses.

If the video does not appear below, click here.

To learn more about Piazzolla videos, visit the Piazzolla Video site.

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