Monday, December 10, 2007

Helicon's 84th Symposium

Symposium LXXXIV
The Music of Russia
9 December 2007

Lauren Skuce, soprano
Jennifer Frautschi, violin
Pedja Muzijevic, piano

Rachmaninov Art Songs
Prokofiev Violin Sonata in F Minor
Mussorgsky “Pictures at an Exhibition”

Photographs by Joe Hsu.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Her Cardboard Lover by John Ashbery

Her Cardboard Lover by John Ashbery

The way you look tonight
is perishable, unphotographable, laughable. Sometimes
dyslexia strikes in late middle age. You are
the way I look tonight. At last
my love has come along.
And you are mine at last.
Slowly the orchestra wives pick over the set,
go behind a wall. The big smiley man is thinking,
thinking he has an IDEA! Well, if he says so.
You gotta believe him. One orchestra wife comes back.
She has forgotten her pearls. The orchestra riffs around,
they come back. “Well, I never! Of all things!”
Oh, it plays

to the breach. You see it. Her lover and best friend came
along the hall. “I’m sorry, Dan.
But I just couldn’t.” So it’s all alright,
he thinks. He thinks it’s a secret.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

At the Russian Army Piano Bar . . . ?

Here is Alexander Borodin's description of Modest Musorgsky as a young army officer in the Preobrazhensky Guard:

"Musorgsky was at that time a very elegant, dapper little officer . . . he sat at the piano and, coquettishly throwing up his hands, played excerpts from Trovatore, Traviata, etc., very pleasantly and gracefully."

Paints quite a picture, don't you think?

Monday, December 03, 2007

Snowed-in in icy Ithaca

Freeville, actually . . .

The Juilliard Journal

Snowed in up in icy Ithaca, I note The Juilliard Journal's coverage of the Albert Fuller Memorial Tribute, with pictures by Peter Schaaf.

Please take a look. Click here.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

On the Road

After the ballet matinée yesterday, I drove the 250 miles up to Utica, NY for a concert today with the New York Chamber Soloists. I was looking forward to the long drive. I had good weather, the GPS woman to tell me when to turn, and bunch of CDs to keep me company. After the concert today, I drive 100 miles west to Freeville to visit my friends Heidi and Rick. She plays in the Syracuse Symphony, he teaches at Ithaca College, and they have a charming 19th-century farmhouse between the two cities. There's a creek running through the back yard, a fire in the fire place and always wonderful food and music. The two of them have perfected life's quotidian pleasures. A day spent in their house has the effect of a week's vacation. Since the ballet doesn't need me next week, I may just stay an extra day.

Here's my driving playlist:

Maria Rita "Segundo" 2005 (Warner Music Latina) Nothing like Brazilian music to fend off the cold.

Clara Nunes, various sambas and songs burned for me by my friend Andre Faria

— Sviatoslav Richter "The Sofia Recital 1958" (Phonogram France)

— youssou n'dour "7 Seconds" 2004 (Sony) Recommended to me by a NYC taxi driver.

— Haydn Piano Trios, Nos 43, 44, and 45, played by Patrick Cohen, Erich Höbarth, Christophe Coin 2005 (harmonia mundi France) I'm spoiled, I can't listen to this repertoire on modern instruments anymore . . .

— Johan Heinrich Schmelzer Violin Sonatas 1996 (harmonia mundi France) Romanesca (Andrew Manze, Nigel North, John Toll)

— "Fanfare Ciocarlia" Baro Biao 2000 (Pirana Musik) My favorite driving music!