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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Coming June '08 on Bridge Records`

William Bland's Kindred Spirits, the title work of the disc, is in two movements-- an intense concert waltz, and a wild set of variations based on a tune by the rock band “Limp Bizkit”.

—promotional copy from the Bridge website.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Wrong Answer

Living with a Philosopher

JoJo read me this at the breakfast table today, from Guy Davenport's essay, "Wittgenstein":

When [Ludwig Wittgenstein] lay dying of cancer at his doctor's house, the doctor's kind wife remembered his birthday and baked him a cake. Moreover, she wrote on it with icing, "Many Happy Returns." When Wittgenstein asked her if she had examined the implications of that sentiment, she burst into tears and dropped the cake. "You see," Wittgenstein said to the doctor when he arrived on the scene, "I have neither the cake nor an answer to my question." Some days before, the doctor's wife, patient martyr in the history of philosophy, had shown Wittgenstein her new coat that she was to wear to a party that very evening. Silently he fetched the scissors, silently he snipped the buttons from the coat, silently he replaced the scissors. The sainted wife remarked that, yes indeed, come to think of it, the coat did look better without its buttons, but only when the seals are opened at Doom will the philosopher's skill with the scissors declare its meaning.

The Geography of the Imagination, p. 333

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Lives of the Great Composers: Igor Stravinsky Poses Nude (NSFW)

You're welcome. Photo reproduced from (naturally) Stravinsky Inside Out by Charles M. Joseph, p. 70.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Falling in Love Again

Oh my God it feels sooo good to be finally finally finally moved in. We're still living out of boxes, with half-assembled furniture leaning against our walls, but whatever. We are out of that horrible place. Okay, I do miss it, a little. Our old flat was the site of some intense misery, but it was also our home during one of the happiest years of my life, when its decrepitude still seemed "quaint," and its claustrophobic closeness, "cozy." The ivy outside was thick with birds, and the bushes growing up outside our window gave us a green view all four seasons, and JoJo and I could sit in a living room crowded with books, reading, drinking strong black tea (with milk) out of secondhand cups, and listening to Keith Jarrett play the Shostakovich Preludes & Fugues. That's the soundtrack of bliss, you see. I know Tatyana Nikolayeva's recording is, okay, better, or at least more Shostakovich, but the untroubled surface of the Jarrett recording is exactly Sunday-afternoon music, as cool as a handful of pearls. Our new place is so much more spacious, though! The Shostakovich 24 are too intimate. I hereby declare the soundtrack of this flat to be countertenor Carlos Mena's sweet and airy recording of Victoria motets, transcribed for voice and lute. Maybe I'll go back and upload illustrative sound samples when I get the chance. Not right now, though. I'm just excited to be able to blog again, after what seems like weeks and weeks. Free time! What a wonderful thing! I've got an awful lot to say about the various music-related internet nonsenses that have been going on while I was moving... but, again, not right now. I will say, just for closure's sake: Berkshire Record Outlet! After our whole kerfluffle with them, after they made it right, after they sent us a little box of free CDs and a nice apology, and then after we settled into our new place, JoJo placed another order with them—and it already shipped! They've put us on some kind of priority list, so that our orders are sent out immediately! Man, I take back everything mean I said about them. They have totally bought my love.