music clip of the day

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Saturday, December 20th

Ever feel like you can’t find a foothold?

Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951), Piano Concerto (1942); Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra (Jeffrey Tate, cond.) with Mitsuko Uchida (piano), live

 

 


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lagniappe

reading table

Aspen tree, your leaves glance white into the dark.
My mother’s hair was never white.

Dandelion, so green is the Ukraine.
My yellow-haired mother did not come home.

Rain cloud, above the well do you hover?
My quiet mother weeps for everyone.

Round star, you wind the golden loop.
My mother’s heart was ripped by lead.

Oaken door, who lifted you off your hinges?
My gentle mother cannot return.

—Paul Celan (1920-1970; translated from German by Michael Hamburger)

Friday, December 19th

what’s new

D’Angelo and the Vanguard (Pino Palladino, bass; Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, drums, et al.), “Ain’t That Easy” (Black Messiah), 12/15/14


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Here’s another take.

Live, Paris, 2012


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lagniappe

art beat

Bruce Davidson (1933-), New York (Subway), 1980

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Thursday, December 18th

When you work on a small scale, a slight shift can seem epic.

Oscar Noriega (alto saxophone), live, New York, 12/7/14

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lagniappe

reading table

Climb Mount Fuji,
O snail,
but slowly, slowly.

—Kobayashi Issa (1763-1828; translated from Japanese by Robert Haas)

Sunday, December 14th

old school

Dixie Hummingbirds, We Love You Like a Rock (excerpts), 1995

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lagniappe

reading table

You would think that living is a kind of scholarship in time, and that the longer we live the more expert we become at coping with it, in the way that, if you play tennis enough, you get used to coping with faster and faster serves. Instead I find that the longer I live the more bemused I become, and the more impenetrable the subject shows itself to be. I sit on a heap of days.

—Samantha Harvey, Dear Thief (James Wood, “Fly Away,” New Yorker, 12/8/14)

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taking a break

I’m taking some time off—back in a while.

Saturday, December 13th

Bach cello festival (final day)

Cello Suite No. 6 in D major; Matt Haimovitz (cello), live, Montreal, 2011

Prelude


Allemande


Courante


Sarabande


Gavottes 1 and 2


Gigue

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lagniappe

random thoughts

Joy sometimes comes not in waves but droplets.

Friday, December 12th

Bach cello festival (day five)

Cello Suite No. 5 in C minor; Mstislav Rostropovich (1927-2007), live, France (Vezelay), 1991


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lagniappe

art beat: Sunday at the Art Institute of Chicago

Oribe-Type Ewer (glazed stoneware), early 17th century, Japan

Oribe-Type_Ewer,_early_17th_century,_Japan,_glazed_stoneware_-_Art_Institute_of_Chicago_-_DSC00207

 

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Thursday, December 11th

Bach cello festival (day four)

Cello Suite No. 4 in E-flat major; Pablo Casals (cello), recording, 1939

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lagniappe

 art beat

Paul Strand (1890-1976), Toward the Sugar House, Vermont, 1944

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Wednesday, December 10th

Bach cello festival (day three)

Cello Suite No. 3 in C major; Jean-Guihen Queyras (cello), live, Austria (Salzburg), 2007

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lagniappe

reading table

The life of a human being draws back, comes into view like an animal at the edge of the forest, and disappears again.

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The outside world is too small, too clear-cut, too truthful, to contain everything that a person has room for inside.

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The only essential thing for life is forgoing smugness, moving into the house instead of admiring it and hanging garlands around it.

—Franz Kafka (Rivka Galchen, “What kind of funny is he?,” London Review of Books, 12/4/14)

Tuesday, December 9th

Bach cello festival (day two)

Cello Suite No. 2 in D minor; Wen-Sinn Yang (cello), live, Germany (Quedlinburg), 2005

Prelude, Allemande, Courante

 

Sarabande, Minuets 1 and 2

 

Gigue

Monday, December 8th

Bach cello festival (day one)

Suppose you had twenty-four hours to live. What would you want to hear? These six cello suites, which I’ve been listening to for over forty years, are where I might turn. (Why not go out dancing?)

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Cello Suite No. 1 in G major; Denise Djokic (cello), live, Canada (Winnipeg), 2012

Prelude


Allemande


Courante


Sarabande


Minuets 1 and 2


Gigue

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