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Category: classical

Saturday, May 30th

never enough

Don’t “listen” to this.

Close your eyes: let the sounds inhabit you.

Then you will inhabit the sounds.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791), Clarinet Quintet, K. 581; Armida Quartet with Sabine Meyer (clarinet), live, Italy (Merano [aka Meran]), 2019

 

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lagniappe

random sights

yesterday, Oak Park, Ill.

*****

reading table

Come out to view
the truth of flowers blooming
in poverty

—Matsuo Basho (1644-1694), translated from Japanese by Sam Hamill

Tuesday, May 26th

never enough

Frederic Chopin (1810-1849), Ballade No. 1 in G minor; Krystian Zimerman (piano, 1956-), live, Vienna, 1987

 

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lagniappe

random sights

this morning, Chicago (Columbus Park)

Monday, May 18th

Why not begin the week with something quiet?

Jürg Frey (1953-), Extended Circular Music No. 4 (2014); Absolut Trio, live, Switzerland (Basel), 1/22/20

 

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lagniappe

random sights

yesterday, Chicago

Saturday, May 9th

never enough

Frederic Chopin (1810-1849), 24 Preludes, Op. 28; Maria João Pires (1944-, piano), live, Portugal (Évora), 1987

 

More? Her wonderful 1994 recording of these pieces is available on Spotify.

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lagniappe

random sights

other day, Oak Park, Ill.

Monday, May 4th

Feeling lost?

John Luther Adams (1953-), The Farthest Place (2001); Robin Lorentz (violin), Amy Knoles (vibraphone, marimba), Bryan Pezzone (piano), Barry Newton (bass), 2002

 

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lagniappe

random sights

yesterday, Chicago

Monday, April 27th

never enough

Why not begin the week with something beautiful?

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791), Piano Sonata in B-flat major, K. 570; Peter Serkin (1947-2020, piano), live, New Jersey (Ridgewood), 2017

 

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lagniappe

random sights

yesterday, Oak Park, Ill.

*****

reading table

You ask why I live
alone in the mountain forest,

and I smile and am silent
until even my soul grows quiet.

The peach trees blossom.
The waters continue to flow.

I live in the other world,
one that lies beyond the human.

—Li Po (aka Li Bai, 701-762), “Questions Answered” (translated from Chinese by Sam Hamill)

Saturday, April 25th

never enough

How many musicians talk as well as they play?

Jeremy Denk (1970-, piano), playing, and talking about, Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier (excerpts), live, 4/7/20

 

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lagniappe

reading table

North Haven
by Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979)

In Memoriam: Robert Lowell

I can make out the rigging of a schooner
a mile off; I can count
the new cones on the spruce. It is so still
the pale bay wears a milky skin; the sky
no clouds except for one long, carded horse’s tail.

The islands haven’t shifted since last summer,
even if I like to pretend they have—
drifting, in a dreamy sort of way,
a little north, a little south, or sidewise—
and that they¹re free within the blue frontiers of bay.

This month our favorite one is full of flowers:
buttercups, red clover, purple vetch,
hackweed still burning, daisies pied, eyebright,
the fragrant bedstraw’s incandescent stars,
and more, returned, to paint the meadows with delight.

The goldfinches are back, or others like them,
and the white-throated sparrow’s five-note song,
pleading and pleading, brings tears to the eyes.
Nature repeats herself, or almost does:
repeat, repeat, repeat; revise, revise, revise.

Years ago, you told me it was here
(in 1932?) you first “discovered girls”
and learned to sail, and learned to kiss.
You had “such fun,” you said, that classic summer.
(“Fun”—it always seemed to leave you at a loss . . .)

You left North Haven, anchored in its rock,
afloat in mystic blue . . . And now—you’ve left
for good. You can’t derange, or rearrange,
your poems again. (But the sparrows can their song.)
The words won’t change again. Sad friend, you cannot change.

Saturday, April 18th

never enough

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Piano sonata K.281, 0:00; Variations on “Salve tu, Domine” K.398, 21:14; Variations on “Unser dummer Pöbel meint” K.455, 29:51; Fantasy K.397, 44:27; Piano sonata K.310, 50:52), Robert Schumann (Arabeske op.18, 1:14:05; Toccata op.7, 1:21:05); Emil Gilels (1916-1985, piano), live, Moscow, 1970

 

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lagniappe

musical thoughts

Mozart was a kind of idol to me—this rapturous singing . . . that’s always on the edge of sadness and melancholy and disappointment and heartbreak, but always ready for an outburst of the most delicious music.

—Novelist Saul Bellow1915-2005

*****

random sights

yesterday, Oak Park, Ill.

Tuesday, April 14th

more

Tatiana Nikolayeva (1924-1993, piano); Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), The Well-Tempered Clavier, Books I & II

 

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lagniappe

random sights

yesterday, Oak Park, Ill.

Monday, April 13th

what’s new

Andrea Bocelli (1958-, voice), Music for Hope (“Panis Angelicus” (from “Messe Solennelle” Op. 12, FWV 61), César Franck; “Ave Maria,” CG 89a (arr. from Johann Sebastian Bach, “Prelude” no. 1, BWV 846), Charles-François Gounod; “Sancta Maria” (arr. from “Cavalleria Rusticana”, Intermezzo), Pietro Mascagni; “Domine Deus” (from “Petite Messe Solennelle”), Gioachino Antonio Rossini; “Amazing Grace,” John Newton), live, Italy (Milan), 4/12/20

 

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lagniappe

random sights

other day, Oak Park, Ill.

*****

reading table

“Hope” is the thing with feathers—
That perches in the soul—
And sings the tune without the words—
And never stops—at all—

And sweetest—in the Gale—is heard—
And sore must be the storm—
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm—

I’ve heard it in the chillest land—
And on the strangest Sea—
Yet, never, in Extremity,
It asked a crumb—of Me.

—Emily Dickinson (1830-1886), 314 (Franklin)

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