Thursday, November 12, 2020

a few events

1. A few more online concerts have come my way. Two more from the so-far splendid Baltimore Symphony chamber concert series: one for strings, featuring Nielsen's Little Suite and Vaughan Williams' Tallis Fantasia, the former of which doesn't get played much and the latter of which is always an enriching treat to hear; and one for brass and winds - yes, they claim they've found a safe way to gather groups of these air-spitting players, and they're the ones who have to live through it, not me - which included a piano-and-winds sextet by Louise Farrenc, the leading 19C female French composer, as well as Stravinsky and Beethoven.

It was interesting to see, elsewhere online, a video of BSO music director (albeit not identified as such) Marin Alsop critiquing movies and tv shows with conductors in them. She gave points mostly for enthusiasm, which she considers a vital element (thus ranking highly Jack Black in School of Rock - see, classical people are not snobs), but she did criticize conductors who wave both hands in unison. You don't do that if you're a professional conductor, she said. So that made it very interesting to see one of the assistant conductors in the BSO videos doing exactly that.

Also heard, because this was one of the items on the list of a publicist who likes to send me e-mails, was the Neave Piano Trio, which I think lives in NYC, but which was either broadcasting from or at least sponsored by the chamber music series at the University of Idaho, a place I haven't been since 1982. I signed up for this one because of the staggering array of composers: Clara Schumann, Amy Beach, Rebecca Clarke, and Jennifer Higdon. You don't get to hear a lineup like that - four very notable female composers spanning nearly two centuries - very often. True, I've never taken much to Beach, whose work seems to me to be comprised mostly of froth and treacle, and Clarke is rather modernistically astringent for my tastes. Both of these works met expectations, but it was good to hear all four together.

I have more online concerts - much more - scheduled for over the weekend. To hear music and then to write about it is my delight.

2. Another event that hit our calendars was the ordaining of a friend of ours as an Episcopal priest. The announcement she'd sent out a month ago didn't contain a link to the promised online event, but B. found it afterwards on M.'s FB page. We watched the better part of it. The ordaining bishop was also a woman, and it was a nice little ceremony, albeit much of it hidden behind various people's backs.

3. I've been reading a number of books on the moonshot program (the one that went to the Moon, silly, not something metaphorical), for reasons I'll explain later, not least because I have to call a halt to it soon for something more urgent. But that explains why, napping this afternoon, I was vaguely dreaming about training as an astronaut. For some reason this responsibility involved having my hair licked. I awoke to find that I was having my hair licked; thank you, Tybalt. Which I guess means that I am an astronaut, right?

1 comment:

  1. Isn't it a bit late to call a halt to the moonshot program? Or is Apollo 18 still there, just waiting for Covid-19 to die down a bit...