Friday, April 14, 2023

a bifurcated day

I've done this combination before, but not for a few years. Life gets more challenging as you totter on.

Thursday was the day I drove over the Hill (the Hill, between the Valley and the Water) to the UC Santa Cruz library to spend the day ransacking its databases for the Tolkien Studies bibliography. I'd been working on that in the public databases at home for most of the last week, and now was the time to turn to the proprietary ones that only universities have. The interfaces for these have been changing again, and it's getting more difficult in library catalogs to get access to what we catalogers call the 245c, which is what lists the credits from the title page. With sloppier rules for name entries, you now can't tell whether the names presented are authors, editors, the writers of the preface, or what, or what form of name they use in the actual book.

I had to leave early because the arboreal effluvia from last month's storms is still being cleared up, and I wanted to get through before the crews started closing the mountain road's lanes for the day. I arrived by 9:30, bought my day parking pass, and spent five hours, relieved only by bathroom breaks, at a public terminal working away: a typical amount of time for this. Now my thumb drive is stuffed with PDFs, which the Year's Work writers will find useful next year.

That gave me enough time to grab a quick late lunch before driving up the long coast road to the City for a SF Symphony concert. That was what I could have used a little rest before engaging with. It was a mostly-Baroque evening conducted by Jane Glover, mostly-Baroque specialist. Bach's Magnificat, much briefer than the St. Matthew Passion thank the Lord, tiny orchestra vastly outnumbered by giant chorus but still drowning them out half the time. Reconstructed Bach concerto, solo parts played by the orchestra's concertmaster and principal oboe. Handel's hearty and tuneful Music for the Royal Fireworks, accompanied by 1) amusing account in the program book about what a disaster the first performance in 1749 was; 2) short new work written as its homage, depicting fireworks by running broadly-paced, thinly-scored brass and wind lines over busy strings. Called Spectacle of Light by Stacy Garrop. Refreshingly light sound, though that's not the kind of light the title means.

Home around 11 pm, to find a Tybalt expecting to be compensated in attention for what he missed by my being gone all day.

No comments:

Post a Comment