Monthly Archives: November 2020

Sky Gilbert’s remarkable new book Shakespeare Beyond Science: When Poetry Was the World

I am on my third read-through of Sky Gilbert’s Shakespeare Beyond Science: When Poetry Was the World. It is the best book I’ve read this year, one of the most interesting books I’ve ever encountered. I’ve been dancing around this … Continue reading

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Beethoven 250: which incarnation?

I hope it isn’t a radical idea to suggest that each of us is really several people, depending on context. The people around me, the places I visit, even the time of day might influence how I act. I’m more … Continue reading

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Sounds like hell Mr Adès: Looking in the mirror of The Exterminating Angel

I wasn’t sure I’d have the nerve to go through with it, watching an opera that seems to show us exactly the predicament we face. Based on the surreal film from Luis Bunuel, The Exterminating Angel was today’s free Metropolitan … Continue reading

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Beethoven 250: interpreting Sonata #9

There are at least two ways to understand music. We listen. Perhaps you hear a performance on some device such as your smartphone, your TV or a computer, or even in a live setting such as a concert or a … Continue reading

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Food porn

That’s what it felt like, watching a film about food, before eating something irresistibly scrumptious. The film is Chef with its wonderful premise and strong script. The cast includes Sofia Vergara, Dustin Hoffman, John Leguizamo, Bobby Cannavale, Robert Downey Jr … Continue reading

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Le tombeau de Couperin: Ravel’s Six Remembrance Monuments

In the first days of November we remember. November 1st is All Saints’ Day, the celebration that gave rise to Halloween, even if modern culture pays more attention to the edgy rebellion implicit in October 31st than the day that … Continue reading

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Beethoven 250: his double life

Composer Ludwig van Beethoven was born in 1770, almost 250 years ago. The Heiligenstadt Testament was addressed to the composer’s two brothers, Carl & Johann, as a last will and testament. Written in October 1802 as the composer approached his … Continue reading

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Beethoven’s 250th

Ludwig van Beethoven was born in December of 1770. I suppose the only people who might care about the precise date would be those of us who want to throw Ludwig a party. In my day one was taught that … Continue reading

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Brand new sound: a moving experience

I stumbled upon something quite by accident and want to share the good news. No I can’t take credit. We’re fixing some old windows, and needed to work with the contractor, who was blocked off by the way the furniture … Continue reading

Posted in Animals, domestic & wild, Art, Architecture & Design, Dance, theatre & musicals, Music and musicology, Opera, Personal ruminations & essays, University life | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments