Category Archives: Books & Literature

Simon Callow Being Wagner

I’ve just devoured a new book, Simon Callow’s Being Wagner.   The University of Toronto’s excellent music library just acquired it, a new book with a 2017 copyright. The cover shows the sub-title “Triumph of the Will” which is likely apt, … Continue reading

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What Happened: deja vu

As I’ve been reading Hillary Clinton’s What Happened, her bestselling memoir, I experienced a curious and disturbing feeling. That I’d been here before. That I had felt these feelings not so long ago, concerning events here in Canada.  I am … Continue reading

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Arthur Wenk and Story Cartel

Have you ever heard of The Story Cartel? It’s a new way of promoting books. Here’s how they explain it: The books you see on Story Cartel are all free in exchange for your honest review. Discover your next favorite book and … Continue reading

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Christopher Cameron: Dr Bartolo’s Umbrella

This one is different. I’ve encountered memoirs written by artists I’ve respected from afar often created with the help of a ghost-writer. But Chris Cameron’s Dr Bartolo’s Umbrella and Other Tales from my Surprising Operatic Life, perhaps a bit like Chris … Continue reading

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Beyond Reason: Wagner contra Nietzsche

I finished my previous book last night (They Can’t Kill Us All). I began the review of that fascinating book—filled with the keen-eyed observations of Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery—by a kind of apologetic preamble about my life in fantasyland, … Continue reading

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They Can’t Kill Us All

I may seem to lead a divided life, vanishing into realms of violins and sopranos, opera and oratorio, without much apparent connection to the struggles of people in the 21st century: with the possible exception of the singers trying to … Continue reading

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Leon Fleisher: My Nine Lives

I escaped into another world, a place populated by famous musicians. You may remember Leon Fleisher as an American pianist. I recall him for performances that were usually my favourite versions of piano concerti, usually paired with Conductor George Szell … Continue reading

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