Category Archives: Music and musicology

American Idol and popularity

Do you ever watch American Idol? I’d say it’s the best reality tv that you can find, unless you prefer one of the other performance shows where people sing or dance. There are really two parts to it. At the … Continue reading

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Baudelaire Bicentennial

I must be brief. How does one speak of the bicentennial of a poet such as Charles Baudelaire, born two hundred years ago on April 9th in 1821? how to find the right words,…? Some know him for his poetry, … Continue reading

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Two Voices juxtaposed by Opera in Concert

The one act play La Voix Humaine was written by Jean Cocteau in 1928. The one act opera La Voix Humaine based on that play was composed by Francis Poulenc in 1958. Each one is a monodrama, presented by a … Continue reading

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Jussi 2021

I’m reading Jussi, a biography of Swedish tenor Jussi Björling from his widow Anna-Lisa Björling, and a surprisingly honest look at the life of a famous singer. It’s an appropriate week to think about Jussi. He used to celebrate his … Continue reading

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François Girard’s Flying Dutchman

François Girard’s production of Richard Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman is tonight’s free opera on the Metropolitan Opera website, available also tomorrow until the early evening when Rigoletto takes over. It’s new as in, having premiered in 2020. I heard & … Continue reading

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A tale of the stub, or Pollyanna Interrupted

As I was choosing my wardrobe for a trip to my mom’s place for lunch, I opted as usual to try to look a bit nicer for her, pulling out a pair of dress-pants that I realized haven’t been touched … Continue reading

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Bernie Sanders and The Samiotics of the Carolina Dog

Sam the dog seems to be getting better. Her bloodwork shows that the antibiotics have worked. Her recovery is the main message I wanted to convey for anyone who had been worried by my previous messages. As you probably know, … Continue reading

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Zappa

2020 ended with a pair of Z’s that could just as easily be seen as the start of 2021. After Fareed Zakaria’s book, it’s Zappa, a documentary released late in 2020. Where Fareed is analyzing historical trends with an eye … Continue reading

Posted in Cinema, video & DVDs, Music and musicology, Personal ruminations & essays, Politics, Popular music & culture, Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Wohin: where do we go from here? now what?

As we come to the end of 2020, we may wonder. Where do we go from here? Now what? It’s in that spirit that I invoke a Schubert song, “Wohin” from his cycle Die Schöne Müllerin. First there was a … Continue reading

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Wagner, Mendelssohn, Korngold & beyond with Sam

Sam appears to be feeling a lot better. Last week began with her staggering weakly, doing a scary impersonation of a carcass (lying on her side so forlorn in appearance that a couple of times I was asked to check … Continue reading

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