About Me

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Split personality. Liking the arts, especially opera, and hockey and Los Toros. I know, I know THAT one is non pc currently. But I can't help it saw some in Spain and got hooked, but good. But on the other hand right now opera and hockey are in the forefront!


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

True, False or All of the Above... update

As I just read this
I am not really shocked.
Disappointed, deeply disappointed - yes!
Shocked - No.
Lately we have been reading about the smear campaign about Bain, which comes straight down to the masses from the capitol. So why would it surprise me that the MET leadership does the same!
Muzzle the Media IF the printed word displeases.
Prescient ?
Enuf said.

OPERA NEWS has printed a retraction and WILL continue to publish THE MET's reviews...undoubtedly due to the outcry and outrage about 'implied censorship' from Gelb on social media.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Thunder on Stage

It sure felt that way.
Listening to a selection from the Solo Suite for Cello Nr. 3 by Bach, JS that is, I was amazed at the thunderous sounds that burst forth under the nimble fingers of Cellist Pia Eva Greiner.
That a cello could sound that way was an eye opener for this listener, more used to cellos within an orchestral setting.

Actually went in support of Pianist Ana Maria Otamendi, a HGO Studio artist.

Her first solo piece was also by JS Bach, Sinfonia from the Partita Nr. 2 in C minor BWV 1026.  And that too, was beautifully played with feeling.

The Rachmaninoff pieces, Vocalise, Op 34 Nr. 14 for piano and cello, and later on the impressive Sonata Op 19 in G Minor, where the sounds of the well played piano blended beautifully with those of the suave sounds of  cello, although each had their own little solo pieces as well.
T'was exciting music to the ears, for sure :-)!

A most successful evening followed by small reception, hosted by the Buddies of HGO Studio artists.

Which, with strange foreboding, I left early, made it to my car parked, seemingly at the end of the earth on the U of H parking lot, while blue lightening lit up the sky, and sonorous thunder rolled above, to step into the car literally a second before the deluge.
Image Detail
Driving through the lashings of rain with which the wipers could hardly keep up, following a zig zag route (of course there was construction narrowing lanes), almost glued to the taillights of the invisible cars in front was stressful. Crossing over the bridge in preparation to take the ramp onto 288 and then later 610, I peeked down and saw, what looked like an unmoving endless chain of headlamps, in both directions.
No, not that way, no way Jose!

I kept inching westward on Elgin to Westheimer, only having to ford two spots when BOTH lanes seemed a pond, a bit west of Kirby, and onwards to Chimney Rock. Turning south, between Westheimer and a bit past Richmond, the street seemed a lake, with no idea where the curbs were, the lots in front of stores started, or  side streets began. 
Where, even worse that thisImage Detail, a big truck barreled out from the Woodrow parking lot and forced its way between the cars onto the flooded street, throwing water every which way. Wouldn't you just know it! Damn idiot! Trying to drown smaller cars, methinks!

I stopped even the creeping inch by inch though high water, while HE or HER in that truck threw up sheets of water over all the cars in front, literally covering them. And some where not even such little ones like my Nissan.
Ah, do we, really, have to accept these carelessly, unthinking idiots on the road?

But I did make safely to a snug home, to watch the tail end of Charlie Rose's Series on the Mind.
Which was so engrossing, I forgot the stress aches from the clasping, and hunching over, the wheel, while trying to get home through that driving storm past barrelling trucks driving by idiots.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

German or English

which IS the better language for reading?

After mumble years of ONLY reading English I have immersed myself into German books, since I have 'inherited' more than a dozen  from a German friend moving back.

Interesting as they are, I must admit the German language seemingly is more enigmatic and forces me to more concentration to absorb what the authors are saying, truly.
Never thought I'd say that!

Now I know there are several chers readers out there who are fluent in both languages.
I really would like to know how they feel about the GERMAN versus the ENGLISH novel!

So have at it.. and describe your experiences!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Immigrants make music, enliven the arts in USA!

As I am listening to a CD of Mozart's Kleine Nachtmusik conducted by Bruno Walter, nee Schlesinger, Pianist and Conductor, I pay homage to a huge talent.
50 years ago, in February to be exact, Bruno Walter died in Beverly Hills.
Below Walter conducts Mozart's Requiem.
Born in Berlin 1879, he developed early on his talent of piano but switched to conducting and was one of the youngest Hofkapellmeisters in Vienna, at 24 - engaged by Gustav Mahler, who recognized his large talent.
Below Walter conducts Mahler!
But ...as with many others Bruno Walter was forced into emigration. He joined a slew of European Musicians and others who left for USA, and many more for other places, during the Hitler regime.  
Among those emigres were such notables as Albert Einstein, Arnold Schoenberg, Walter Gropius, Alma Schindler-Mahler-Werfel, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Hans Bethe, Thomas Mann, Marlene Dietrich, Kurt Weil, Billy Wilder, Hannah Arendt, and Hans Morgenthau, Hedy Lamarr, Otto Preminger, Franz Werfel and others.By the end of World War II, there were some 130,000 of these German and Austrian refugees living in America.
Which leads me to really want to dip into the stories about these others.
Actors, authors, architects, artists, magnates, musicians ...

But to keep it short:
For example, Albert Einstein wrote his seminal work about Mozart as emigrant in Massachusetts, about which he said "I cannot thank my Fuehrer enough" ...:-)!  With this remark Einstein showed a great sense of satirical humor!

And did you know that Hedy Lamarr wasn't just a pretty face?
We will celebrate the 100. anniversary of  her birth in Austria in 2013!

Several ended up in Hollywood.. writing film music - such as Erich Wolfgang Korngold.
This music, written for the silver screen in which Errol Flynn and others ride/sail forever young, remains even today THE Hollywood sound. Above from Robin Hood, below from The Seahawk
There can be no doubt that Korngold's music has been influenced by the genius of Wagner and Mahler.
Others became leading directors, actors and scriptwriters.
But mentioning them all would take too much of your time, chers readers.
Want to find out about them, go on ...  google ...  LOL!