February 26, 2012

Where was I?

Places I'd forgotten about until I cleaned up my desk this afternoon:


Celebratory screening of Spinal Tap at Shakespeare Tavern on the 11/11/11 anniversary. Pair with their walk-through of Two Gentlemen of Lebowski for silliness.


Break up our Met season of Wagner's Ring with Glass's Satyagraha. This was one of the most moving productions I've ever seen. Satyagraha has been my favorite opera on score along. Seeing it, and with such and inventive set design and puppetry, was a dream. NYTimes review.


Started our ASO season with Beethoven, Elgar, Britten, and Dvorak. Orchestra left this season. Score!

posted by sstrader at 5:29 PM in Concerts , Where was I? | permalink

February 21, 2012


Reddit comment linked to a video of the Crimson Jazz Trio playing "I Talk to the Wind". Not my favorite, but there are two CDs of them recording King Crimson covers in a classic piano/bass/drums jazz trio. Members include original KC drummer Ian Wallace, whose death ended the trio's recordings.

Recommended with the CJ3 recordings on Amazon is a recording by (Tony) Levin, (David) Torn, and (Alan) White of a more hardcore/experimental guitar/bass/drums style. Somewhat reminiscent of Elliott Sharp's recording Datacide. This was a more challenging listen. Octatonic scales and tone clusters and compound meters. Enjoyable and varied.

Continue reading "Trios"
posted by sstrader at 9:15 PM in Current Interests , Music | permalink

February 8, 2012

1Q84, Haruki Murakami

Not the most highly praised Murakami, but it appeared on my Amazon wish list and I'm not sure how (but I am sure that it's something I would've put on there after reading about it). 900+ pages, a very dry style, but (at ~400 in during the first week) I'm drawn to its magic realism. Comprised originally of three books when published in Japan, the story hops between two narrators as their discrete lives are revealed to be joined (spoiler! (as if you didn't see it coming)). As clumsy as some descriptions are, others are sublime. And that's part of what keeps me interested.

Continue reading "1Q84, Haruki Murakami"
posted by sstrader at 8:30 PM in Current Interests , Language & Literature | permalink

February 1, 2012

Where was I?

New year and new ASO concerts. January was Beethoven's Emperor and Elgar's Symphony No. 1 and then two weeks later the Eroica and Britten's Violin Concerto. I was never a fan of the English composers, but both the Elgar with its clean Romanticism and the Britten with its mid-century tonalism were enjoyable. (ASO has really cleaned up their calendar! I'd always struggled to find notes on performances months after-the-fact. Their old calendar was barely usable, but the new layout is very nicely done.) Tomorrow night is more Beethoven but this time with a French and a Czech.


Then, on Jan 22nd, we went to a Music on the Hill (MotH) concert at the Northside Drive Baptist Church. Alexei Romanenko on Cello and Christine Yoshikawa on Piano played some moderns:

  • Arvo Pärt - Spiegel im Spiegel
  • Schnittke - Sonata No. 1 for Cello and Piano
  • Fauré - Aprés une Rêve
  • (intermission)
  • Schnittke - Suite in the Old Style for Cello & Piano
  • Stravinsky - Suite Italienne

The pieces were programmed nicely with the meditative Part opening to a very, very fiery Schnittke (the whole reason I was there) and closing the first half with a syrupy few minutes of Faure. The two pieces in the second half--though I liked less--were two modern homages to the late Baroque. The Schnittke piece was, sadly, just a competent student work. MotH has some great Sunday recitals coming up too.


Monday we celebrated our 13th anniversary ("textiles"?!) at La Pietra Cucina. We were there years ago for Alicia's b-day, but they've since re-designed and we really enjoyed it. Fun fact: when you enter you're greeted by one of two signed Steinway wood-finished baby grands that the owner has.

This weekend is our 3rd annual (sortof) weekend in the mountains with friends.

posted by sstrader at 9:26 PM in Where was I? | permalink