Thursday, September 27, 2007

Foul Deeds And The Letting Slip Dogs Of War

[Click on image for enlargement.]

Photo credit: (c) Reuters via New York Times. With thanks.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Life On Earth

Photo credit: (c) Radio Praha (Czech Radio).

EUROAMCLASSICS LIVE!! Wednesday Evening Live Classical Music: The Battle Of The European Embassy Contemporary Violin-Piano Recitals

Wednesday, September 26, 2007 [under virtually full, early autumn moon]:

In one corner, the Embassies of Poland and France, fronting Mariuz Patyra and Giovanni Caselli (please strongly consider using METRORAIL and D2 bus to attend):


Claude Debussy: Sonata for violin and piano
Niccolo Paganini: I Palpiti
Henryk Wieniawski: Wariacje na temat wlasny op.15
Johannes Brahms: Taniec wegierski nr. 17 (arr. F.Kreisler)
Karol Szymanowski: Narcyz
Camille Saint-Saëns: Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso


In the opposing conrer, the Embassy of Austria, fronting Alexander Gheorghiu, violin and Florian Müller, piano (please strongly consider using METRORAIL and your own legs to attend) [FREE, with reservation]:

Arnold Schoenberg: Fantasie, op. 47
John Cage: Concerto for Piano
John Adams: Road Movies (1995)
Friedrich Cerha: Deux Eclats (1956)
Anton von Webern: 4 Pieces, op. 7
John Cage: two6

Peacefully striking blows for a living, 21st century classical culture are Alexander Gheorghiu, violin and Florian Müller, piano.

Photo credit: (c) Hans Labler via the Embassy of Austria. With thanks.

"Hillary Clinton As The Most Religious Democrat Since Jimmy Carter": (Abandonning Bipartisanism, Pan Cogito Gets Down, Civic, And Religious)

"[Hillary] Clinton is neither secular nor awkward about her faith. She cites her Methodist upbringing as a formative experience, with its emphasis on "preaching and practicing the social gospel." As a teenager in 1962, she heard and met the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in Chicago -- what would have been a profound experience for a spiritually alert youth -- and was later politically radicalized by his assassination. The likely Democratic nominee participates regularly in small-group Bible studies and is familiar with the works of Reinhold Niebuhr, Paul Tillich and Dietrich Bonhoeffer -- the theological heroes of mainline Protestantism ...

In a nation obsessed by the influence of religious conservatives, it is easy to forget that liberal Protestants were once the dominant cultural influence in America. Beginning in the early 20th century, the social gospel advanced swiftly through most American denominations. Progressive presidents such as Woodrow Wilson spoke in the cadences of this movement: "Christianity was just as much intended to save society as to save the individual, and there is a sense in which it is more important that it should save society."

This high-minded theological liberalism had many successes. It opposed the harsh excesses of industrialization, embraced the civil rights movement, resisted the Vietnam War and led opposition to apartheid in South Africa. It also had debilitating weaknesses -- a preference for democratic socialism, a soft spot for Marxist strongmen, a flitting fascination with trendy causes and a theological shallowness that caused millions to flee the pews.

As an heir to this religious tradition, Hillary Clinton combines two traits that seem contradictory but really aren't -- moralism and social liberalism." ...

Michael Gerson "Can She Reach Religious Voters?" Washington Post September 26, 2007

en: Paul Tillich’s gravestone in the Paul Tillich Park, New Harmony, Indiana, USA; de: Grabstein von Paul Tillich in dem Paul Tillich Park in New Harmony, Indiana, USA.

Photo credit: Michael Gaebler via Wikipedia. With thanks.


Public radio WETA-FM, in Nation's Capital, spends another day completely stiffing American classical music in favor of classical music industry obscurantism. Shame on Sharon Percy Rockefeller and other Washington limousine liberals who support the current public radio WETA-FM (possibly including Hillary Rodham Clinton?)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

University Of Maryland To Perform American Orchestral Classics By Ives And Griffes Which Are Still Banned By WETA-FM, Public Radio In Nation's Capital

Come hear the next generation of instrumentalists as the University of Maryland Symphony Orchestra kicks off their 07-08 season with an exciting and varied program.

University of Maryland Symphony Orchestra
September 28 8PM
James Ross, music director
William Montgomery, flute

The acclaimed University of Maryland Symphony Orchestra opens its 2007-2008 season with Antonin Dvorák's Carnival Overture, op. 92, Charles T. Griffes's Poem for Flute and Orchestra with faculty artist William Montgomery, Charles Ives's Three Places in New England and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherezade, op. 35.


Coming Soon
October 5 . 8PM

Left Bank Concert Society
Mining Hidden Treasures

Hear an unorthodox Hans Eisler nonet and two area premieres — Sinner’s Diary by Robert Sirota, and a new cello sonata by Roberto Sierra — anchored by the luminous double-bass quintet of Dvorák.


Maryland Opera Studio - Later the Same Evening: an opera inspired
by five paintings of Edward Hopper November 15-18

Jeff Grandy, Geometric Ice, Dana Fork, Tuolumne. Winner of Yosemite Renaissance Art Competition and Exhibition.

Photo credit: (c) Jeff Grandy via West Coast Imaging. 2007. All rights reserved. With thanks.


WETA-FM is still a lagging cultural indicator in the Nation.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Photo credit: UCLA Archives/Associated Press. 1983. With thanks.

Friday, September 21, 2007

MET v. NYCO: Are We About, Finally, To Witness Significant Creative Competition Without Creative Destruction?

Alex Ross, ArtsJournal, and the New York Sun report that Gerard Mortier, from Europe, plans in 2009-10 to stage at the New York City Opera, Olivier Messiaen's sublime Saint Francis of Assisi (designed for the Park Avenue Armory by Ilya Kabakov), The Rakes Progress, Nixon in China, Death in Venice, and Einstein on the Beach. (I see no reason for an opera company to stage the Wilson/Glass Einstein on the Beach.) Anselm Kiefer is also lined up to design one of that season's operas.

Operatic commissions have apparently also been extended to Philip Glass and to Bernice Johnson Reagon (of Sweet Honey of the Rock).

A mixed, though generally positive, beginning, in my view, in regards to the 2009-10 season. Given the similarly positive outlook at the Metropolitan National Opera, it looks like I'll have to pull out the old train timetable much more often, or move back to New York City.

(Shouldn't Anselm Kiefer have been designing contemporary operas at major world opera houses beginning 25 years ago?)

(I hope that the Metropolitan National Opera, or the Washington National Opera, will still mount Olivier Messiaen's Saint Francis of Assisi in the Daniel Libeskind production that I saw in Berlin.)

'Zim Zum' by Anselm Kiefer, 1990, acrylic, emulsion, crayon, shellac, ashes and canvas on lead, National Gallery of Art (Washington, D. C.).

Photo credit: (c) Anselm Kiefer and the National Gallery of Art. All rights reserved. With thanks. (Via Wikipedia).

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Now Let Us Praise Our Outstanding Non-Globalist, National Cultural Heritage Women And Men (And Non-Multicultural, Individual Artistic Excellence)

The 2007 NEA National Heritage Fellowship recipients are:

Nicholas Benson
Stone letter cutter and calligrapher
Newport, RI

Sidiki Conde
Guinean dancer and musician
New York, NY

Violet de Cristoforo
Haiku poet and historian
Salinas, CA

Pat Courtney Gold
Wasco sally bag weaver
Scappoose, OR

Eddie Kamae
Hawaiian musician, composer, filmmaker
Honolulu, HI

Agustin Lira
Chicano singer, musician, composer
Fresno, CA

Julia Parker
Kashia Pomo basketmaker
Midpines, CA

Mary Jane Queen
Appalachian musician
Cullowhee, NC

Please Note: Ms. Queen died on June 30. She will be represented at the events by her family.

Joe Thompson
African American string band musician
Mebane, NC

Irvin L. Trujillo
Rio Grande weaver
Chimayo, NM

Elaine Hoffman Watts
Klezmer musician
Havertown, PA

The 2007 Bess Lomax Hawes Award goes to photo documentarian, author, and exhibit curator Roland Freeman of Washington, D.C.

Mary Jane Queen+
Cullowhee, NC
Appalachian musician
(Two Songs)

Roland Freeman
Washington, DC
Photo Documentarian, Author, and Exhibit Curator

Elaine Hoffman Watts
Havertown, PA
Klezmer musician
(Two Songs)


Photo credits: Courtesy of the NEA Recipients via the NEA (Because a Great Nation Deserves Great Art). With thanks.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

"Hey Pan [Cogito]! -- Why Do You Use So Many Brackets And Parentheses And (First) Write Titles That Have Nothing To Do With Your Posts?"

(Stendhal likes to cut off the sound in the middle of a scene; we stop hearing dialogue and start to follow a character’s secret thinking ... [W]ith his interior monologue, Tolstoy examines not, as Joyce will do later, an ordinary, banal day, but instead the decisive moments of his heroine’s life [Anna Karenina's]. And that is much harder, for the more dramatic, unusual, grave a situation is, the more the person describing it tends to minimize its concrete qualities. ... Tolstoy’s examination of the prose of a suicide is therefore a great achievement, a ‘discovery’ that has no parallel in the history of the novel and never will have.)

-- Milan Kundera

From Russell Banks' New York Times review "Reading With Kundera" of Milan Kundera's "The Curtain: An Essay In Seven Parts".


This bronze statue, by Stephen De Staebler, is located at the east court of The Roofless Church of New Harmony Inn, New Harmony, Indiana. It is also called Death and Resurrection.

Photo credit: (c) New Harmony Inn. All rights reserved. With thanks.


[A small ink sketch on hand-made paper for this bronze statue is in the collection of Pan Cogito. Stephen De Staebler and his dealer, Franklin Parrasch, donated the proceeds of the sale to the immediate victims and victims' families of September 11, 2001.]

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Milan Kundera on History And The History Of Its Arts

"While History (mankind's History) might have the poor taste to repeat itself, the history of an art will not stand for repetitions. Art isn't there to be some great mirror registering all of History's ups and downs, variations, endless repetitions. Art is not a village band marching dutifully along at History's heels. It is there to create its own history, which in itself represents no value. The one thing that has some chance of enduring is the history of its arts."

from Milan Kundera The Curtain: An Essay In Seven Parts (Translated from the French by Linda Asher)


Saving the National Anthem, no American classical music on the programs of either the National Symphony nor the New York Philharmonic gala opening concerts this week. The San Francisco Symphony opening gala tomorrow, on the other hand, rightfully will feature American classical music: "Prime-time MTT: music with which he has come to be identified, from American classics by Copland and Adams to Prokofiev’s brilliant score for Romeo and Juliet—which the SFS and MTT recorded in their Grammy-winning first CD together. The great soprano Renée Fleming will be featured in some of Ravel’s most sensuous songs."

Hans Burgkmair: Preco, the Announcer of the Triumph; and Hans Springinklee: The Emperor's Wars

Hans Burgkmair (1473 - 1531)

"With his outstanding activity as a painter and designer of woodcuts, he was one of the artists who shaped the style of German Renaissance. Except for some journeys, one of which leading to Italy in 1507, he was working in Augsburg. His friendship with Konrad Celtis and Konrad Peutinger, two prominent humanists of the time helped him to become a leading master of Emperor Maximilian's woodcut projects. About half of the 139 sheets of the Triumphal Procession as well as a significant part of the woodcuts for the Weisskunig and the Theuerdank were designed by him. He also played a main role in the development of printing in colour."


Hans Springinklee (1490/95 - 1525 után)

"Born in Nuremberg and active in his native town all through his life as a disciple and follower of Albrecht Dürer. Although he was engaged in important assignments also as a painter, today he is mainly known of his woodcuts. Between 1516 and 1521 he designed book illustrations co-operating with Erhard Schön, another former apprentice to Dürer. He took part in several woodcut series perpetuating the fame of Emperor Maximilian. A few sheets were done for the Weisskunig and a good number of brilliant ones representing the Emperor's Wars for the Triumphal Procession. His other great contribution was to the Arch of Honour, where the Family Tree placed in the middle and some of the episodes from the Emperor's life originate from him."

from Durer and His Contemporaries at the Szépmûvészeti Múzeum (Museum of Fine Arts), Budapest, Hungary, European Union.


Image and caption credits: (c) Szépmûvészeti Múzeum, Budapest. All rights reserved. With thanks.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Mstislav Rostropovich, From Beyond Grave, Continues Furtherance Of Russian and Slavic Cultural And Spiritual Renaissance

"An art collection belonging to the late Russian cellist Mstislav Rostropovich has been sold to a private buyer for substantially more than $40 million, Sotheby's auction house said Monday.

Sotheby's said the anonymous buyer intended to return the collection to Russia. An auction of the collection, scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, was canceled.

The buyer's identity was expected to be revealed Tuesday in Moscow.

Sotheby's did not disclose the sale price, but said it was ''substantially higher'' than the pre-auction estimate of $40 million.

Rostropovich, who died in April at age 80, was considered one of the finest cellists of the 20th century and was a staunch opponent of Soviet-era repression.

He fled the Soviet Union in the early 1970s after sheltering the dissident writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn, settling in Paris with his wife, soprano Galina Vishnevskaya.

The couple amassed one of the world's finest private collections of Russian art, including glassware, porcelain and works by leading painters such as Ilya Repin and Boris Grigoriev.

In a statement, Vishnevskaya's family said they were delighted the collection had been bought whole.

''It is especially meaningful for our family that the new owner will bring it to Russia,'' the statement said." ...

Associated Press "Rostropovich Art Fetches More Than $40M" September 17. 2007

Composer Alexander Glazunov by painter Ilya Repin, 1887.

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons. With thanks.


The Russian Museum, Petersburg, Russian Federation

Friday, September 14, 2007

Mr Cogito Pulls Out His Tall Rubber Boots As He Prepares Neighbourhood For Higher Oceans, More Severe Hurricanes, And A "Non-Polar, Global World"

"The US has suffered a significant loss of power and prestige around the world in the years since George W. Bush came to power, limiting its ability to influence international crises, an annual survey from a well regarded British security think-tank concluded on Tuesday.

The 2007 Strategic Survey of the non-partisan International Institute for Strategic Studies picked the decline of US authority as one of the most important security developments of the past year – but suggested the fading of American prestige began earlier, largely due to its failings in Iraq.

John Chipman, the institute’s director-general, said the “authority, prestige and reputation of the US is not what it might have been four or five years ago”. The deter­ioration of American power had led to a “non-polar” world in which other actors, such as Russia, had been able to assert themselves.

The report says the US failure in Iraq had meant the Bush administration suffered from a much-reduced ability to hold sway in both domestic and international affairs. This was evident, it says, from the president’s failure to push through a new immigration bill, to the scant regard paid to US efforts to influence Israeli-Palestinian developments and Mr Bush’s sudden acceptance of the need for action on climate change. ...

Washington’s ability to act as an honest broker in the world had declined; and Iraq had meant the US had failed to pay as much attention as it should have to other parts of the world.

The report concludes that the “the restoration of American strategic authority seemed bound to take much longer than the mere installation of a new president”.

Stephen Fidler "US sufffers decline in prestige" Financial Times September 12, 2007

Human beings, Magadan, Russian Federation Far East.

Magadan was created in 1933 CE. Human beings were not.

Natalia Dolgova, born 1968 in Ust-Omchug, Magadan Region, artist whose work is based on the ancient art of the peoples of Northeast Asia, in particular the Chukchee and Eskimos

Vadim Kozin, 1903–1994, a popular Russian tenor in the 1930s. Sentenced to the Kolyma camps in 1944, he became a resident of Magadan where he died.

Nikolai Getman, 1917-2004, Ukrainian artist, remembered for his paintings depicting the horrors of the Kolyma gulag. He organised the Magadan Artists' Union and was director of the Magadan section of the Arts Foundation of the RSFSR from 1963 to 1966.

Valentin Tsvetkov, 1948-2002, former governor (from 1996) of Magadan Oblast, gunned down in Moscow in October 2002, apparently for issues involving fish quotas.

Photo credit: (c) Basil Pao and Palin's Travels. All rights reserved. 2007. With thanks.


"What is history?"

"What evidence is there that the lead in Hamlet should be played by a male actor?"

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Of Fast Machines And Common Men And Women: San Francisco Continues To Debate The Need For A New Skyline Of "Iconic-Only" 80-Story Skyscrapers

Well, I heard the San Francisco Symphony under MTT, on Friday, August 24, perform R. Strauss, Shostakovich, and Tchaikovsky, and the San Francisco posters for that performance were correct (regarding the performance, only the ending of Strauss's Salome was well performed).

That concert was gaudily sponsored by Pacific Gas and Electricity, which (despite the rush for new, "iconic-only" very tall skyscrapers) is trying to promote a new and sustainable Hanging Gardens of Babylon on the Bay. N. and I now each have lime green, Chinese-made lunch containers, emblazoned with PG & E, courtesy of PG & E's public relations effort.


"If San Jose's Plaza de Cesar Chavez is good enough for pop star Mandy Moore, it's good enough for the San Francisco Symphony.

A month after Moore performed at the plaza as part of the Music in the Park series, the symphony will give a free performance there at noon Oct. 5. It's part of a 13-concert season the San Francisco orchestra will have in Silicon Valley, including performances at the Flint Center in Cupertino.

Led by resident conductor Benjamin Shwartz, the symphony will perform a program featuring works by Aaron Copland, John Adams, George Gershwin and Sergei Prokofiev.

This is the first free concert the San Francisco Symphony has performed in San Jose, but it's not the first time it has played here. The orchestra first performed at San Jose's Victory Theater in 1918, just seven years after the symphony was founded."

Sal Pizarro "Pizarro: Symphony to treat San Jose to a freebie" San Jose News September 13, 2007

Photo credit: (c) and Sfgate blog on the San Francisco Symphony's European tour and Alex Ross's The Rest is Noise. With thanks.


"The San Francisco Symphony (SFS) announced [on August 8] Target Family Night at the San Francisco Symphony. A new addition to the San Francisco Symphony’s opening week festivities, the concert features Associate Conductor James Gaffigan leading the San Francisco Symphony on Saturday September 22 at 7:30 p.m. in Davies Symphony Hall. Thanks to the generosity of Target, the concert is specially priced at $10 for adults and $1 for children age 17 and under. Designed for Bay Area families to spend a festive evening at Davies Symphony Hall with the San Francisco Symphony, the concert offers the entire family an opportunity to share the joy and discovery of music making. The program features music by Gershwin, Piazzolla, Brahms, Beethoven, Falla, Bartók, and Prokofiev. The evening begins at 6:00 p.m. with complimentary refreshments and lobby entertainment, followed by the concert at 7:30 p.m. This program is recommended for children ages seven and older.

“The San Francisco Symphony’s commitment to educating and nurturing the musical needs of its community dates back to 1911,” said John D. Goldman, President of the San Francisco Symphony. ..."


The Baltimore Symphony's Friday September 14 outreach concert ["selections from the symphonies of Beethoven and Dvorák, Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5, John Adams’ Short Ride in Fast Machine and more"], at Strathmore Hall in highly affluent Montgomery County, costs $10 for all seats. Some lower and middle income families will probably be deterred by this one price from attending and experiencing classical music live in the 'Greater Washington' area.