Tuesday, May 26, 2009

'Conservatory Project' Quiz: What Was First Movie To Nominated For Academy Awards For Both Best Picture & Best Foreign Film And Who Was The Composer?

While everyone thinks, I will continue to enjoy the afterglow of two superb String Quartet performances in the Nation's Capital this past weekend -- the Moscow String Quartet, at the Freer Gallery, performing Sofia Gubaidulina's Trio (1988) and String Quartet #4 (1994) and London's The Smith Quartet, at the Phillips Collection, performing quartets by Michael Nyman, Conlon Nancarrow, Philip Glass, and Donnacha Dennehy.

And I can now strongly recommend The Smith Quartet recording Ghost Stories, which features fascinating and strong string quartets with electronics -- as does the Sofia Gubaidulina String Quartet #4. The Smith String Quartet has also recently released major recordings of string quartets by Steve Reich and Philip Glass. (I paid for my The Smith String Quartet copy of 'Ghost Stories' and for my ticket to the Moscow String Quartet; although my wife arranged for my complimentary admission to the Phillips Collection and its concert on Sunday.)

I rounded out my holiday weekend by listening to the Nash Ensemble of London perform chamber music of Harrison Birtwistle and a delayed live broadcast on Classical WETA-FM of the Triple Helix piano trio performing John Harbison's recent cello and piano duo Abu Ghraib and the Shostakovich String Trio #2.

(N. also insisted that I join her in watching the near heart-breaking PBS Memorial Day concert and severly-wounded war veteran documentary from the Capitol Grounds on Sunday night. When Tom Hanks or one of his colleagues announced that it was the 20th Anniversary of the Department of Defense-produced National Symphony Orchestra holiday special, I recalled that it was almost 30 years since the 'culture wars' of the 1980s were launched, in part, by a performance by the National Symphony Orchestra, on a National Holiday, of Leonard Bernstein's Songfest, featuring members of his family as the soloists or reciters. This year's Memorial Day concert was followed in our home theater by a screening of the first cassette of Schindler's List, which N. had never seen. The second, shorter cassette followed last night. We are still debating whether Steven Spielberg's 'second unit' filmed entirely in Croatia, in early 1993, or from Castle Hill, in Lviv, Ukraine, as well.]


Header photo credit: (c) Eugeniy Ogranovich 2009. Via the Moscow String Quartet website. Copyright controlled. With thanks.


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