Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tonight, tonight, tonight

Philip Glass’s Symphony No. 9 is “a large scale, three movement work for orchestra, and while direct in form, it will be formidable in performance with piccolos doubled, horn section fortified, and with bass brass, and timpani doubled. The Ninth promises to be, in the composer’s words ‘big and unrelenting,’ with an avoidance of solo passagework, this piece will be a real team effort throughout. Each movement follows a similar plan: an opening theme broadly stated a contrasting highly energized middle section, and a slower ending with a newer version of the opening theme. Throughout the work becomes increasingly dense and contrapuntal thereby giving the whole work its overall dramatic shape.”

From the premiere's program note.


"David B. Lewin made his greatest impact, however, as an analyst of music. His innovative approach to the structure of music considered not only the "things" within a composition, but also the relationships among those things. In his transformational analysis, musical space took shape in intervals of "distance" (e.g., pitch) and also of "time" (e.g., rhythm). Such study of mathematical coherence in music [based upon the higher mathematics of group theory, algebraic topology, and projective geometry] proved inclusive, breaking down conventional boundaries between genres, periods, and styles. A consummate and dedicated teacher, Lewin influenced generations of students."


And what's wrong with conventional -- or, indeed, unconventional -- boundaries between genres, periods, and styles.

Image credit: (c) Copyright controlled.

Cloud Update: clouds of cold matter that block light from the stars behind it

Currently Projected U.S. Budget Deficits Or Surpluses Fiscal Years 2000 To 2022

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The deficit in 2009 was about 10 percent of GDP. The vertical line is today.

Congressional Budget Office

"CBO expects economic activity to quicken after 2013 but to remain below the economy’s potential until 2018. ... As economic growth picks up after 2013, the unemployment rate will gradually decline to around 7 percent by the end of 2015, before dropping to near 5½ percent by the end of 2017."



"The number of jobless in the 17 countries of the single currency Eurozone bloc rose in December for an eighth consecutive month to 16.5m – roughly the population of the Netherlands."

Financial Times

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Berkeley music faculty increased to 17 in 1964

The Berkeley music faculty increased to 17 in 1964 (appointments between 1950-1965: Andrew W. Imbrie, Edgar H. Sparks, Joseph Kerman, Seymour J. Shifrin, Vincent Duckles, Arnold Elston, Edward E. Lowinsky, Lawrence H. Moe, Daniel Heartz, Alan S. Curtis, David B. Lewin, Michael C. Senturia, Richard L. Crocker).

Friday, January 27, 2012

This Just In

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Tonight's Debate From Davos: Eight Nobel Laureates On The State Of The World

Bloomberg Editorial Board: "Western Civilization Is On The Verge Of A Catastrophic Failure"

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"If billionaires, bankers and politicians extract one insight from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, let it be this: Western civilization is on the verge of a catastrophic failure to balance its short-term and long-term interests."

Davos Elite Should Put Some Substance in Their Schmooze

Photo credit: (c) Estate of Stephen deStaebler 2011. Copyright controlled.

Tomorrow Night, Swedish Youth Orchestra To Offer Outstanding Orchestral Programming In Nation's Capital Region

Swedish National Youth Orchestra
Strathmore Hall, Bethesda, Maryland
Friday January 27, 2012 at 8 PM. All tickets $15.

Tõnu Kaljuste, conductor
Hugo Ticciati, violin
Johan Bridger, marimba


August Söderman: Swedish Festival Music

Arvo Pärt: Cantus in memoriam Benjamin Britten

Tobias Broström: Samsara, Concerto for Violin and Marimba


Sergey Rachmaninov Symphony No. 2

Photo credit: © 2009 Jan Curtis northern lights images. All rights reserved.


On An Overgrown Path celebrated Youth Orchestras (also performing Rachmaninoff) here.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Q: How Low Can Official U.S. Unemployment Go?

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A: ... "longer-run normal rate of unemployment has a central tendency of 5.2 percent to 6.0 percent."

Federal Reserve Board Press Release Issued after its January 2012 Organizational Meeting.

Adam van Breen
Skating on the Frozen Amstel River, 1611
The Lee and Juliet Folger Fund, in honor of Arthur K. Wheelock, Jr.

Image credit:
© 2012 National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

More On Sustaining Middle-Class Per Capita Incomes In Emerging Europe And Central Asia ... As Well As In The U.S.

"The World Bank is committing $27 billion to keep nations in eastern Europe and central Asia from bearing the brunt of a European banking crisis, the bank announced Wednesday."

Photo credit: National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Kyiv, Ukraine, Future European Union. Image (c) Kyiv-Mohyla Foundation of America 2011.


GDP Per Capita (PPP) (April 2011)

Emerging Europe & Central Asia $7,214

Euro area $38,580

Russian Federation $16,840

Ukraine $7,126

China $8,289

The World Bank

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Happy Lunar New Year/Spring Festival

Photo credit: (c) Andy Wong and Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Kennedy Center/NSO To Preview Soundworld Of Detlev Glanert's Operatic Trilogy "The Ship"

"Shoreless River, a National Symphony co-commission, is a brooding tone poem evoking images of water. This 18-minute piece is an excerpt from Glanert’s Das Holzschiff (The Wooden Ship), which received its premiere in Nuremberg in 2010—the first in a series of three operas to be based on Hans Henny Jahnn’s sprawling three-part 1937 novel "The Ship."

Kennedy Center/National Symphony Orchestra

[Discounted $20 tickets available for this winter concert.]

Photo credit: (c) Gregorio Borgia and Associated Press. Via Washingtonpost.com. Copyright controlled. All rights reserved.



Washington National Opera Announces
New Wave of Artistic Initiatives

This Looks Like Wintertime Fun! NSO To Explore Mozart, Mesmerism ... And Schubert

"A certain physician named Dr. Franz Anton Mesmer, who was chased out of Vienna, found its sonority quite useful to provide the desired ambience for his controversial demonstrations of hypnotic states using magnets (i.e., "mesmerism")."

National Symphony Orchestra

Christa Schönfeldinger and Thomas Bloch are contemporary proponents of glass instruments. Ms. Schönfeldinger will be performing at the NSO concert in a work by Jörg Widmann premiered by the Vienna Philharmonic under Pierre Boulez in 2007. (Discounted $20 tickets available for this winter concert.)



Sofía Gubaidulina - Der Reiter auf dem weissen Pferd (2002)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

OK, But Where Is The Renaissance?

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Dear Pan Cogito,

I just delivered my 2012 State of the State address. California is on the mend and we have a lot of work ahead of us.

I encourage you to read the speech [click for link to PDF] and share it with your friends and family.


Jerry Brown

Photo credit: California Academy of Sciences via the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

In Memorium, Gustav Leonhardt

I last thought about Mr. Leonhardt a few days back, after reviewing my old treble viola da gamba parts to transcriptions of works by Josquin des Prez, Monteverdi, and J.S. Bach (informally performed under the late Bruce Hayes's father, who lent me the viola and who I helped, a bit on a few Saturday mornings, build a harpsichord, at the time of the student riots).

(Click on the second link below for a typical Leonhardt program listing.)

While I heard Mr. Leonhardt perform, once or twice I believe, in Berkeley, I never met him (as I did, once, Luigi Dallapiccola, in Aspen, Colorado, in the summer of 1969, at about the time of the Moon Landing.)

New York Times Obituary

Photo credit: Via Wratislavia Cantans, Poland, European Union. Copyright controlled.

Friday, January 06, 2012

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Next Tuesday's evening airwaves update:

Esa-Pekka Salonen Conducting the San Francisco Symphony in:
Sibelius: Pohjola's Daughter
Esa-Pekka Salonen: Violin Concerto (feat. Leila Josefowicz)
Wagner: Exerpts from Götterdämmerung (feat. Christine Brewer)
Recorded: December 10, 2011.

Carleton E. Watkins - The View of the Golden Gate from Telegraph Hill.

Merry Christmas Wishes To My Orthodox Christian Readers In Europe And Elsewhere -- Peace On Earth

Zhytomyr, Ukraine, Future European Union.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

This Just In: Spanish Unemployment Hits 23 Percent; German Unemployment Dips To 6.8 Percent

May You Live In Interesting Times And Be Generous (And Listen To The Music Of The Spheres)

Image credit: nasa.gov