Thursday, March 29, 2012

Either/Or [How Should We Live And Create?]

Led by Gisèle Becker, Cantate Chamber Singers presents Great Minds: Ideas as Musical Inspiration, an evening of virtuoso choral music inspired by great artists and thinkers. Featured on the program is a ... tribute to Leonardo Da Vinci by ... contemporary composer Eric Whitacre, Frank Martin's peerlessly playful settings of Shakespeare's The Tempest, Gavin Bryars' And so ended Kant's traveling in this world, classic 20th-century works by Luigi Dallapiccola and Gustav Holst, and a special talk on music and philosophy by Jerrold Levinson, Distinguished University Professor of Philosophy at the University of Maryland. Guests are invited to a post-concert reception.

Cantate Chamber Singers St. John's Episcopal Church, Norwood Parish, Chevy Chase, Maryland, Saturday March 31, 2012 7:30 PM.

Concert Notes and Sung-texts


Washington's PostClassical Ensemble, an experimental musical laboratory, also this Saturday evening.


"What Wittgenstein is underscoring here about the appreciation of music is this. Music is not understood in a vacuum, as a pure structure of sounds fallen from the stars, one which we receive via some pure faculty of musical perception. Music is rather inextricably embedded in our form of life, a form of life that is, as it happens, essentially linguistic. Thus music is necessarily apprehended, at least in part, in terms of the language and linguistic practices that define us and our world."

Image credit: Published in two volumes in 1843, Either/Or (original Danish title: Enten ‒ Eller) is an influential book written by the Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard, exploring the aesthetic and ethical "phases" or "stages" of existence. Published before 1923 and therefore in the public domain in the U.S.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Breaking News ...

"...our [Safeway] stores' meat departments will no longer purchase fresh ground beef or frozen ground beef patties that contain lean, finely textured beef [and connective tissues treated with ammonium gas]. We appreciate our customers and care about your concerns."

Reminder: National Gallery Of Art To Celebrate National Cherry Blossom Festival With Music Of Ives, Takemitsu, And Hosokawa

Anraku-Miyata Duo
April 1 at 6:30PM

West Building Main Floor, West Garden Court, National Gallery of Art

Music for harp and shō by Toshio Hosokawa and other composers
Presented in honor of the National Cherry Blossom Festival

Ayano Ninomiya, violinist
Timothy Lovelace, pianist

April 4 at 12:10PM

West Building Ground Floor, Lecture Hall, National Gallery of Art

Music by Takemitsu and sonatas by Hindemith, Bartok, and Debussy!!!(updated)
Presented in honor of the National Cherry Blossom Festival

Jack String Quartet
April 11 at 12:10PM

East Building Concourse, Auditorium, National Gallery of Art

Music by Hosokawa and Ives Presented in honor of the National Cherry Blossom Festival

Image credit: Théodore Gericault, The Piper, Gift of Ruth Cole Kainen.

Copyright © 2012 National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Don't Let The Kids Tell You That There Is Nothing Interesting Going On Tomorrow Night (Or This Coming Saturday Night)

Henry Lawes (1595-1662)
Oft have I sworn I’d love no more
William Lawes (1602-1645)
Perfect and endless circles are
Or you, or I, nature did wrong
Daniel Norcombe (17th Century)
Tregian’s ground for bass viol and continuo
Henry Lawes (1595-1662)
Wither are all her false oaths blown?
William Lawes (1602-1645)
Why so pale and wan, fond lover?
Nicholas Lanier (1588-1666)
Neither sights, nor tears, nor mourning
Thomas Tomkins (1572-1656)
Ground MB 40 for harpsichord
Henry Lawes (1595-1662)
I rise and grieve
Bid me but live, and I will live
Wert thou yet fairer than thou art

- - Intermission - -

Henry Lawes (1595-1662)
When thou, poor excommunicate
Have you e’er seen the morning sun?
Slide soft you silver floods
O tell me love! O tell me fate!
Christopher Simpson (c. 1602-1669)
Ground for bass viol and continuo
Henry Lawes (1595-1662)
Sweet stay awhile; why do you rise?
William Lawes (1602-1645)
I’m sick of love
Nicholas Lanier (1588-1666)
No more shall meads be deck'd with flowers
John Playford (1623-1686)
The Queen’s delight / Lady Catherine Ogle, a new dance for treble viol and continuo
Henry Lawes (1595-1662)
Sleep soft, you cold clay cinders
Out upon it, I have lov’d
William Lawes (1602-1645)
Why should great beauty virtuous fame desire

French Embassy, House of Culture, Washington, D.C.


Haydn’s String Quartet, op. 54, no. 1
Beethoven’s String Quintet, op. 29
Brahms’ Clarinet Trio, op. 114.

Meyer Auditorium, Freer Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.


Suk: Meditation, for quartet
Janacek: Selections from In the Mists, for solo piano
Janacek: String Quartet no. 1 (“Kreutzer Sonata”)
Dvorak: Piano Quintet in A minor, op. 81

Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.


And upcoming and also worth it:

PostClassical Ensemble: Schubert Uncorked - Saturday, March 31. Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.

As a part of this project, PostClassical Ensemble has commissioned of a trombone / chamber orchestra version of Schubert’s Arpeggione Sonata, which they believe will become the first “classical” bass trombone concerto to enter the repertoire.

Image credit: PostClassical Ensemble.

Council of Economic Advisers Predicts 2 Million U.S. Jobs Will Be Added In 2012

Syria Accepts Annan Ceasefire Plan

Monday, March 26, 2012

American Civilization Minus $1 Trillion

Thursday, March 22, 2012

"In Europe, consumers begin buying significant amounts of luxury goods once their incomes rise above the €50,000 to €60,000 band"

“Take Your Clothes Off”: A Note On North Korean Fine Arts (With Apologies To Wallace Stevens)

Washington Post

Photo credit: (c) Wally Santana and the Associated Press 2012. Copyright controlled.

Review Session: Education And Income Inequality In America

"The latest data reveal that the top 1 per cent of earners got 93 per cent of all increases in after-tax personal income in 2010. That reflects, among other things, low effective tax rates for much of this group, which are largely explained by the high percentage of their income that consists of capital gains and dividends. Undoubtedly, there is a strong case for deep tax reform. With the personal tax cuts introduced in 2001 and 2003 expiring in December, there is a golden opportunity to do this next year.

In the longer term, it is imperative to raise education levels. This means better secondary-school completion rates, which lead to increased university attendance. And it also means higher university completion rates, with the greater lifetime earnings that follow. In America, wide-ranging public school reforms are necessary to achieve the first goal, including better methods for teacher training, evaluation and compensation, improved curriculums and upon graduation, as a minimum, assured admission to community colleges."

Financial Times


George Washington University Institute for International Economic Policy Symposium on Global Ultra-Poverty (Co-sponsored by University of Oxford and the World Bank)

Graph credit: Via

First Capriccio, Now Daphnis et Chloé : Phillips Collection Music Room To Host Another Premiere Of Piano Arrangement Of Twentieth Century Classic

Phillips Collection
Washington, D.C.

Roman Rabinovich, piano
March 25, 2012 at 4 pm

François Couperin (1668-1733)
Sœur Monique

Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953)
Romeo and Juliet

Maurice Ravel (1875-1937)
Two movements from Daphnis et Chloé
arr. by R. Rabinovich
Daphnis et Chloé miment l'aventure de Pan et Syrinx
Danse générale

Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971)

Art Works: Public popularity can lead to sponsors, who will send gifts to help tributes stay alive during the games

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Ukraine And Belarus -- Next Steps In European Integration

Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych's son, Oleksander, has become one of the 100 richest men in the country since his father came to power two years ago. "This kind of thing doesn't happen in a normal country. This really is the borderland of Europe," a Kyiv-based EU diplomat told the EU Observer.

Rape case shames EU-aspirant Ukraine

Belarus: a look inside Europe's 'last dictatorship'

60 percent of Ukrainians - according to the Razumkov Center in Kyiv - support EU integration

Photo credit: The Belarus Free Theater in Minsk - non-existant according to officials, but celebrated around the world. (c) Nikolaj Nielsen via the EU Observer.


"The U.N. Security Council on Wednesday endorsed international emissary Kofi Annan’s diplomatic plan to stop violence in Syria, crack open the door to humanitarian relief and prod the Syrian government and opposition into talks on a political settlement.

The endorsement constituted a rare show of unity by the Security Council on the crisis in Syria, where more than 8,000 people have been killed since President Bashar al-Assad’s government launched a crackdown on protesters a year ago."

Washington Post

Some More On The Crème de la Crème v. The Remaining 99 Per Cent

Bottom 99% Real Income Growth...Fraction of Total Real Income Growth (or Loss) captured by Top 1%

Full period 1993-2010
Clinton Expansion 1993-2001
Recession 2000-2002
Bush Expansion 2002-2007
Great Recession 2007-2009
Recovery 2009-2010

6.4%... 52%
6.8%... 65% (Hence U.S. median income declines)
0.2%... 93% (Hence U.S. median income declines)

"Before the [financial] meltdown, median incomes had already dropped in the 2002-2007 business cycle, which was unique for a developed capitalist economy in the last three generations. Since then, things have got worse. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, US weekly median incomes have fallen by two per cent since the US recession officially ended in mid-2009. Incomes are supposed to rise in a recovery.

This time that holds true only for the crème de la crème. Earlier this month, Emanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty, the Berkeley economists, showed that the top one per cent of Americans captured 93 per cent of the growth in 2010. That was up from 65 per cent in 2001, the first year of the previous recovery. Meanwhile, real incomes did not budge for the remaining 99 per cent."

Financial Times

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Stravinsky Was Last In Oustiloug, Ukraine, In 1914 When He Collected Material For His Dance-Cantata Свадебка

Stravinsky Museum, Oustiloug, Ukraine, Future European Union.

Open to the public Monday to Friday 9 AM to 6 PM. (Confirm before going.)

Phone +380/80 3342 93459

Julie Anne Sadie and Stanley Sadie Calling on the composer: a guide to European composer houses and museums Yale University Press.

2012 PARMA Student Composer Competition Now Open ... Only 11 Days To Go

"The performance went off in very stormy fashion; things went as far as fighting."

2012 PARMA Student Composer Competition


Ten winners will be selected by an award-winning panel of three independent judges, and the winners' pieces will be published in the digitally-distributed 2012 PARMA Anthology Of Music: Student Edition. One Grand Prize Winner will be selected to have their piece professionally recorded and produced for release by PARMA. All recording, performer, production, and publicity costs will be completely subsidized, and the master will be released on a collection from PARMA to be distributed through industry leader Naxos.

There is no fee required for entry into the competition.


• Composer must be enrolled in a composition program or studying privately with a professional composer

• Composer must be 30 years of age or younger

• Piece must be written for up to five performers

• Piece must be ten minutes or less in duration

Competition Timeline

March 1, 2012 Submission period opens
March 31, 2012 Submission period closes
April 1–30, 2012 Judging period
May 1, 2012 Winners announced

Image credit: (c) Getty. All rights reserved.

The Cute Google Logo Meets The Rite Of Spring

[Click on image for enlargement.]

Photo credit: (c) Reuters 2012. Copyright controlled. All rights reserved.

Friday, March 16, 2012

And How Are You Going, Musically, To Celebrate (Post-) Cherry Blossom Season In The Nation's Capital?

[Click on image for enlargement.]

Jack String Quartet

April 11 at 12:10 PM FREE

National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. East Building Auditorium

String Quartets by IVES and HOSOKAWA

Presented in honor of the National Cherry Blossom Festival


Robert Seldon Duncanson, American, 1821–1872, Still Life with Fruit and Nuts, 1848

"African-American artist Robert Seldon Duncanson (1821–1872) was widely recognized during his lifetime for pastoral landscapes of American, Canadian, and European scenery. Recent scholarship, however, has begun to focus on a small group of still-life paintings (fewer than a dozen are known) that Duncanson produced during the late 1840s."...


Classical music goes techno in the Financial Times

Credit: Copyright © 2012 National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Library Of Congress Responds To The Proceeding ... And Doubles

with guest artist STEPHEN DRURY, piano

TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 2012 at 7:00pm
Library of Congress, Coolidge Auditorium, Washington, D.C.

The Arditti Quartet has earned a firm place in music history for its spirited and technically refined interpretations of contemporary music. Since its founding in 1974several hundred quartets and other chamber works written for the ensemble have left a permanent imprint on 20th century repertoire, with milestone collaborations with such composers such as Andriessen, Birtwistle, Carter, Denisov, Ferneyhough, Gubaidulina, Kurtág, Reynolds, Stockhausen and Xenakis.

To mark the Cage Centennial, Irvine Arditti and Stephen Drury perform a 1991 Cage violin and piano work commissioned by the McKim Fund Library of Congress, opening the program with this work at 7:00 pm; the concert will have two intermissions.

CAGE: Two4 (McKim Fund commission)


BERG: String Quartet, op. 3
BARTÓK: Quartet no. 4 in C Major


ADÈS: Four Quarters
BEETHOVEN: Grosse Fuge, op. 133

Photo credit: (c) Astrid Karger

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

French Embassy v. Library Of Congress In Re: Diotoma String Quartet Repertoire, Classical/Contemporary

Diatoma String Quartet at the French Embassy, Washington, D.C. April 12, 2012

PHILIPPE MANOURY: "Tensio" for string quartet and electronics


Diatoma String Quartet at the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. April 13, 2012

SCHUBERT: Quartet no. 7 in D Major, D.94
BEETHOVEN: String Quartet in C-sharp minor, op. 131
SMETANA: String Quartet in E minor (“From my Life”)

Also at Poisson Rouge (NYC) and the Austrian Cultural Forum (NYC) on April 14, 15, 2012.

Photo credit: (c) Diotima String Quartet 2012. Copyright controlled.

Art And The People

[Click on images for enlargement.]

Opponents of the Right-Wing Kapp-Lüttwitz Putsch, Berlin, Germany, 1920; and the Walter Gropius Memorial to the War Dead, Weimar, Germany, 1921/22. (Later destroyed by the Nazi's as degenerate art).

Photo credits: Published outside of U.S. prior to 1923 and hence public domain in the United States. Via Wikipedia.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Toward "The Reach Of Resonance" And "The Nine Muses"

Still from The Nine Muses
John Akomfrah, 2011
Image courtesy of Icarus Films

The Reach of Resonance
March 15, 16 at 12:30 PM FREE

East Building Concourse, Auditorium, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Four musicians and sound artists from radically different backgrounds—Miya Masaoka, a koto performer and composer inspired by insects and plants; Jon Rose, a violin virtuoso whose "found music" created with fencing and other apparatus has attracted the Kronos Quartet; John Luther Adams, whose tones are motivated by the natural landscape; and Bob Ostertag, who integrates sociopolitical concerns into his pieces—not only express their perceptions about music but use their musical talents to create ingenious social harmonies in an increasingly hostile universe. (Steve Elkins, 2010, HD-Cam, 118 minutes)

The Nine Muses
preceded by Sack Barrow
March 17 at 2:00 PM

East Building Concourse, Auditorium

The Nine Muses, the latest creation of the Ghana-born British film and installation artist John Akomfrah, is a layered meditation on human mass migration and its relationship to land use and culture. Combining footage of isolated places and rarely traveled roads; readings from classic texts by Homer, Dante, T. S. Eliot, and others; and the music of Arvo Pärt and India's Gundecha Brothers, Akomfrah has created an evocative journey through myth and environment, a self-described "Proustian attempt to suggest the idea of migration." (John Akomfrah, 2011, HD-Cam, 94 minutes)

Artist and experimental filmmaker Ben Rivers' Sack Barrow poetically portrays (in outmoded 16 mm format) the fading milieu of a pre–World War II factory near London during its final days of operation in 2010. Without voiceover or interview, he carefully records the routines of the last workers, traces of chemical corrosion and continuing decay, as well as the sense of ineffable sadness present in time's passing. (Ben Rivers, 2011, 16 mm, 20 minutes)

Credit: Copyright © 2012 National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

March Women's Day Sadness: From A To Z

"44 years -- The average life expectancy for women in Afghanistan and Zimbabwe, the shortest in the world."

The Brookings Institution: The Contradictions in Global Poverty Numbers

Photo credit: (c) Amit Dave and Reuters. Copyright controlled.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

The Ohio (Impromptu) Really On My Mind This Post-Super Tuesday

“It is the first Beckett play to present a Doppelgänger on stage, another Beckett pair, but this time seen as mirror images; it belongs to Beckett’s ghost period, where phantoms that echo the haunting quality of memory and nostalgia in his work are seen or described on stage.”

Calder, J., Review: Three Beckett Plays at the Harold Clurman Theatre, New York, 1983. Journal of Beckett Studies, Nos 11 and 12, December 1989

Brazil Becomes World's Sixth Biggest Economy, But Expected Soon To Be Overtaken By Russian Federation (check please)

Danubian Triangle Of Composers Tonight On "NSO Showcase" On Classical WETA-FM At 9 PM

Johann Strauss, Jr.: Die Fledermaus—Overture
Christoph Eschenbach, conductor
(recorded September, 2010)

Bela Bartok: Concerto for Orchestra
Ivan Fischer, guest conductor
(recorded February, 2009)

Johann Strauss, Jr.: Kaiserwalzer
Christoph Eschenbach, conductor
(recorded September, 2010)

Antonin Dvorak: Symphony No.8 in G Major, Op.88
Ivan Fischer, guest conductor
(recorded January, 2010)

Monday, March 05, 2012

Democracy Blogger Alexei Navalny Arrested In Moscow, Russian Federation

"Observers from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe said Mr Putin, who according to preliminary results won 63.6 per cent of the vote nationwide, had abused government resources to secure victory."

Photo credit: (c) Reuters 2012. Copyright controlled. All rights reserved.

commitment to expanding the classical canon

"MTT and the Orchestra continue their commitment to expanding the classical canon with new commissions and premieres, as well as first performances by composers of the core classical tradition. MTT leads the world premiere of Robin Holloway’s new,SFS-commissioned arrangement of Debussy’s settings ofPoems of Paul Verlaine, sung by Renée Fleming. With Yefim Bronfman at the piano, the SFS performs the U.S. premiere of German composer Jörg Widmann's new piano concerto, an SFS co-commission. MTT also leads the world premiere of SFS Assistant Concertmaster Mark Volkert’s new work for string orchestra, Pandora. ... [And a new work by Samuel Carl Adams, the son of Berkeley composer John Adams.]

Friday, March 02, 2012

The World Bank On Golden Growth In Europe And Central Asia

GOLDEN GROWTH: Restoring the Lustre of the European Growth Model

"The report documents the impressive achievements of the European growth model over the last 50 years. Accounting for the stresses it is experiencing and assessing the longer-term challenges that Europe will face, the report then evaluates the six principal components of the model: Trade, Finance, Enterprise, Innovation, Labor, and Government. It finds that the European growth model has been a powerful engine for economic convergence, helping developing countries in Europe catch up to their richer neighbors and become high-income economies. ... The changes proposed would restart the European convergence machine, make Europe's enterprises competitive, and help Europeans afford the highest standards of living in the world."

"A Poem Is A Naked Person" (1974) -- Tomorrow At Noon -- See Below

"In Humane Letters [And Music], "Theory" Is Nothing But Intuition Grown Impatient"*

* George Steiner, 1997

Thursday, March 01, 2012

A Life Well Spent?

Eurozone Unemployment Rises To Post-Unification High Of 10.7 Percent -- In Greece and Spain, Nearly Half Under 25 Out Of Work

U.S. Real Household Income And Wealth Began To Recover Gradually In 2011 (Updated)

[Click on graph for enlargement.]

“People who are out of work for six months or more will be starting to lose skills. They will be losing attachment to the labor force. They won’t know what’s happening in their field or their industry. And that’s really one reason for urgency to try to get jobs created and try and bring the economy back to a more normal labour market.”

Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke, February 29, 2012

U.S. Personal Income, BEA, March 1, 2012

Image credit [Updated]: Via Financial Times