Thursday, February 10, 2011

the clockwork of the world

The soon-to-be remains of the long derelict portion of the Westmoreland shopping center as seen on the walk home. It used to be cavernous flea market and there was the loosest of talk about it becoming a mixed-use development with a Borders in it and condos above, and I've heard it is becoming part of the Catholic high school that lies on another block behind it. I guess there's little chance the Catholics will put in a decent coffee shop with wifi right there by the house. Frank took a much cooler picture, as he always does.

Maxim Rysanov, Bach: Suites Nos. 1, 4, and 5
San Francisco Symphony Orchestra (Edo de Waart, cond.), Reich: Variations for Winds, Strings and Keyboards 
I Solisti Italiani, Vivaldi: 6 Violin Concerti, Op. 6
Jan de Winne, Handel. Sonatas for flute and basso continuo

11,842 words drafted together as of last night, sorta like unwilling soldiers. Bear in mind the lion's share has already been written as little boxcars of wisdom, they just need to be linked up into a train of thought. I will avoid any depot and derailment analogies for the time being.

Ooh, I don't think I've ever heard this one Reich piece before. It is a park full of birds chirping all at once as a hawk circles overhead, momentarily quelling the communicative din which rises with the passing of its shadow. The birds in the camellia trees outside our door do this with the hawk aht lives in the neighbor's tree. It is very "shhh.... the cops" when the hawk makes its rounds. And the Bach viola suites were the clockwork of the world.  I used to eschew Bach and Mozart because I thought their music was too perfect, lacking the surprise I liked in the music I liked. Each note was the only thing that could follow the previous, and it also fully informed the next, like you could reverse engineer the whole piece with one note in the middle and their minds. This notion is, of course, stupid, but I still almost never listen to Mozart. I can't even make myself click on it. Vivaldi always seems to be hanging on by a thread, though, like he might fall off that trapeze any second and that's why the audience loves the circus.

I like how in both these Handel and Bach recordings I can hear the performer's breathe.


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