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Taytoman Agonistes
Monday, August 07, 2006
Oh, and I'm going to work on getting headings for the posts and such. And check out my sister blog (so to speak - do blogs have female identities, like ships and cars?) radetsky - a blog with a point other than documenting my random thoughts (the point being documenting my random thoughts on concerts I go to)

Friday, March 10, 2006
Text by Hermann Hesse (1877-1962)
Set to music as one of the Vier letzte Lieder of Richard Strauss

Der Garten trauert, The garden is mourning,
kühl sinkt in die Blumen der Regen. the rain sinks coolly into the flowers.
Der Sommer schauert Summer shudders
still seinem Ende entgegen. as it meets its end.

Golden tropft Blatt um Blatt Leaf upon leaf drops golden
nieder vom hohen Akazienbaum. down from the lofty acacia.
Sommer lächelt erstaunt und matt Summer smiles, astonished and weak,
in den sterbenden Gartentraum. in the dying garden dream.

Lange noch bei den Rosen For a while still by the roses
bleibt er stehen, sehnt sich nach Ruh. it remains standing, yearning for peace.
Langsam tut er die großen Slowly it closes its large
müdgewordnen Augen zu. eyes grown weary.


Tuesday, March 07, 2006
Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future,
And time future contained in time past.

T.S. Eliot "Burnt Norton"
(one of the "Four Quartets"

Os a crowded room
Full of open hearts
Turned to stone
All together
All alone

- Roxy Music, "Dance Away"

Sunday, March 05, 2006

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Wednesday, March 01, 2006
 Wo die Rose hier blüht,
wo Reben um Lorbeer sich schlingen,
Wo das Turtelchen lockt,
wo sich das Grillchen ergötzt,
Welch ein Grab ist hier,
das alle Götter mit Leben
Schön bepflanzt und geziert?
Es ist Anakreons Ruh.
Frühling, Sommer, und Herbst
genoß der glückliche Dichter;
Vor dem Winter hat ihn endlich
der Hügel geschützt.

- Goethe

Here, where the rose blooms,
where vines entwine the laurel,
where the turtledove flirts,
where the cricket delights -
what grave is this here,
that all the gods and Life
have so prettily decorated with plants?
It is Anacreon's grave.
Spring, summer, and autumn
did that happy poet enjoy;
from winter now finally,
this mound has protected him

Sunday, February 26, 2006
194. God’s Grandeur
By Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844–1889)
THE WORLD is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil,
It gathers to a greatness like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck His rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod; 5
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And bears man’s smudge, and shares man’s smell; the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel being shod.
And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things; 10
And though the last lights from the black west went,
Oh, morning at the brown brink eastwards springs—
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast, and with, ah, bright wings.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Went to some of the Steve Reich weekend just gone - the Friday and Sunday evening concerts. All were excellent, I have to say the piece that had the most impact on me was the first on Friday, "Three Movements", with its move from anxiety to menace to exultation. "Music for 18 musicians" was predictably awesome.

But one thing always sticks with me considering not just Reich, but also Philip Glass and the other minimalists (I think John Adams is more varied) - it seems best for conveying the three emotions referred to above, harried anxiety, menace and exultation bordering on hysteria.

I love Morton Feldman's "Madame Press Died Last Week at Ninety." Therefore, I was rather looking forward to his "Neither." My God, was I disappointed. "Neither" is like a sort of parody of the popular conception of modern classical music - great swathes of menace from the orchestra every so often, amidst great chunks of sheer boredom; an obviously talented soprano reduced to singing a sort of baby talk, all for 55 minutes or so. It would have been vaguely atmospheric at say 10 minutes, but the guts of an hour really pushed it. I'd say any of the hip young things in the NCH attracted by the celebrity of Reich would have been instantly turned off ever coming near the place again by "Neither." An odd act of almost wilfully perverse programming.

"It is good to be reasonable and to love only the true; yet there are hours when common reality no longer satisfies and one yearns to escape from nature. We know well that this is impossible, but we so not desire it the less for that. Are not our most irrealizable desires the most ardent? Doubtless--and this is our great misery--doubtless we cannot escape from ourselves. We are condemned, irrevocably, to see all things reflected in us with a mournful and desolating monotony. For this very reason we thirst after the unknown and aspire to what is beyond us. We must have the unusual. We are asked, 'What do you wish?' And we reply, 'I wish something else.' What we touch, what we see, is nothing: we are drawn toward the intangible and the invisible."

- Anatole France

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