I whooshed past a field of goldenrod today. A blur of yellow. The summer itself feels like a blur, a grainy Polaroid with indistinct lines and a few dabs of color.
In July I spent four days at Glimmerglass Opera (read my review of the season here). It’s a hobbit-y part of country, a slightly tamer, more cultivated hollow of the Finger Lakes. The hills cradle you close, and the lake echoes the blue stillness of the skies. I’ve been going to Glimmerglass for several years, and this time I was thrilled to discover (in addition to a newly-opened coffee shop across the road from the Young Artists’ headquarters) a small nature preserve behind the Alice Busch Opera Theater. A trail leads to a raised boardwalk through the marsh where green dragonflies, blue herons, and flying squirrels dart through the trees. Enchanting.
There was another surprise. I stayed in a small motel on Lake Otsego. Across the street sat a large, grand white inn with a huge, wrap-around porch and a “For Sale” sign sticking out of the weeds. Sumac trees jutted out of the garden beds. The roof was caving in. The paint, peeling. I couldn’t resist, so I walked across the road, climbed up crumbling concrete stairs and past the yawning cellar door onto the porch. It was as quiet as an Egyptian tomb. I peered into one of the front windows, into a vast room filled with light. At first, I thought it was totally empty; no pictures on the wall, no furniture, no stuff. Then my eyes fell on a metal cage in the middle of the room and a very-much-alive black and white rabbit looking back at me, calmly munching pellets. I loved that rabbit.
Sometimes the best things happen when you peer past the facade. Part the curtain and look.
Hi! I'm back from vacation. I just finished a feature with a dynamic piano duo, Anderson and Roe, and I thought you'd enjoy this. You can hear them talk about their work in a podcast . . . coming SOON.
Percy GraingerPercy Grainger was born in Australia in 1882.Until recently, he was pegged as a lightweight because of his folk song arrangements.Recent releases reveal a more serious side, one that’s funny and sad, reflective and violent.
Music fans love to meet performers, but I'm thrilled to make contact with composers. They're making music out of thin air using pure imagination. One of my fond memories of the late Richard Gladwell is seeing his face suffused with pleasure as he told of meeting composer Ralph Vaughan Williams decades ago at a concert in London. Williams' music is a cornerstone of twentie
Summer gives you the chance to enjoy music in unusual settings. Lakes. Woods. Corn fields. Festivals are popping up all over the region. Last week I had the privilege of seeing four operas at Glimmerglass Opera in Cooperstown and interviewing the incoming director, Francesca Zambello.
My thanks to every listener who's e-mailed rad...@wxxi.org about the morning mystery pieces on Classical 91.5. It's a delight to explore old and new repertoire, and I'm excited that so many music lovers are getting up a little early to guess the name of the mystery work at 6:40 a.m. (One man told me he
Perceptions change. You wouldn't have heard much Philip Glass on WXXI-FM a few decades ago. Now his minimalist, relentless, mathmematical works spin out on a regular basis. Several listeners correctly identified the mystery piece on Classical 91.5 Thursday as Glass' "Company." Writer Alex Ross argues that his style is the first original Ameri