08 December 2006


Wednesday night took me to Zankel Hall for a Sofia Gubaidulina concert. Wow! Double wow! It was incredible. The first piece -- "Rejoice!" -- was a sonata for violin and cello. The second and third pieces were for eight and seven cellos respectively, with a couple waterhorns tossed in for "On the edge of the abyss." Gubaidulina (goo-bye-DOOL-inna) was unable to attend because her husband died recently. Instead, they showed clips from a couple documentaries, good place setters. It was truly a delight to listen and watch, the way the sounds drifted between cacophony and harmony, the way the cellists worked their instruments. One of the documentaries talked about the way Gubaidulina touched the folk instruments, there was also something tactile about the playing of the cellos.

For a completely different experience, last night was a concert by the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra and Choir. Early music, Bach, Buxtehude and Corelli. Very different from the Gubaidulina. Good. I guess I preferred the Gubaidulina but the baroque concert reminded me very much of my mother and her love of Christmas oratorios.

At the mentoring panel on association participation on Wednesday, Jennifer enthused about the 18th century when I mentioned that I'd chosen an 18th-century panel at College Art. It occurred to me, as I was reading during the intermission last night, that I'm actually reading a book that dwells in the 18th century -- Princesses: the six daughters of George III by Flora Fraser.

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