Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Mass In Time Of War

German officers in occupied Paris leaving La Madeleine after mass.


  1. I don't know who that guy is who repeatedly sticks a spam link onto your comment pages, Andrew, but they are as irritating to the readers, I'm sure, as they are to you. I noticed you deleted another one this morning.

    A few weeks ago, I asked a friend to translate one of those (she is a Chinese / Japanese linguist), just out of curiosity. She said it wasn't anything profane or overtly disrespectful. The one she saw was worded like an "ancient Chinese proverb," something like, "A wise man can only be a mature man," if I recall; but she said the "proverb" had been childishly, maybe mockingly, executed.

    I don't know if all of those "comments" were the same, however. It doesn't matter to me. I think it is rude for anyone to enter any comment on an English blog in a foreign language without translating it, even if the writer has only the most benign of intentions.

    PS: I got back from Cleveland yesterday. I attended both concerts on Wednesday and Thursday, the first in the right dress circle and the second in the middle left of the main floor. Franz continues to develop his interpretation, based upon comparisons between those live performances and the air check I heard from May.

    Franz has added a little more drama to the first two movements (especially to the second theme of the first movement exposition - you know, the one with the Bruckner rhythm beginning in the strings) and has opened up the great Adagio even more without overdoing it. The Scherzo sounded about the same though he "milked" the trio just a tad (I liked it), and he upped the tempo a bit here and there in the Finale - to thrilling effect.

    The playing of the Cleveland Orchestra was even more refined and "perfect" than what I remember from the broadcast, if you can even imagine that. Both Adagios gave me goosebumps. How very, very lucky are the Scots and Swiss!

    Now I have heard all four versions of the Eighth live, not that this fact matters a whole lot. I honestly don't remember much of the Steinberg performance in 1973, my first exposure to Bruckner, except for the Adagio, which has remained since then one of my most beloved works for orchestra ever.

    Hope your boss is doing better.

    Have a good weekend, and don't work too hard.

    Anton the Anton Lover

  2. Those irritating spam comments are automatically generated, and Google somehow has not figured out a way to stop them.

    I now get two spam comments on each new post: the first generally arrives 18-to-24 hours after a new post is published, and the second generally arrives after the passage of another 24-to-48 hours.

    Sometimes I get notified of the spam comments (in which case I delete them, as I did early this morning), and sometimes I do not (in which case they may remain for three or four days, or even longer, until I log on and notice them).

    About three months ago, I added word verification to comments, since word verification is supposed to stop comment spam, but word verification has not worked. The automatic spam comment systems have figured out a way to get around word verification.

    It is all very tiresome.

    I am happy you were able to hear the Cleveland performances. Was the hall full? Was the audience a good one? Did you visit the Cleveland Museum Of Art, and get to see the new galleries recently opened? Did you run into Donald Rosenberg? Were you able to buy Rosenberg a coffee, and learn inside information about his losing legal battle?

    I am all ears.

  3. Years ago whenever I went to Cleveland I always stayed at the Baricelli Inn in Little Italy. While booking myself last month, however, I noticed that the Baricelli had just closed for good. That hadn't really surprised me because the food and services there had begun to deteriorate even way back when. So, this time I stayed at the Glidden House, on Ford, in University Circle, a smaller hotel with no restaurant, but clean. I was pleased with the European decor. There was a pretty good restaurant right next door. I was lucky to book early because Little Italy just down the road is now overwhelmed with visitors respecting the Assumption Festival.

    From the Glidden I was able to walk to any place I desired. Just five minutes, really, from Severance Hall and the Museum of Art. Unfortunately, I was unable to avoid seeing Cleveland's Gehry monstrosity, designed for the CWRU School of Management, as it was right there between the hotel and Severance. (It was built after my last visit to Cleveland.) This was about as close to "Disney Hall" in LA or Bilbao Spain that I ever wanted to be.

    Severance Hall was packed on both nights. I didn't see an empty seat anywhere, with the exception of one prom chair against the wall, to the left, on the main floor Thursday night. The audience was, as usual, well dressed.

    I enjoyed hearing the Skinner organ in Severance Hall.

    I didn't see Super-Don either, though I certainly was on the lookout. (I found myself rehearsing in my mind an imaginary, pithy comment to make to him, in the event that I ever met up with him, but alas . . . .)

    I'm sure it would have been "too painful" for Super-Don to hear these extraordinary performances. And they were FREE!

    If you don't mind my asking, Andrew, I was curious why you and Josh didn't just go to the Saturday evening concert as well as the Friday night performance? I remember you saying that you couldn't find anything else to do Saturday night.

    It's just me, but I certainly would have gone again.

    I spent Wednesday in the Museum of Art and on Thursday went on long walks up Adelbert Blvd and Euclid Heights Blvd into Cleveland Heights, visiting the Coventry area, returning to University Circle by way of Mayfield Road and Little Italy. I also visited the Natural History Museum and the Western Reserve Historical Society Museum, just up the road from Glidden. Despite the heat it was fun.

    I love Little Italy. I even made a 3:00 AM trek down Mayfield yesterday morning to Presti's Bakery, hoping to get my mouth around a donut fresh out of the oven. (I was disappointed to find that they don't make donuts anymore; the store stays closed until 6:00 AM.)

    In the Museum of Art I found that particular Lucas Cranach (the Elder) that you liked so much, Andrew, "Hunting near Hartenfels Castle." I'm embarrassed to say that I hadn't remembered it when you wrote about it (Alzheimer's?); but as soon as I encountered it my memory was joyfully jogged. It's as beautiful as ever. The piece fits perfectly in that gallery, doesn't it?

    Of course, there was that Monet again! Breathless!

    I am surprised by the additions to the Gallery in which Jacques Louis David's 1817 "Cupid and Psyche" is found. Wonderful!

    The Antiquities Galleries are now reopened, though I confess that these holdings were never my favorites. And I just looked the other way when Dali's "The Dream" became evident around the corner.

    I am impressed with the new buildings, Andrew.

    I was going to visit the Cod, but I didn't make the time. I've been there a couple of times in the past. I certainly would not have survived with my sanity had I been assigned during the War to any such people press.

    I greatly admire the soldiers and sailors who served our country during those great Wars.

    I think I've ranted enough, don't you? Blogger's magic "4096" characters is just around the cor

  4. We did not go hear the Bruckner a second time because Josh did not want to (although there were tickets available).

    What did we do on Saturday night? We walked around a suburban shopping mall, and had dinner. Not very imaginative, huh? However, we had a fun evening.

    I do not know Cleveland like you do. I do not know where Cleveland’s Little Italy is located, or the locations of any of those museums you mention. I know how to get to Severance and the art museum, and the immediate downtown area, and that’s about it.

    We did not know where to stay, so we stayed at a chain hotel near the airport, and drove downtown each day. Once again, not very imaginative, huh?

    The only attractions we explored in Cleveland were the art museum and the two vessels, and nothing more. Those were the attractions we most wanted to visit, and we had only three days at our disposal.

    That Cranach painting is very good—and there’s a fine Anthony Van Dyck in the same gallery. I like that gallery, which is a beautiful space—although there is more armor displayed than I care to examine at one time. I don’t have an endless interest in armor—a little goes a long way.

    I don’t even remember a Cleveland Dali painting, but I’m sure that, as soon as I glanced at the silly thing, I moved on.

    I was very struck by those Meynier muse paintings, and the Canova muse sculpture in the same room. I think that must be one of the great museum rooms in the U.S.

    In fact, I was more fascinated by those Meynier paintings than the David painting hanging alongside, although art experts would insist that I was not supposed to be.

  5. I'm guessing that the suburban shopping mall that you and Josh visited that Saturday night was the Great Northern Mall. It's the closest mall to the airport area, and it's also the largest mall in Cleveland, if I am not mistaken.

    That's a good place to people-watch on Saturday night, I suppose.

    I confess that I also lost forever an evening of my life there once.