Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Lake Chiemsee

On August 3, 2009, we visited Lake Chiemsee.

We visited the town of Prien am Chiemsee, we took a boat out on Lake Chiemsee, and we visited the island of Herrenchiemsee (also known as Herreninsel). On the island, we visited the grand palace built by Ludwig II and we visited the monastery.

We did not visit the island of Frauenchiemsee (also known as Fraueninsel), shown here from the boat on Lake Chiemsee. Frauenchiemsee is the site of an abbey, seen in the photograph.


  1. All right, I am over here now, as I have promised.

    I should note, before I begin, that Mary Ann and Alvin have returned from Belgium, where they had a most pleasant and stimulating holiday. Mary Ann asks about you often, and wonders whether you will ever make it to Syracuse, which I told her was unlikely—at which point she asked when you next plan to come to Princeton for a visit, so that she might come down while you were here with Nancy and me. I told her you must attend a conference in New York in October, although I did not remember the dates, and that Nancy and I were hopeful that you might make it down to Princeton the following weekend so that Nancy and I might see you again at long last and—for the first time—meet Joshua. We are still hopeful that such is possible.

    Have you read the new Lukacs? I was most disappointed. It was not one of his finer efforts.

    May I assume you are keeping up with your reading? That is essential for one such as yourself, and I offer you the example of your father in the event you find it difficult to combine a heavy reading load at work with a heavy reading load at home. If you need inspiration, you have a splendid example at hand to emulate and noble footsteps nearby to follow.

    I read what you posted yesterday with Mr. Lebrecht. To begin, I would note that the forum is hardly worthy of you, and that none of the comments offered by other writers were worthy of my time—or yours. No doubt you were having a bit of fun, to be sure, but I would strictly limit the time spent in such platforms. Readers of such forums are indeed in sore need of guidance, on many subjects, but are unlikely to benefit from sensible or truthful statements, no matter how well-formulated or elegantly uttered.

    In short, I appeal to your sense of practicality and economy.

  2. Mr. Szeps-Znaider is not worth the world’s time or attention. At the age of 73, I have seen dozens of violinists come and go, appearing before the public for a few years until falling by the wayside, unable to demonstrate the lasting and compelling artistry that separates the great from the good and the lasting from the ephemeral. Miss DeLay had Mr. Szeps-Znaider pegged his first week at Juilliard, observing that he lacked two qualities, at least one of which is necessary for a sustained career: keen and superior intellect; and genuineness, which cannot be faked. Miss DeLay remarked that Szeps-Znaider possessed mere surface intelligence, with no discernible depth, and that he displayed considerable fakery, which he tried to pass off as genuineness, but which might never be confused with the real thing. The public would soon catch on, or so Miss Delay insisted. In short, Miss DeLay predicted precisely what has come to pass. Bless her soul.

    Musicians, as a class, are emotional persons. They are not, as a class, the highly-analytical and ultra-rational professionals you deal with and appreciate on a daily basis. They do not possess the qualities you expect to see (and the qualities you most prize) in others. Musicians are largely instinctive. Their instincts are wrong more often than not. They are capable of offering astonishing helpings of malarkey, bad judgment and poor taste along with the occasional insight. For every one Sviatoslav Richter, there are 200 Szeps-Znaiders.

  3. No matter how foolish or odious their behaviors and beliefs, musicians are not to be taken seriously off the concert platform. They cannot be granted any credence beyond the expression of notes on the printed page. A musician’s gift is very limited in scope, and generally comes coupled with deficiencies in other qualities expected in the well-adjusted and well-rounded adult. When musicians do idiotic things or make idiotic statements outside their bailiwick, they must—quite rightly—be ignored.

    Miss DeLay knew these things. She had great wisdom in sizing up her students, assessing where long-term problems lurked, and predicting the ultimate level of accomplishment for each of her students. She was seldom wrong.

    She also knew which students suffered from personal defects that would inhibit their growth over a lifetime.

    Miss DeLay recognized, at the outset, an extravagant narcissism in Mr. Szeps-Znaider, a narcissism more extravagant than any she had previously seen in any one student. Its source, she believed, resided in what she referred to as “a Mommy problem”, by which I believe Miss DeLay meant that Mr. Szeps-Znaider had been both spoiled by his mother to the point of ruination as well as used by his mother to satisfy her own needs and desires to the point of abuse. In Miss DeLay’s words, Mr. Szeps-Znaider was destined never to surmount his “Mommy problem”. Such would account for Mr. Szeps-Znaider’s unadult-like if not unacceptable behavior well into adulthood.

    You must be made aware that both of Mr. Szeps-Znaider’s parents immersed both Szeps-Znaider children into radical Leftist politics at a very young age, using them shamelessly as public tools and public shills to advance the Hard Left political views of the parents. The actions of the parents aroused great resentment within Denmark, and caused at least one outright scandal, covered at length in Danish newspapers and magazines. The Szeps-Znaider daughter, Tamar, has never been able to emerge from those scandals. She has been unable to establish a viable career, and now finds herself pregnant, without prospects.

    If I were a Christian Scientist, I would say it is God’s Law of Adjustment at work. Not being a Christian Scientist, I note merely that it is a case of the shortcomings and oddities of the parents repeating themselves in the shortcomings and oddities of the children.

    I have gone on too long, and have meandered at my peril.

    My point is: don’t be too hard on the shortcomings of others. You must be prepared to forgive and look away from foolishness and folly. It is unfair to demand that everyone possess the keen intellect and powers of analysis granted to you by the divine grace of God.

    Your gift and your endowment are unique. Don’t waste them with Mr. Lebrecht.