I haven't done one of these links posts in a while, but I do read a lot of blogs and these are some of the best things I have noticed out there in recent days. David Nishimura, who writes one of my favorite reads, Cronaca, was how I came across this gem of a news article (although the notice had pretty broad press distribution) about the activities of a team of Italian scientists. They have exhumed the corpse of the legendary castrato Farinelli from a cemetery in Bologna, in the hope of studying the physiology and life habits of one of the most famous singers in history.
For the past several months, my most consistently enjoyable music blog reading has come from On an Overgrown Path. The two things that make the best blogs such a good resource are good content and regular posting. (Thank goodness for Bloglines, which makes it unnecessary to keep surfing to blogs that have excellent content that appears infrequently.) The tireless Pliable has one or two posts a day, and they are almost always worth reading. At the moment, Pliable has had some great posts about the BBC Proms, one of the greatest concert institutions in the world, just now getting under way. Pliable's preview of the Proms made me remember, with considerable pleasure, my first experience with the Proms, as a graduate student at a conference in London, sitting in that famous queue for last-minute tickets. The most memorable concert I heard was the first time I had ever experienced Britten's War Requiem in a live performance. It blew me away in that space.
Pliable has a regular post on the best events at Royal Albert Hall, amid a daunting schedule, much of which can be fluffy. (This week: Monteverdi's 4-part Mass, with John Eliot Gardiner and the Monteverdi Choir.) A post on Peter Maxwell Davies taking aim at the pedestrian music choices of a British politician takes the cake. However, in Pliable's latest installment of appreciative comments from readers, I noticed an e-mail from one Diana Collins. I received the exact same message, with Ionarts in place of On an Overgrown Path. At the time, I suspected it was spam, something I know with certainty now.
Tyler Green is always rewarding to read at Modern Art Notes (he happens to have been the first blogger to link to Ionarts, way back when). Lately, his posts taking a critical look at the collections of the newly reopened Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery have been great.
The best singer blog out there is Anne-Carolyn Bird's The Concert, and she is working hard and having fun at Santa Fe Opera this summer. This post about those little harmless mishaps that occur on stage, in this case during her scenes in Massenet's Cendrillon, is a hoot. I'm looking forward to seeing and hearing Anne-Carolyn at work next week during the second annual Ionarts visit to Santa Fe.
It is also high time to mention a few newer blogs we've been poking through, initially because they linked to Ionarts at one point or another: Monotonous Forest (New York critic Bruce Hodges), Most of the Shebang (Washington Post critic Stephen Brookes), and Poor Richard's Anorak.