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1.3.09

In Brief: Lent I Edition

Here is your regular Sunday selection of links to good things in Blogville and Beyond.

  • You knew it had to happen -- you can now follow Ionarts on Twitter. I'm still sorting the whole thing out, but if you use Twitter and have a suggestion about how we should be using it, please let me know. [Twitter]

  • Congratulations to a student of mine, Wesley Mann, who won the D.C. State Competition of Poetry Out Loud on Monday night. WAMU has some audio of one of Wes's recitations. [Washington Post]

  • Jessica Duchen lights up her comment list and hit stats with a rattle-the-cage feature about how she hates the music of Handel. This is a tried-and-true critical device -- Anne Midgette doesn't care for Brahms, Jens Laurson finds Donizetti tedious, I hate most Rachmaninoff and am bored to tears by a lot of Tchaikovsky -- and it's sure to get people's dander up, which is just what the author wants. There is always someone who will accuse you of musical heresy, but it's all just a matter of taste. No one has to like Handel, of course, but do the accusations she levels really make much sense? Handel was endlessly prolific (so was Schubert); Handel had commercial success (so did Richard Strauss); Handel recycled his own music and borrowed from others (so did Bach); Handel's opera libretti were convoluted (Wagner, anyone?). All it really came down to is that Jessica had to sing Handel as a teenager and now hates his music. Fair enough. [The Independent]

  • "Brian" just has to rub it in about how Los Angeles Opera has James Conlon and not Washington: "The heir to Esa-Pekka Salonen as the leader of all things musical in Los Angeles is not in fact Gustavo Dudamel. (At least not yet.) No, the person who has more or less already assumed that mantle is none other than James Conlon." [Out West Arts]

  • As a Proust nut, I am compelled to buy Paintings in Proust, by American painter and art critic Eric Karpeles. He has tracked down all the references to art works in Proust's books, reproducing nearly 200 reproductions of the works across from the relevant quotations from Proust. Proust has come into my mind every time I stepped into the Sistine Chapel because of how Swann pathetically connects Odette to the figure of Zipporah, the daughter of Jethro, in a Botticelli fresco in the Sistine Chapel. In fact, I wrote about Swann's allusions to art way back in the infancy of this blog. [La Libre Belgique -- Wall Street Journal]

  • Bad news about the famous prehistoric paintings in the caves at Lascaux. After the infamous invasion of white fungus that forced the caves to be closed to the public, another fungus is causing indelible black spots to appear on an estimated forty paintings dating from 17,000 B.C. Specialists are meeting in Paris to decide what to do. [Le Figaro]

1 comment:

Lunettes Rouges said...

As another Proust nut, I am reading the lectures given by the Polish officer and painter Joseph Czapski in the gulag camp where he was prisoner in 1939/40. The French title is "Proust contre la déchéance". Fascinating !