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In Brief: Mid-February

LinksHere is your regular Sunday dosage of interesting items, from Blogville and beyond:

  • Tyler Green wrote a touching Valentine's Day remembrance of his mom, who painted watercolors and loved Juan Gris, on the 20th anniversary of her death. It reminded me of my own mom, who was also (and occasionally still is) a painter. After reading Tyler's article, I went immediately to the phone to call her. [Modern Art Notes]

  • It's true that, in recent years, the Academy has generally not chosen the year's best film for its Best Picture award. I mean -- Crash? Million Dollar Baby? Chicago? Gladiator? Titanic? Forrest Gump? Schindler's List? Rain Man? Please. That last one, in 1988, is apparently where it started: every film that won Best Picture from 1969 to 1987 is a stellar choice. Keith Demko's post about his 10 favorite Best Picture laureates got me thinking about what my Top 10 would be. Probably a lot like Keith's, but with Lawrence of Arabia and A Man for All Seasons in there somewhere. [Reel Fanatic]

  • One Monsignor Marco Frisina, an Italian priest, will premiere an opera in Rome derived from Dante's Divine Comedy. The International Herald Tribune had the story. [Hat tip to All about Opera]

  • Ionarts Hearts YouJust because a certain Hallmark holiday went unremarked upon here does not mean that we don't love you. [ACME Heartmaker]

  • Forest Whitaker, who is up for the Best Actor Oscar this year for The Last King of Scotland, is a tenor. Apparently, he studied voice in college and sang during an interview for Italian television. That's not opera he's singing in the clip: it's Amarilli mia bella, a monody by Giulio Caccini. [Opera Chic]

  • Every classical music blogger in the world is all over the Joyce Hatto hoax story, and Lisa Hirsch has most of the links. I've never heard any of the supposed Joyce Hatto recordings, many of which have now been revealed as frauds, stolen from other recordings, but I have always liked that recording of Liszt's transcendental etudes by László Simon, from which several tracks were lifted as Joyce Hatto. [Iron Tongue of Midnight]

  • Joshua Kosman gets the Best Question of the Week award: how did Astor Piazzolla become an honorary classical composer? The answer is also pretty good, that his music is "one of the standard methods performers have developed to get their 'contemporary music' ticket punched without scaring anybody." [On a Pacific Aisle]

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