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In Brief

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

  • Philip Glass is 70. Steve Smith has a list of performances of his music, including a very rare live performance of Einstein on the Beach. 1-2-3-4-5-6-1-2-3-1-2-3... [Night after Night]

  • Patty Mitchell has a funny story about receiving the hard sell from the San Francisco Opera. The person trying to sell her tickets could not even pronounce the titles of the operas for sale. [oboeinsight]

  • When scientists show, as they repeatedly have, that exposure to music enhances brain functions of various kinds in young people, people react in irrational and unhelpful ways. Scott Spiegelberg wrote a short post about why music is important to people: "The value of music education is not in making Johnny a better speaker or giving Suzy better spatial awareness abilities. The study of music puts us in touch with that most ineffable of things, our creativity." Right on, Scott! [Musical Perceptions]

  • Mark Sarvas recalls what he read obsessively as a boy, in response to an article in The Guardian about steps schools should take to encourage boys to read. A "boys' bookshelf packed with spy novels and adventure stories" sounds like a great idea. I read piles and piles of fantasy and science fiction, not all of it particularly good, when I was a kid. I often wish that I had had a bookish mentor point me toward more serious reading earlier on. Perhaps a shelf that mixes spy novels and adventure stories with Robert Louis Stevenson, Jack London, Jules Verne, Joseph Conrad, Alexandre Dumas, Emile Zola, Cervantes, Daniel Defoe, Jonathan Swift, Walter Scott, Herman Melville, Edgar Allan Poe? They all wrote books I would have loved as a teenager but didn't read until I was nearly out of high school and into college. By the way, the conclusion to Mark's post -- a bookish boy's attempt to chat up a cute substitute teacher -- is a great story. [The Elegant Variation]

  • Steve Smith gives us the goods on mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, who took over the role of Rosina this week at the Met. I heard the Sirius broadcast of her first performance, on Wednesday night, and it reminded me of the pleasure of listening to her Cendrillon in the New Mexico desert last summer. Flórez wasn't bad himself. The audience went absolutely nuts, and it was justly deserved. [Night after Night]

  • When I first read this article, I had to check the calendar to make sure that it was not April Fool's Day. No, it appears that Sadler's Wells has indeed staged Purcell's Dido and Aeneas underwater. We have Berlin-based choreographer Sasha Waltz to blame. The pictures are not to be missed. [The Guardian]

  • Lunettes Rouges informs us that the Centre Pompidou has hung Jean Gorin's wall sculpture Contrepoint : opposition de rythmes émanant du triangle (1947) incorrectly in its new installation. Right now, the edge of the work is aligned with the wall and floor, but an anonymous aficionado has alerted the museum that the artist indicated clearly in sketches and other documents that the work, a series of perpendicular lines, was to be oriented according to the lines in the piece rather than the edge. The museum has not responded. This is one of those cases where blogs have drastically changed the relationship of authority and normal person. [Amateur d'art]


Anonymous said...

Update report : The Gorin piece is till hung sideways.

Anonymous said...

Just to keep your readers informed about the fascinating saga of the badly hung piece at Pompidou, I went this morning to see something else, and checked : the piece is now hung correctly. It seems that several letters and calls by a well-respected amateur did not bring any result, but that a post on a blog did the work !