A Lenten Musical Journey, Day 9


One more Russian “Thief,” this time from Alexander Grechaninov’s Passion Week. (Remember those names. More anon.) This particular version (and its wonderfully-eerie overtones) comes from Charles Bruffy and The Kansas City Chorale, who are absolute staples in my chorale-music diet. Their stuff is really, really wonderful (as evidenced here). Разбойника благоразумнаго во едином часе раеви [Read More...]

No Commentary Necessary — “Drone vs. Volcano”


My first reaction? “Gosh.” But that was before I hit the 1:50 mark. Then it was a bit more like “G.O.S.H.!.!.!.” Worked my way here through Laughing Squid’s “Filmmakers Destroy Drones in Service of Capturing Unseen Angles From the Inside of an Active Volcano” article, which led me to National Geo’s “Adventurers and Drones Go [Read More...]

A Lenten Musical Journey, Day 8


Here’s another setting of “The Wise Thief,” this one coming our way courtesy of one of my very favorite Russian composers, Pavel Chesnokov: Разбойника благоразумнаго во едином часе раеви сподобил еси, Господи, и мене древом крестным просвети и спаси мя The Wise Thief didst Thou make worthy of Paradise in a single moment, O Lord. By the wood [Read More...]

I Will Watch the Heck Out of This Show


Despite the fickle winds of fame and fortune (and concrete cinematic evidence notwithstanding), I remain a firm fan of Mr. M. Night Shyamalan. I am also a huge supporter of “The Prisoner,” and an appreciator of (if, admittedly, a bit distant from) “Twin Peaks.” So, this is something that I will probably watch. And how. Imagine [Read More...]

A Lenten Musical Journey, Day 7


Staying with the composerial trend we started yesterday with Sergey Taneyev’s cantata, here’s his “The Wise Thief (Razboinika blagorazumnago).” The Penitent Thief is pretty much my personal Lenten patron. Or at least a paradigm of the way my Lenten efforts typically proceed. I feel like I’m always squeezing in at the last possible second, late-but-sincere. (Or late, at least.) My Russian’s [Read More...]

Cricket, Growing More Cricket With Each Passing Day


I have a guilty secret. …OK, so maybe it’s not a secret, because I’ve actually admitted it publicly on the blog before. But still… Some nights, when I’m all by myself, I watch cricket. Now, if we’re talking about The-World-At-Large, the fact that I enjoy this strangely-familiar (to my irretrievably-baseball-ish mind) game  would make me pretty [Read More...]

A Lenten Musical Journey, Day 6


Today’s piece is a Russian cantata: Sergey Taneyev’s “John of Damascus.” Sometimes described as “The Russian Requiem,” it’s huge, densely melodic, and filled with gorgeous longing. That last bit is what makes it particularly appropriate for Lenten meditations, methinks. (There’s a through-line here from the last few days, as well, and not just because Taneyev and [Read More...]

SSF: “Eyrie”


Love the visual style here. Love the reveal, as well. And really, really love the length. Packs quite a wallop into a deceptively small, 4-minute package. A young shepherd boy in the American West must learn to defend his dwindling flock from a ravenous eagle. The short’s creator, David Wolter, has a couple of blog posts [Read More...]

A Lenten Musical Journey, Day 5


Since we’re already in Tchaikovsky territory (thanks to yesterday’s post), here’s #8 of his Nine Sacred Pieces: “Let My Prayer Arise.” Da ispravitsya molitva moya, yako kadilo pred Toboyu: vozdeyanie ruku moeyu, zhertva vechernyaya. Gospodi, vozzvakh k Tebe, uslïshi mya: vonmi glasu moleniya moyego, vnegda vozzvati mi k Tebe. Polozhi, Gospodi, khranenie ustom moim: i [Read More...]

A Lenten Musical Journey, Day 4


Because yesterday’s Mendelssohn reminded me so much of Russian sacred music (and because today is Our Lady’s Day), I find myself moving fairly straight-forwardly to the fifth of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s 9 Sacred Pieces, the gorgeous “It Is Truly Meet.” Достойно есть, яко воистину блажити Тя Богородицу, присноблаженную и пренепорочную и Матерь Бога нашего, Честнейшую херувим и славнейшую [Read More...]