TIME SENSITIVE: Jeremy Irons Reads “The Four Quartets”

Irons Elliot

It’s been just a little over a year since I shared one of my favorite things ever: “Jeremy Irons Reads Eliot’s “The Waste Land.” Iron’s performance is still available (which is a bit surprising, given the transitory nature of the InterWebs), and it’s still awesome. So is the reader-provided link to Alec Guinness’ version, and [Read More...]

Beethoven’s Complete Piano Concerti

Pierre Laurent Aimard & Nikolaus Harnoncourt - Beethoven Piano Concertos Nos.1-5 - Front

I’ve never been a Nikolaus Harnoncourt fan. I can’t say entirely why, though I’ve long claimed that it’s a matter of respecting and admiring his work rather than enjoying it. (It might be an instance of irrational prejudice, but I’ve got so many of those already, I’m hoping that’s not the case.) I am, however, a [Read More...]

“Pianomania,” and the Magical Art of Tuning

Pianomania

One of my favorite activities of late is watching documentaries with Sean. He loves ‘em, I’ve always loved ‘em, and it’s a genre of significant strength for Netflix Streaming. We don’t (usually) watch them in one sitting, because I need my beauty sleep. Or something. But documentaries often lend themselves to staged viewings, so it [Read More...]

Spirited Digitally Away

MinecraftMiyazaki2

A recent post from Greg Willits — “A Dad’s Guide to Minecraft” — made me realize something very important: I’m not alone. Minecraft makes me feel stupid. That’s me. From the day I first encountered the phenomenon — watching in disbelief as my younger brother wander through an enormous, LEGO-y world with a few trusty friends [Read More...]

No Commentary Necessary — Mozart’s “Commendatore”

DonGiovanni

For some strange reason, my most vivid college memories almost always involve music — a fact that ceased to surprise me long ago, but one that I still find curious. And which my professors would probably find depressing. C’est la vie… A corollary to my peculiarly melodic style of recollection is that my roommate’s musical tastes [Read More...]

The Things We Do For Art

arrows

Akira Kurosawa’s Throne of Blood, a samurai-themed, Noh-tinged re-imagining of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, has always fascinated me. It’s not a particularly faithful adaptation, in my opinion. But it might be a great one. (Harold Bloom once famously said that it was “uncannily the most successful film version of Macbeth, though it departs very far from the specifics [Read More...]

The Day I Was Glad To See Keith Olbermann

Olbermann

Keith Olbermann doesn’t get a lot of love in my corner of the InterWebs. That’s not a surprise, really. My circles are mostly Right-leaning, Keith has a highly abrasive-style and a not-insignificant ego, and many of my friends are of an age where they’re more familiar with Olbermann’s politics than with his sportscasting career. (That 1989 mustache [Read More...]

One Big, Happy Family Again. Almost.

crazy

My wife and kids are headed back from Washington today. Tomorrow, my long, dark night of temporary bachelorhood will come to an end. I’m outwardly calm: But on the inside, it feels a lot more like this: Being by myself was amusing for a day or two. But after that novelty wore off, the house [Read More...]

The Most Astonishing Picture I Saw Last Year

HillaryStepEverest

That’s not a picture of folks leaving the Green Bay Packers game this past weekend, or of my Chicago-area friends traveling to-and-from work over the past few days. That’s the Hillary Step. On Everest. You heard me. Mount Everest. Highest of heights. One of the most prestigious (and simultaneously most infamous) climbing destinations in the world. And [Read More...]

Thieving Mozart

mozart-hipster

First, listen to this opening: Then, listen to this one: That first clip is the Introitus from Mozart’s Requiem, composed in 1791. And the second is Handel’s “The Ways of Zion Do Mourn.” From 1737. Hear anything you recognize? There are a few connecting notes that appear in the first and not the second, and a [Read More...]


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