Saturday, September 27, 2014

Samuel Barber's Piano Sonata

John Browning's legendary recording

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

"Prairie Song" -- a poem by Julie Shavin

I keep listening to this.

Even though I'm an American, this thing affects me with a certain exoticism. It's quietly freaky and compelling, panoramic and metaphysical, moody and bizarre. I hope it also freaks out my foreign readers, who experience the haunted breeze of its old-west quintessence.

Besides all that, I think this is a well-crafted poem, an actual poem. Such things are rare these days.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Beckett & Feldman -- NEITHER

Composer Morton Feldman requested from Samuel Beckett an original text as libretto for an opera (or anti-opera, or monodrama). Beckett sent him 87 words in a text titled Neither. The work, for soprano and orchestra, was completed in 1977.


to and fro in shadow from inner to outer shadow
from impenetrable self to impenetrable unself by way of neither
as between two lit refuges whose doors once neared gently close, once away turned from gently part again
beckoned back and forth and turned away
heedless of the way, intent on the one gleam or the other
unheard footfalls only sound
till at last halt for good, absent for good from self and other
then no sound
then gently light unfading on that unheeded neither
unspeakable home

Sunday, September 14, 2014

about W. G. Sebald

If you'd like, you can click here to listen:

A German Genius in Britain