Sunday, August 23, 2009

Mostly Mozart Festival: Haydn's Creation

I love Haydn's "Creation", though I found myself wondering how many of the singers are theists. Obviously they are professionals and need not believe what they sing; I just wonder about it, particularly in NYC. A few highlights from my point of view: I loved that the bass and soprano parts were perfectly tailored to the animals they sing into existence (e.g., the bass sings the whale, while the soprano flutters the wings of a bird). The musical phrasing for the tiger was sublime -- somehow the music itself seemed striped at that point.

My friends and I were on the stage near the percussionist (presumably Michael Strauss on the timpani according to the program), which was a treat in itself. Mr. Strauss was clearly in his element. Short of a Timpani Concerto (should such a thing exist) or the 1812 Overture, I can't think of another classical piece with such a prominent role for percussion. He could not contain a broad grin at the conclusion of the piece. Very cool!

FN: Lincoln Center may need to rethink the title of this summer festival. Two of my three MMF concerts were not exactly "mostly Mozart" (one was all-Beethoven, the other was all-Haydn). And the third, with Joshua Bell, was barely 50% Mozart (if that). Not that I'm complaining, or anything. Just sayin'

Saturday, August 15, 2009

A Recurring Theme

Scenario 1: I've just taken a trapeze class to see what it's like. It's exhilarating. I mention this to Z.
Z: Where is this leading? Are you going to join the circus?

Scenario 2: I'm picking up shells on the beach that have perfectly drilled holes in them, to see if I can make an interesting pair of earrings that will remind me of happy times by the sea. I mention this to Z.
Z: Are you going into the jewelry business?

Scenario 3: I'm showing off a few photos I'm particularly proud of, to Z and some others.
Z: Are you going into the photography business?

As of press time, I'm happy to report that I will be immediately switching careers to become a camera-wielding trapeze artist who specializes in making jewelry out of photographs taken mid-swing. Operators are standing by to take your order.

BBG in August

Lovely in every season. Here are some pictures from mid-to-late August.

View of black-eyed susans through the branch of a twisted tree:

A large flower (this is actually a double-portrait; look for the reflection in the sunglasses):

Tree reflected in the lily pond:

Water lilies with the softness of watercolor (thanks, Monet):

Lotus blossom, easily THE most photogenic plant in the garden:

A visitor to the BBG:

Small butterfly, big flower:


I love the vibrant color of these:

Rose garden still has some blossoms, even though Rose Month was back in June:

This one reminded me of the lotus flowers, but it's still a rose:

No skating in the garden, sorry:

A picture from one of my few hiking trips this summer, to Anthony's Nose (near Bear Mountain):