Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for April, 2010

Blinks in the dark
below the full moon,
traverse the sky
while clouds swoon.
Contrail exhaust,
silently plumes,
and betokens a day,
with embarkees home…

Read Full Post »

Originally composed for keyboard, i.e. harpsichord (he died in 1757), they have been transcribed for guitar. Here John Williams performs the sonata nicknamed “The Lover” K. 213 in D minor, one of my favorite keys…

Read Full Post »

I’ve always enjoyed the Lt. Kije suite. It reminds me of winter; must be the idea of the three horses pulling a sleigh, a troika. I remember driving with my sister and listening to some Sting album aeons ago, and lo and behold Sting stole parts of the suite. Maybe he gave credit in the liner notes, I don’t know….

Read Full Post »

    I first met Tom as he was exiting Broadview, our dorm at the University of Chicago, and was immediately struck by his singular affectation. Here this tall, blond, blue-eyed Austrian, absolutely regnant in his glowing youth was sporting a walking stick. How many eighteen year olds affect a walking stick? I had seen older men with one; Edward Shils was famous for sporting one around campus. But between then (1988) and now I have not seen it attempted by anyone else. One thinks back to the origins of the walking stick. (I take this theory from Thorstein Veblin). It was an affectation yes, but also an appurtenance signaling one’s membership in the leisure class, a vestige of one’s aristocratic origins. Also, it was an unsubtle display of potential violence as it could quickly be wielded as a potent, perhaps mortal weapon! I recall that Old Hickory, Andrew Jackson, supposedly beat a man viciously with his cane after he had attempted two shots at him. Can you imagine a US President today ferociously beating down his would be assassin?! Why Tom sported the stick I do not know.
    Tom and I became acquainted during Freshman year. His native tongue was German but he spoke English with an English accent, a product of English boarding schools. He was extremely intelligent and one could sense a powerful arrogance barely brought to heel. He and his friend Craig joined me in February 1989 for an absurd adventure. I had decided to take a Greyhound bus to California to see several Grateful Dead shows in the middle of Winter quarter. The trip was something out of Bosch with both of them almost getting left behind in Omaha when the bus driver refused to wait any longer. They ran up behind the bus as it was leaving and just made it back. I don’t know what they were doing, it was something like 20 below outside, but I’m certain it involved various chemicals. But that trip is a tale for another time. What interested me in memories of Tom was that he had to flee the United States!
    I saw Tom infrequently after our Freshman year, but we would occasionally meet up. I knew he was taking courses at the Business school while a junior. He was getting ready to make a bee-line for the loot on Wall Street. Once there, he started a hedge fund and engaged in shady activities particularly the naked shorting of stocks. He managed to bankrupt more than a few companies along the way. He was caught by the SEC in 2003 and agreed to pay a one million dollar fine for his death spiral financing scheme on an unfortunate company. But he kept at it and was about to be arrested for further shenanigans. He was tipped off and fled the country. Since then another company has filed a $400,000,000 lawsuit against him. And last I checked there was still an active warrant for his arrest. Apparently he’s living in Austria, his native country, with which the USA does not to seem to have an extradition treaty for financial sins. I’ve had classmates from the U of C who’ve gone on to many and great things. But none have had to flee the country as far as I know. But then again only Tom sported a walking stick when he was eighteen!

Read Full Post »

Dvorak composed this in 1893 during his visit to the USA hence the title of the symphony. Hands down my favorite symphony. You should consider yourself meagerly educated and of simple sentiments if you do not own a good copy of this (I’m only partially kidding!). It’s kind of funny how you can listen to this symphony and pick out pieces that were copied by later and much lesser composers. This symphony like some of Beethoven’s and Tchaikovsky’s just begs to be blown through the speakers of a high-end audiophile’s set up. The movement is given as allegro ma non troppo on the youtube, but Dvorak wrote it as allegro con fuoco, as if you cared.

Read Full Post »

From the Pines of Rome, I Pini di Roma, #4 I Pini della Via Appia (Pines of the Appian Way). I had some beautiful melody teasing my brain last night and I was certain it was from Respighi. I went through a couple of CDs today and could not locate the piece. This frequently happens to me with Mozart’s symphonies; I can hear the piece in my head but can’t figure out which symphony it is. I now think my brain was playing tricks on me and conflating Respighi with Dvorak, a strange marriage. Odd! Anyway, the Pines of Rome are delightful and the dynamics on this are out of this world.

Read Full Post »

Hell it’s all Groovy

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »