Here are some of the poems I've particularly liked, including some new ones sent to me by friends and colleagues; recent additions at the end. From Neruda's poem, Aquí vivimos


I went to two concerts of Bernarda Fink, one in Philly (review here) and one at Alice Tully Hall (read the review). She was already my favorite mezzo-soprano, but the concerts just made me even more of a fan. This is not a big voice, and those expecting an intense operatic experience could be confused by the experience. Instead, it was warmth, beauty, and intelligence throughout. And, music that is for the most part not that well known. The Schumann seems to be what people are talking about, but I found her performance of the Argentine composer Gianneo particularly idiomatic, and the Dallapiccola an eye-opener. The performance in Philly was in some ways more restrained (maybe she was saving herself ready for the NYC concert), but the audience in Philly was more enthusiastic. She responded with three encores in Philly, and two in NYC. Just such a beautiful singer.

Other interesting people to listen to:

  • Tarik O'Regan! Check him out here.
  • I heard a concert of Graham Reynolds music. Wow! He's someone to pay attention to.

    Music that I am currently listening to:

  • Teresa Berganza singing a song by Montsalvatge, here.
  • A song by Mompou, sung by Victoria de los Angeles, here.
  • Klaus Martens (baritone) and Ton Koopman (keyboard and conductor) doing J.S. Bach. For example, Ich habe genug, Quia fecit mihi magna, and Bist du bei mir.
  • Great Performances - Schubert: Trout Quintet, Arpeggione Sonata, Die Forelle (lied). Barbara Bonney, Edgar Meyer, Emanuel Ax, Pamela Frank, Rebecca Young & Yo-Yo Ma. The performance overall is great, but in particular Barbara Bonney (soprano) is just beautiful. (It's inspired me to try to sing this!)
  • Gerard Souzay singing Faure (Melodies Francaises Pour Bariton, Regis RRC 1236). (You can hear him sing Au bord de l'eau.)
  • Quartet for the End of Time, by Messaien, performed by Tashi.
  • Almost anything in which Bernarda Fink sings: Christmas Oratorio - Schlafe, mein Liebster by Bach, with Gardiner conducting, or Dvorak Biblical Songs.
  • Misa Criolla, by Ariel Ramirez, with Zamba Quipildor (tenor) (you can hear this on YouTube: Kyrie, Gloria, Credo,, and Sanctus, (sung by Carreras), Sanctus (sung by someone else).
  • Ich habe genug, BWV 82. William Sharp, bass, with American Bach Soloists.
  • Arvo Part: Fur Alina, Spiegel im Spiegel, Tabula Rasa, and Fratres. See this essay on Arvo Part and his music.
  • Charles Wuorinen performing his transcription of the Ave Christe of Josquin des Prez.
  • Schubert's Piano Quintet in A ("The Trout"), several recordings (current favorite by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, with Peter Serkin, Alexander Schneider, Michael Tree, David Soyer, and Julius Levine, on Vanguard Classics - amazing fourth movement).
  • The Incredible String Band. For whatever reason, I've started thinking about them again. The Hedgehog's Song on youtube is one of the songs I remember.


  • I finished a book by Viktor Frankl, called "Man's search for meaning", recounting Frankl's experience in concentration camps. Warmly recommended.
  • Currently reading "Parallels and Paradoxes", a book of conversations between the late Edward Said and Daniel Barenboim. They met by chance in a hotel, Said recognized Barenboim, and they became "fast friends" (perhaps truly "best friends"). Their conversations in the book cover many topics -- much of it is about music, but also about courage, life, and politics. Amazing. Equally wonderful is the tremendous friendship between the two of them. Weekend edition (December 28, 2002) did an interview of the two men about this book, which is accessible here.

    In memorium, Joan Shiel

    Memorable Quotes

  • Peter Lieberson, Peter Lieberson about his wife, Lorraine Hunt (Lieberson) (click here for her obituary, and here for The Soul Singer, another New Yorker article about her): See also this for more about Peter Lieberson.
  • Attributed by some to Kahil Gibran, and by others to Saint Bartholomew:
  • Steve Jobs, at the June 12, 2005 commencement address, Stanford University.


  • And now, for something light
  • The Texas Sings website.
  • The strange actions of the Texas School Board.
  • And a bit about my family.


    One of my favorite places, in part because of views like this.

    Last modified Dec 29, 2011.

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