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Piano Concerto no 1, opus 15‏ – Beethoven

 "A New Year's Nocturne, New York" - Childe Hassam

A New Year’s Nocturne, New York (1892)

Childe Hassam

_________

for the past several days, I’ve been
humming the first two movements
of Beethoven’s First Piano Concerto,
the opus 15, being carried away by
the exhilarating energy of its
initial, adamant and authoritative,
dazzling and irresistible “allegro
con brio”,
followed by the melting
beauty of its contrasting counterpart,
the meditative and enchanting “largo”,
the final “rondo – allegro sostenuto”
is coming along, but by that time I’m
out of wind and lost in wonder at
Beethoven’s already accomplishment,
the final movement is like the
strawberry on top once I’ve had the
prerequisite cheesecake, verging on
anticlimactic, however thrilling

his First is actually his second piano
concerto, written in 1797, but
composed after his opus 19, written
in 1787, not published until 1801,
either way a new voice was evident

Beethoven’s music was written for
a larger stage, no longer the salons
of the aristocracy, nor, for that matter,
the pews of the fragmenting Christian
Church, the growing middle class
was becoming able and willing to
spend and splurge on frivolities and
entertainment, theatres, concert halls
were popping up, and prospered

Beethoven had to dazzle a
heterogeneous crowd, no longer
just a circle of familiars

listen

and watch, Leonard Bernstein is
spectacular

this is my New Year’s Eve Vienna
performance no matter who is
doing it there this year, nor, for
that matter, that it wasn’t even
performed for New Year’s Eve,
for me, it catches fire, inspires,
it is my New Year’s resolution

I hope it’ll do the same for yours

cheers

Richard

“Christmas Oratorio” – Johann Sebastian Bach‏

"Nativity" - Piero della Francesca

Nativity (1470 – 1475)

Piero della Francesca

__________

on the first day of Christmas, which
is to say December 25, 1734, the first
cantata of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio“,
“The Birth”, was presented at the
Nikolaikirche, or the Church of St
Nicholas
, in Leipzig

it was followed by five other cantatas,
each corresponding to its own
elaboration of the holy event

the Annunciation to the Shepherds, December 26, 1734
the Adoration of the Shepherds, December 27, 1734
the Circumcision – if you can believe it – and Naming of Jesus, January 1, 1735
the Journey of the Magi, January 2, 1735
and the Adoration of the Magi, January 6, 1735

the cantatas are usually played in
groups of three, or in their entirety,
to more easily accommodate too
either long, or short, performances
– the cantatas last only about 25
minutes – though Leipzig, and other
neighbouring communities might
still adhere to their more reverent
original position

an oratorio, of course, is an opera
without sets or costumes, usually
associated with religious services,
and, quite specifically, mostly, with
Bach’s, of whose manifestly prolific
output an astonishing 209 still
survive

a cantata is a work for voice and
instrumentation in several
movements, or contrasting musical
episodes, in Bach’s liturgical ones,
four voices, usually, cover the
ranges, soprano, alto, tenor and
bass, they tell the story, while the
choir stand in for the angels

this performance, conducted by the
eminent Nikolaus Harnoncourt, is
from the Nikolaikirche in Leipzig
itself, the Oratorio‘s very cradle,
its stunning altarpiece, flanked by
two mighty Christmas trees, is
glorious

incidentally the soprano and the
alto voices are taken over here by
cherubs, in the obvious guise of
prepubescents, you can tell by
their missing wings

their more stentorian counterparts,
tenor and bass, are aptly authoritative,
arresting, you’ll feel utterly blessed

here’s the text in English

Richard

psst: merry, incidentally, Christmas

 

“Tissue Gallery” – Loretta Collins Klobah‏

"Flower in a Jar" - Bada Shanren

Flower in a Jar (1689)

Bada Shanren

________

the only thing I’ll say about this poem
is that it’s about human tissue, also
that you’ll never forget it

though difficult perhaps, it is entirely
worth the journey – not only through
the stylistic thickets it might present
technically, but amongst the assorted
homuncul[i]” it more substantially,
even clinically, describes – for the
spotlight it presses onto our world,
not to mention its own manifest
artistry

alliteration, for instance, the limpid
lilting of its language, hand in hand
with its kindred, and complicit,
onomatopoeia, enumeration, prismatic
facets of an idea like aspects of an
iridescent gem, vivid, vital metaphors,
apt allegories, the very literary lot, to
relay a big picture, then an even bigger
picture, then a transcendence, an
expression of very grace, poetry
of the very highest order, of which
even a Homer, I warrant, would sing

Tissue Gallery“, my poem of,
at least, the year, and likely in my
memory forever

that’s, as I said, “the only thing I’ll
say about this poem”

Richard

_____________

Tissue Gallery

On the fifth floor
of the medical school,
sequestered from public view,
a black slab lab table
lined with old apothecary jars and twist-top jars
sealed with paraffin wax,
a shoal of not-fish treading bronzy water,
each homunculus labelled
in terms of in-utero days and weeks.

In this jarscape, a palm-size one
sitting with legs crossed,
arms raised protectively,
clasping the top of his head
like a child expecting blows in a parental brawl,
and this golem, a perfect mini-person,
holds fingers curved lightly in front of him,
as if playing a piano chord,
and this quelque chose has blackened soles –
in the womb,
a douen meant to range the barefoot forest,
those faceless stillborn and early-dead children with backward feet,
who lure human playmates to the woods
and fill their always hungry mouths with little crabs.

All casualties are clipped
with yellowed plastic navel clamps
that look like bones.
Here are twins, one larger than the other,
one malformed
with hydrocephalitic-fissured face
and this one’s wrinkly forehead,
the face of a worried eighty-year-old concentrating
on his death, an extra epaulette flap on his shoulder,
as if he is sprouting wings;
triplets like three piglets,
one with lots of hair,
one with cauliflower, puckered ear,
one with a purple-black hand reaching out of the water,
as if in hope to be rescued from drowning.

The thirty-six-weekers are not stored in glassware.
A perfect pair, girl and boy, are on separate cookie baking sheets,
wrapped in sterile pads, their swaddling blankets.
They are not desiccated, withered, mummified,
quick-frozen, frost-nipped, or sealed in wax.
They look like leatherette dolls in mid-kick stop-motion animation,
as if they’d only now stopped breathing.

Girl was a low birth weight,
vagina snapped as tightly shut as the seam of a walnut.
Boy is not the color of life, a rich-colored brown boy
bleached-out to plasticine-pale, dun-white.
Still, on his cheek-ear-hair, the almost feel of life.
The abdomen is caved in,
and the testicles are paper-thin, black, crumpled leaves.

Some in the grey jars were named and tagged on the wrist.
I was told that I cannot tell you the names.
It is a secret between the women
and these medical anomalies.
One is named for a hurricane.

The resto muertos have closed eyes and African features.
They were not colorfast,
so the chemicals have bleached them to albino.
The women, who came with gravid uterus to Puerto Rico
from the Virgin Islands, seeking to save or end pregnancies,
do not know that the small ones are still here
curled in their womb poses,
each blanched
in its lit-glass aquarium,
lolling in solvent tinted the color of beer, brandy, honey, oil, or perfume.

These small floating gods in primer paint, never to be besprinkled
with blessed water to help them cross over,
never to evaporate, dust-scatter, or waste — they are here and not here!
What is the shelf-life of the unborn?

In the Caribbean, women must travel
from island to island
to get needed health care,
and so these doodads
were not carried home but donated,
no one knows how long ago.

I have been invited here by a doctor who loves the arts,
and whom I like.
I was told beforehand only that I would be seeing human tissue.
He proposes collaboration, an artistic public exhibition
of these impossible children,
who will never utter “peacock,”
“butterfly,”
“confetti,” “crazy quilt,” “cashmere,” or “soap.”

Skullduggery.
Monster Midway. Gaff joints. Shell games. Sideshow piebald children.
Human oddities and the science of teratology.

At home, I whisper to the midnight page,
Women of the Virgin Islands, Sistren,
I saw them, and they are okay.
Your small ones are still on Earth!

Loretta Collins Klobah

 

“X-masis Coming” – Michael Sowa‏

 "X-masis Coming" - Michael Sowa

X-masis Coming

Michael Sowa

______

last week I interpreted for a man
from Morocco, his French wasn’t
sufficient for him to hold an
interview with his insurance’s
medical examiner, I was the
intermediary

he’d been hit by a truck, a
“camion”, he called it, not at all a
small vehicle, sustained bruises
and chronic pain that significantly
restrained him, he was 63, the
driver, turning right against his
red light, hadn’t seen him

a few days ago on my own way to
the airport, a man got onto the bus
in a wheelchair, found his assigned
place behind the wall of the driver’s
seat, at the next stop another man
got on with a cane and a metal brace
along his lower left limb, and sat on
the bench in front of the first man

jovially the two began to compare
each other’s situation

both had been hit by a car turning
right on a red, neither would ever
walk right again

drive carefully, the one you hit might
be an angel, trumpeting, ironically,
caution to the world

or is it, tragically, irony

see above

Richard

December, 2015‏

"December" - Theodor Severin Kittelsen

December (1890)

Theodor Severin Kittelsen

__________

for Susan

several years ago, a friend of mine
invited me to a concert, Sir Edward
Elgar
‘s The Dream of Gerontius“,
to my mind, a double mountain to
cross, both English and ceremonial,
this is not music you can dance to,
nor even dream on, but music that
demands your allegiance, as well
as your attention

to my mind English music, nearly
an oxymoron, remained stagnant
from Purcell, 1659 to 1695, to the
Beatles
, 1960 to 1970, with very
few exceptions, never managing,
mostly, to hold, even, a tune

ceremonial music suffered much
from its rigid partisan bent,
whether political or religious, try
singing La Marseillaise or
The Stars and Stripes if you’re
not of those nations, you are
instantly sidelined, a mere
spectator, try How Great Thou
Art
at a party, however
inspirational

but the ticket was free, my friend
couldn’t think of anyone else she
could invite who’d enjoy the show,
she’d received the tickets in a
bundle

Gerontius, an old man – you’ll note
the Greek root, geron, as in
gerontology” – is dying, fears the
other side, friends comfort him and,
in particular, a priest sends him on
his way, that’s act one

act two, he’s on the other side,
wherein the dream of being on the
other side, should he still be alive,
or the actuality of being on the
other side, confront him, have I
died, he wonders

I could tell you something about
that

an angel appears to lead him to,
the programme boasted, no less
than God eventually, in a burst,
for the occasion, of musical
pyrotechnics

well, I wondered, let’s see what
they’re going to do with that

it was unforgettable, though my
friend was somewhat more
equivocal, perhaps not as intent,
quite yet, as I was, about meeting
her divine

in search of something lately to
commemorate the several recent
worldwide atrocities, I quickly
settled on the only work I could
think of, apart from anything,
of course, by Bruckner, to mourn
appropriately

I found this extraordinary production
from no less than London’s St Paul’s

though not an oratorio, according
to the composer’s strict intentions,
Elgar‘s The Dream of Gerontius“, a
concert piece, is played here in a
church, an Anglican, indeed,
cathedral, despite the flagrantly
Catholic story being told, Elgar had
converted to Catholicism, the piece
transcends, however, religions

an oratorio, incidentally – not to be
confused with Ontario, the Canadian
province – is an opera conceived
without sets or costumes, usually
associated with significant religious
occasions

the text of “Gerontius” is taken
from a poem of Cardinal John
Henry Newman
, 1801 to 1890,
a Catholic convert himself, only
recently beatified, as a matter
of fact, not yet, however, for
insufficiency of miracles, it
would appear, canonized

The Dream of Gerontius is
Cardinal Newman‘s retelling of
Dante‘s Divine Comedy“, our
original tour guide through
Purgatory, Heaven and Hell,
Newman‘s take on it is
particularly poignant, Elgar‘s
musical accompaniment not
any less

the conjunction of divine,
composer, sacred venue and
superior performers is an
extraordinary occasion,
despite, not least, a
scratchy recording, the
experience here is
profound

bring your solemnity

Richard

by the way: December is the end of
the year, 2016 is already act two, are
you ready to meet your own God/dess

“upon considering large radishes”- me‏

Photo on 2015-11-26 at 6.28 PM

outsized radishes (November 26, 2015)

_____________

upon considering large radishes

I wrote a letter to my love
and marketwards I dropped it,
a little urchin must’ve picked it up
and put it in hir pocket

red peppers there, potatoes, pears,
parsleys, persimmons, parsnips,
cauliflower, cabbage, carrots, celery,
broccoli, rosemary, thyme, and turnips

but the radishes

what big radishes you’ve got, I thought,
the better, I deemed, to adorn my salads,
some red, some pink, some cream, some white,
all primed for my discriminating palate

presented gingerly in leafy green,
sold in inorganic, incongruous thus, individual blue elastics,
a brand name, the merchant’s label,
a small but indestructible, and glaring, plastic

something, of course, outrageous a pound,
or gram, at the indifferent check-out counter,
which, however dogmatic, I invariably pay,
to avoid any indecorous, unpleasant encounter

whatever is under my belt, no one can take away,
I’ve preached, propounded, promoted, pronounced,
before every filet mignon I’ve enjoyed
which another might’ve dutifully renounced

later, slicing these rarities, positively Swiftian,
I thought, verily Brobdingnagian, enormous,
pinwheels on my variety of vivid vegetables,
golf balls on my artfully distributed lettuce

what are they doing, though, to our planet,
momentarily I wondered, however impotently, I’ll admit,
having long ago succumbed to proliferating produce misfits,
with the advent of broccolini and, gosh, multicoloured carrots

my salad, with roasted prawns, and an
oil and vinegar vinaigrette, was to die, incidentally,
though not a word from the urchin,
nor from my love, not, I suppose, unnaturally, neither unexpectedly

may all your vegetables be ever so amazing

Richard

 

“Suite Française” (2014)

 "Madonna and Child Pentaptych" - Luca di Tommè Madonna and Child Pentaptych

Luca di Tommè

__________

Suite française“, had it not been for
its musical associations, would’ve
been called a “quintette”

a suite is, of course, a series of five
dance movements, a sarabande, a
minuet, a gigue, for instance, most
commonly with reference to Bach’s
Baroque masterpieces

which is to say that without its dance
implications, a suite would’ve been
called simply a sonata with five
movements, or a duet, trio, quartet,
and so forth, depending on the
participating instruments

in fiction, a sequence of five books
equals a quintet, see Durrell’s
Avignon Quintet“, for instance

in art, five panels are called a
pentaptych, see above

five books had been intended for her
Suite française“, but in 1942 their
author, Irène Némirovsky, was arrested
for being Jewish, and died later at
Auschwitz, she’d completed only two
of her intended manuscripts, a tragic
account of day-to-day life during the
Second World War

these texts were only discovered by her
daughters in 1998, who then had them
published in 2002, in just one volume
called Suite française

the superb movie came out last year

it’s a whiff of another era, a
recollection of things past

also a timely consideration of the
flawed foundations of any occupation,
I thought

Richard

psst: incidentally, in French, capital
letters are eschewed – gesundheit –
after the first initial, therefore
the French title, Suite française“,
sports a lower case f

the film, Suite Française uses
the English construction

 

Polonaise in F# minor, opus 44 – Frédéric Chopin

"The Monument to Chopin in the Luxembourg Gardens" - Henri Rousseau

The Monument to Chopin in the Luxembourg Gardens (1909)

Henri Rousseau

__________

a short while ago, my sister touted,
virtually of course, an up-and-coming
pianist, from around the corner,
relatively, from where she lives

Charles Richard-Hamelin was born in
Lanaudière, Quebec, whereas she’s
been living in Montreal forever, apart
from a stint in Timmins, Ontario, where
we were both born, at least a generation
before Shania Twain put it on the map

I left in a hurry, she followed
somewhat less urgently, a condition
of an intermediary marriage, which
engendered a miracle, my single,
but extraordinary, nephew, though
not much else

at his website, Charles Richard-Hamelin
delivers a few examples of his talent, I
listened to a couple of his Chopins, was
especially impressed by their structure,
the way Chopin imbues strict Classical
conditions with melting, Romantic,
sentiment, the very ideal, in my
estimation, of poetry

you’ll note in the Polonaise he plays
the adherence to tonality, never a
melodic line out of place, a strict
tempo, not ever indulgent, or maudlin,
despite evident emotional appeals,
and the recurrence of the original
theme after an however intoxicating
digression, giving subsistence to an
otherwise flight of aimless airs, out
of any context

music gives coherence, order, to an
otherwise inchoate, inscrutable world,
Classical music represents the original
rhythm of the heartbeat – time, regularity,
logic, the possibility of understanding,
the foundation of our present Western
culture, for better, of course, or for
worse, if not, indeed, of our very
species – defrayed of language’s inherent
ambiguities, its malleability, elasticity,
the indeed outright potential for
duplicity it accords the spoken, or
written, word

music is not just entertainment, it is
a philosophy, Apollo’s most transparent
muse

listen

Richard

“The Raven” – Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe

_________

only a few days ago, of an otherwise
uneventful afternoon, “there came a
tapping, as if someone gently rapping,
rapping at my”
[laptop] door”

“Tis some visitor”, I muttered, “tapping
at my [laptop] door – Only this and
nothing more.”

but to my surprise, to my delight, to my,
lo, roused and rustled up excitement,
for I hadn’t read this poem in countless
years, “in there stepped”, serendipitously,
uninvited, [the] stately Raven of the
saintly days of yore”

thanks, David

Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven“, after
several perhaps of Shakespeare’s, is the
most famous of dramatic monologues,
certainly the most haunting

though it is set in “bleak December”,
there is no more apt poem to herald,
I think, the feast of Hallowe’en

here Vincent Price channels the epochal
work
, magisterially, unforgettably

watch

Richard

psst:

The Raven

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—
Only this and nothing more.”

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December;
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow;—vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow—sorrow for the lost Lenore—
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
“’Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door—
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;—
This it is and nothing more.”

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
“Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you”—here I opened wide the door;—
Darkness there and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Lenore?”
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Lenore!”—
Merely this and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
“Surely,” said I, “surely that is something at my window lattice;
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore—
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;—
’Tis the wind and nothing more!”

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore;
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door—
Perched upon a bust of Pallas * just above my chamber door—
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
“Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore—
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian ** shore!”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning—little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door—
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as “Nevermore.”

But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing farther then he uttered—not a feather then he fluttered—
Till I scarcely more than muttered “Other friends have flown before—
On the morrow he will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before.”
Then the bird said “Nevermore.”

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
“Doubtless,” said I, “what it utters is its only stock and store
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore—
Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore
Of ‘Never—nevermore’.”

But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door;
Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore—
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore
Meant in croaking “Nevermore.”

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom’s core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion’s velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o’er,
But whose velvet-violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o’er,
She shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer ***
Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
“Wretch,” I cried, “thy God hath lent thee—by these angels he hath sent thee
Respite—respite and nepenthe **** from thy memories of Lenore;
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe **** and forget this lost Lenore!”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!—
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted—
On this home by Horror haunted—tell me truly, I implore—
Is there—is there balm in Gilead? ***** —tell me—tell me, I implore!”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us—by that God we both adore—
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn, ******
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore.”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

“Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!” I shrieked, upstarting—
“Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian ** shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken!—quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas * just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted—nevermore!

Edgar Allan Poe

* Pallas Athene, Greek goddess of wisdom,
courage, justice, the arts, patroness of
Athens

** Pluto, Greek god of the Underworld

*** censer, a vessel for burning incense

**** nepenthe, a drug which induces
forgetfulness

***** balm of Gilead, a rare perfume of Gilead,
a region east of the River Jordan, reputed to
have been a universal cure

****** Aidenn, paradise

a reader writes‏

"November" - Eugène Leroy

November (1988)

Eugène Leroy

_________

a reader writes about Coming to
New York – John Updike
“,
my last
weblog entry

kurtnemes
October 30, 2015 at 12:00 pm

Nice post. Yours is a[s] poetic as Updike’s. Do you live there now? My wife and I spend June of 2013 in the Village and June of 2015 in Beacon, NY. When in NYC I always feel more alive, and it’s because of the frying bacon cheek-by-jowl with the Flat Iron Bldg, the Whitney, Union Square, Grand Central Station.

when my reply to him became too long,
and a paean to Vancouver, I thought I’d
make my tribute more formal, include it
in my main text, I hope you enjoy it

while I lived in Toronto, Kurt, ’68 – ’82, New York was my playground, Toronto, the Good, was still coming out of its WASP insularity, fun was a dirty word – when I moved to Vancouver, the only thing I missed, I used to always say, was civilization, or, interchangeably, New York

Vancouver has grown, of course, since then, but it still isn’t New York, we have no theatre to speak of, no competing orchestras, a modest art scene, thanks to, especially, significant art exhibitions on occasion, and here and there an errant, inspired, flower – the recital society, however, has been impressive, with a catalogue of international names visiting often

for Vancouver is indeed beautiful, breathtakingly so, right now the autumn colours are bold, bright, infinitely remarkable, enough to make you believe in God/dess

also the mountains make a splendid backdrop

thanks for the likeness to John Updike, a shot in the arm for someone who thinks he might be a poet

Richard

psst: Kurt has a blog with noteworthy
information about, esoteric even,
Classical music – check him out

thanks Kurt

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