"A Sentence is not emotional a paragraph is." - Gertrude Stein, Sentences and Paragraphs
May 14, 2016
The Leo Kreielsheimer "Leo K." Theatre - Seattle
A Rap On Race - Created by Anna Deavere Smith & Donald Byrd
A theater of two and more theaters concerning the minds among two and more minds. On a platform above, seated at a table, drinking, actors playing James Baldwin (Donald Byrd) and Margaret Mead (Julie Briskman) hashing out their differences at mid 20th century: liberal humanism being faced down by a desperate existentialism. On the stage below, at intervals, groups of pairs and more of dancers grope into each other's bodies' spaces to selections from Charles Mingus's The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady. Minds, talk, and language bodies - face minds, dance, and music bodies.
May 21, 2016
McCaw Hall, Seatle
The Flying Dutchman - Wagner
This is one of those apparently popular works that just doesn't make it for me as a thing, as though Wagner were still trying to figure out how to manage what he wants to accomplish. The music starts in the middle of a storm but never really gets anywhere by it. Instead it waffles into a light comic mode overdosed with pious syrup. The erstwhile hero is a half-baked Manfred and, in a queasy trope of that era, the only faithful woman is a dead one.
|Arturo Toscanini in excellent hat|
Symphony in B-flat (#4) Op. 60 - Beethoven - NBC Symphony Orchestra, Arturo Toscanini
It spends enormous amounts of time and energy nowhere: befores- betweens- and afters-ville. The scale degree functions are adrift, the meters unmoored to any downbeat. Everything is exactly clear as to where it is as it, but where we are with it, as it, is just out of reach.
Fantaisie in F minor Op. 49 - Chopin - Alfred Cortot
Phrases escape the square. As long as we can keep an eye on the tiniest thread of where we've been we can find our way to a place to land.
Symphony in D minor (#4) Op. 120 - Schumann - Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra - Herbert von Karajan
Coming in around upon it again. Tunebits fan out like cards. The second does not follow the first, but occupies the place of the first's centering, within which we find a little story book violin concerto. From then on it is neither clear on which side of the cover we are, nor whether the music is told from in or out as we pass through the quiet fields and woods, along the brook, discovering bit by bit, turret upon turret, a distant glory nearing.
May 17, 2016
Trio für Klavier, Klarinette und Violoncello Op. 114 - Brahms - Christoph Eschenbach, Karl Leister, Georg Donderer
Fronted ideas melt into the back, nothing is here heard whole. The threads of stray variations (they may have been a part of it, had it ever all been there) lift in the wind like battered flags.