August 20, 2016
McCaw Hall, Seattle
The Wicked Adventures of Count Ory - Rossini
No stunner, but pleasant enough in the music department. The ensemble writing is superb throughout and of course the performers are excellent. I even rather enjoyed the set design, with its Pythonesque puppetry. But somewhere behind in my head I can't help but loose a nagging thought. Not to make more of it than I felt while listening, but I wonder how long SO, and grand opera in general, can successfully persist in pretending that these spiffed up antique entertainments have much to say to us if no effort is made to consider, critically, the repressively stratified social structure that forms their substrate. What exactly is funny here? An entitled priapic jerk attempting to rape the triply imprisoned chattel of a fellow tyrant? Can we accept this horror as having only existed in the quaint world of opera plots, never in our actual historical world, and as having no obvious extension into our own times?
|Your Mother Should Know|
Book Launch - The Gospel According To St. Rage
Common Good Cafe, University Temple United Methodist Church, Seattle
Readings from "The Gospel According to St. Rage" - Karen Eisenbrey
7 St. Rage Songs - Your Mother Should Know - Karen Eisenbrey, Neal Kosály-Meyer
Karen says she wasn't sure she knew how to plan a book launch party, but that she does know how to plan a show - so that's what she did. The readings and songs were interspersed "like Lessons and Carols". The songs went well, helped by David Campbell's expert help with the sound gear. The readings got laughs in the right places, and gasps when events got dire. My job was to sit back and let Karen shine, which she did and then some. I could not help but feel an odd mix of paternal and fraternal prides.
Audio of the show is available on Karen's website, and the book, published by Pankhearst Collective, is available from Amazon. At the end of the book is a discount code for the St. Rage EP on Bandcamp.
August 23, 2016
Concerto in A Major K. 488 - Mozart - English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner, Malcolm Bilson
The 2nd movement, as it pares itself down to exactly and only what tells, becomes too intense to hold. The 3rd ends in a series of ever fancier juggles in quick succession. The cadence says "Take. A. Bow." Or maybe "Hire. Me. Please."
Piano Concerto in G Major Op. 58 (#4) - Beethoven - Boston Symphony Orchestra, Seiji Ozawa, Rudolf Serkin
The music spreads itself out over ample fields, wide room for spinning, or to stop and drift about. Try a trill here. Or here. Or there. In the 2nd movement we ever so slowly enter into the piano's sound. The stern orchestra doesn't get softer, it simply fades from consciousness as we enter this other realm. Day comes again. The ample day.
In Session at the Tintinabulary
August 22, 2016
Gradus 296 160822 - Neal Kosály-Meyer
It drops to the bottom, where it lingers. Imagine a polyphony on a single pitch.