Day 69: Moons

HaydnCD69It’s been a crazy holiday season. Already. Still. I don’t know which.

My wife and I haven’t recovered from Thanksgiving yet, and here we are frantically working on Christmas cards, considering tree shopping tonight, and catching up on work (strategic plans, grading final exams, preparing two new classes to teach, this blog, screenplays, etc.).

So we try to steal a few minutes together here and there.

Like this morning, for instance.

Instead of me jumping out of bed before the suns rises, and heading to some restaurant or office to work on this blog before my real work day starts, I suggested we both jump out of bed under cover of moonlight and head to Denny’s where we can drink their excellent coffee all morning long, split a Moons Over My Hammy plate, and work on Christmas cards. Together.

Surprisingly, she went for it, which – if you knew my wife – is quite something. She’d rather keep her head on a soft pillow, with covers pulled to her chin, than do just about anything.

CardsBe that as it may, here we are. This is the view I see of her. But, still, she’s here. With me.

And I’m listening to Welsh Songs for George Thomson II.

Which is quite similar to Welsh Songs for George Thomson I.

Only less so.

I’m still having a hard time getting into the voices of soprano Lorna Anderson and tenor Jamie MacDougall. If you’ve read any of my blog posts prior to this, you know why: their vocal range is not in my sweet spot. Anderson doesn’t sound like Pilar Lorengar and MacDougall doesn’t sound like Nicolai Gedda. The former’s range – to my ears, anyway – sounds lower than soprano and tenor. The latter is right in the sweet spot for me. Continue reading

Day 41: God In Time of War

HaydnCD41My day started early, even by my standards – somewhere around 4:30am.

I don’t know why.

Once up, it’s always tough for me to return to my previous state of slumber. So, I made the best of it.

I watched Sons of Anarchy, Season One, Episodes 1 and 2. I read the latest issue of Tricycle magazine. And then, around 6:30, I headed to Denny’s, where I now sit…listening to Haydn’s Mass in Time of War (Missa “In Tempora Belli”) while watching people who bear a scary resemblance to a Far Side comic.

531901_609303722468316_1408418453_nI don’t know which is worse.

Opera has not been a favorite of mine. It’s not that I don’t appreciate the talent – especially the vocal talent – required to master this art form. I do appreciate it. Deeply. (Well, maybe not deeply. But at least superficially. Earnestly superficially.)

Just between you and me, I gained deep appreciation for two opera singers when I listened to everything Mozart composed: Nicolai Gedda and Pilar Lorengar, especially their electrifying performance of the Love Duet from Madame Butterfly.

The notes they hit…

Well, watch them hit said notes Continue reading