Friday Miscellany

I’ve been listening to Mela Tenenbaum play Locatelli’s Op. 3 violin concertos (with Pro Musica Kiev, dir. Richard Kapp). It’s one of those sets of CDs that I’ve had for ages but haven’t listened to in a while. Tenenbaum is really pretty great – her recordings always have so much energy and personality and – ah, I don’t know, exuberance, or something, but they are clearly very well thought out as well. My favorites are the Beethoven sonatas one, the Brahms sonatas one, and The Devil’s Thrill which contains Tartini’s famous devil’s trill sonata among other things (although I am also partial to Andrew Manze’s unaccompanied version of that). Tenenbaum shows off her viola chops on The Devil Made Me Do It! which is the same music, but performed on the viola. (Why? Because!)

Even the ones that might seem to be gimmicks are fun. One example of these is Musical Evenings with the Captain which is one of those phrases, like “reptile demonstration” that makes me laugh and I’m not even sure why. (Is it funnier if you put them together?: “Musical Evenings with the Reptile Demonstrator” or “Reptile Demonstrations with the Captain”?) This CD is of chamber pieces – Haydn, Locatelli, Boccherini, Handel, Leclair – that were featured in those novels by a man named O’something or other about men on boats off which that “Master and Commander” movie was based. I have never read the books, but I did see the movie, and other than the fact that they played the beginning of one of I think Bach’s chamber pieces like eight times but never all of it, which drove me nuts – other than that the movie was a pretty rip-roaring good time. The CD consists of entire pieces of music being played by actual musicians, and played very well too. I feel as if I would loose street cred in some quarters if I were caught listening to it, but it really is enjoyable.

Also. Pot has been legalized in my home state of Washington, and – no connection – paleontologists have named a dinosaur after Sauron.

Finally, my mother on Lully, re: how he died:  “if he’d put as much effort into writing his music as he did into keeping time, maybe the music would have been more interesting.”

4 thoughts on “Friday Miscellany

  1. I’ve read about half the Aubrey/Maturin novels. Music features a lot though perhaps not quite as much as the technicalities of rigging a mizzen staysail or the proper way of fastening futtocks to knees.


    1. They do seem to have a significant following. I don’t read a lot of historical fiction, but I’ve had people tell me that the novels are both accurate and good reads.


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