Mostly Music
terça-feira, dezembro 31

Feliz Ano Novo!!!

Happy New Year, everyone! The last day of 2002 is a beautiful one here in Rio. Today I went with Sergio to Ipanema (his first time - he usually goes to Barra da Tijuca). It was very crowded, very hot, very sunny - nothing like a tropical summer sun at midday - so clear and bright, almost psychedelic. We stayed almost three hours (we rented an umbrella - a must). The water was just perfect - not too cold, not too hot, no big waves. And in Brazil you can drink beer on the beach, no problem. We seemed to be sitting in an area that was mostly families.

Laura's friend Silvana is visiting with her two teen children. She is a lutenist that lives in Campinas, having just returned after a long stay in the US. I took her by car to see the Mirante Dona Marta, which is free, with wonderful views of Rio, and then we drove back thru Santa Teresa as the sun was setting in the west.

Hugs to all, and a prosperous and healthy 2003.
sexta-feira, dezembro 27
Ma and I went to see The Two Towers tonight at the Palacio, a big old theatre (about a thousand seats) in the old cinema district downtown known as Cinelandia. It was the first time I had been to the movies in Cinelandia. The crowd was young and noisy before the movie got started but it was mostly quiet for the next three hours, except for cheers and applause at the appropriate moments.

Earlier in the day I interviewed the young composer Alexandre Schubert in Leblon, and the more senior Cirlei de Holanda in the afternoon.
quinta-feira, dezembro 19

Now this...

Not much time for blogging...Laura and I had a rehearsal on Tuesday night, and a concert last night, with Caliope, directed by Julio Moretzsohn, a fine conductor and super nice guy. We played in the orchestra for the Matins by Jeronimo Queiroz de Sousa, a very nice piece that we recorded with the group in August. The concert, at the Sala Cecilia Meireles, the leading concert hall in Rio, was to launch the CD. It comes in a three CD box with two other recordings of Brazilian colonial music, which was on sale at the concert for 50 reais (around 12 dollars USA, a very good price). The large audience was extremely enthusiastic with its applause. Afterwards we had dinner with Claudio Frydman, his father, a wonderful man who I talked with at length, and the mother of the soprano soloist,
at La Fiorentina on Avenida Atlantica.
Today I enjoyed teaching some of Laura's students. One of her newest students (four lessons) seems to have an amazing aptitude for the flute embouchure, with a very good tone already (he's also a bass at the University).

More later,,,,hugs to all.

sábado, dezembro 14


The first time I died, I walked my ways;
I followed the file of limping days.

I held me tall, with my head flung up,
But I dared not look on the new moon's cup.

I dared not look on the sweet young rain,
And between my ribs was a gleaming pain.

The next time I died, they laid me deep.
They spoke worn words to hallow my sleep.

They tossed me petals, they wreathed me fern,
They weighted me down with a marble urn.

And I lie here warm, and I lie here dry,
And watch the worms slip by, slip by.

Dorothy Parker


Da vez primeira em que me assassinaram
Perdi um jeito de sorrir que eu tinha...

Depois, de cada vez que me mataram.
Foram levando qualquer coisa minha...

E hoje, dos meus cadáveres, eu sou
O mais desnudo, o que não tem mais nada...

Arde um toco de vela, amarelada...
Como o único bem que me ficou!

Vinde, corvos, chacais, ladrões da estrada!
Ah! desta mão, avaramente adunca.
Ninguém há de arrancar-me a luz sagrada!

Aves da Noite! Asas do Horror! Voejai!
Que a luz, trêmula e triste como um ai.
A luz do morto não se apaga nunca!

Mário Quintana

sexta-feira, dezembro 13


Hi, everyone! Here I am. I had a pleasant flight, surrounded by Brazilians (next to me was one who was returning for the holidays from his job as chef at Oliver's Restaurant in Hyannis on Cape Cod). While waiting for the flight at JFK I met the talented and beautiful Anat Cohen, who I had heard playing at the Jazz Standard in New York with Rabo de Lagartixa. Also there was the great singer Luciana Souza. Serginho and Alexandre met me at the airport, and we gave Anat a ride back to the south zone. It's been a wonderful afternoon visiting with friends....more later.
quinta-feira, dezembro 12

Pasárgada (with apologies to MB)

Today I am leaving for Pasárgada

There I am a friend of Serginho

There I have the woman that I love

In the bed that she chose

Today I am leaving for Pasárgada

Today I am leaving for Pasárgada

I am not happy here in New Jersey

(Who could be?)

There life is an adventure!

And how we will work out...

We will walk around the Lagoa

(wearing Bermudas of course)

I will bicycle

We will swim at Ipanema

And when I am tired (and sunburnt)

I will watch the Normais

with the girls.

I will ask Dona Nora

to tell me the stories

that I didn't hear when I was little

Today I am leaving for Pasárgada

They have everything you could want

In Pasárgada

It is a different kind of civilization

They have birth control

And cell phones

And an ocean of chopp

And fountains of pinga

And the most beautiful,

most wonderful women in the world.

And when I am the saddest,

So sad that I can barely stand it,

When at night, alone,

I could think of killing myself

then I remember


Today I am leaving for Pasárgada

There I am a friend of Serginho

There I have the woman that I love

In the bed that she chose

Today I am leaving for Pasárgada

Relief of King Cyrus, from the Persian capital, Pasárgada

terça-feira, dezembro 10


My great-grandfather Robert Veeder was born and raised on this island.
This photo is from 1907.

Meu bisavo nasceu e cresceu nesta ilha.
A foto data de 1907.

segunda-feira, dezembro 9


Why do the Greeks say this when knocking back their ouzo in My Big Fat Greek Wedding? Did the Brazilians get it from the Greeks?

Coffee is good for you

Serious coffee drinkers cut their risk for Type II diabetes in half. Coffee also seems to dramatically reduce the incidence of Alzheimer's, according to research published in the European Journal of Neurology (2002 Jul;9(4):377-82) - abstract here. Interesting that that two authors are Maia and Mendonça - sounds Brazilian to me...(oops..further research shows that they are from Lisbon)....

domingo, dezembro 8

More Scrabble

Back in younger years I used to play Scrabble with my first wife. She also has a talent for languages, having learned French and Serbo-Croatian at various times. And she was a demon Scrabblist, always defeating all comers by embarrassing scores, so much so that I finally gave up playing. It's reassuring to hear that Paulo also shared my deficiency in this area (did he do crossword puzzles? which is an area of language play that holds no particular interest for me, though my first wife did the NY Times puzzles in pen).
sábado, dezembro 7

During my teenage years, I remember the house as being very active, with my mother and father working almost all day long, one or two maids (it was common at the time) rushing about in the small apartment, plus my sister and grandfather. The only time when there was some calm and everybody got together was at the meals, when we all related our exploits at work or school. Still, those were noisy meals. After my parents retired, and moved to Friburgo, life was quieter. I was at the States, then, but would spend my vacations in Friburgo, where my parents resided. The tranquil routine included a daily game of scrabble. My parents would sit for a long time, in benign antagonism. My mom always won the game. Each and every time. But my father never complained, quite the contrary, I think he was amused by the fact that he, the specialist in words, was always beaten by an architect. It also confirmed his strong conviction that my mother was a genius (he was right, of course!).
Last night I had a dream. I was back at Friburgo. my father was still alive. My parents were playing scrabble, as always. Nothing more than that. Just sitting there, playing scrabble. When I woke up, for a few seconds I expected to go to the living room, I expected to see them there, lovingly staring at each other across the scrabble board. Alas, it was just a dream. I haven't seen a scrabble board in years.
quinta-feira, dezembro 5

Chants de Nectaire

is the name of a fascinating collection of 96 pieces for unaccompanied flute by the 20th-century French composer Charles Koechlin. Until recently only selections from the whole set were available in print, but now there is a new complete edition. The 96 pieces would take about three hours to play. Wouldn't it be nice to assemble all our flute-playing friends, divide up the selections, and have a marathon concert performance? Or even just a long sarau? What do you say?


Arvo Pärt

There is an excellent profile of the composer in the New Yorker (here.)


It's not even winter yet...

and we are having a major storm from South Carolina to New England. As it happened I was on the late shift today, so I could sleep in during the morning commute, thinking that perhaps the College would close and I wouldn't have to leave the house. No such luck. The College did close, but as we are so close to examinations the library is open, so I walked through the blowing snow to the bus stop. Sou o branco mais preto de Trenton, porque todo mundo no ponto do onibus é preto (ou preto o branco pobre, muito raro). O onibus demorou meia hora pra chegar, e depois de subir no onibus mais 40 minutos pra chegar ao College. Claro que tem quase ninguem aqui. Todo mundo no onibus muito falador. Disse que estou pra voar ao Brasil, e um cara me disse que o sonho dele é visitar o Rio.
Ontem comprei mais um livro de Chick-Lit (A Promising Man de Elizabeth Young). I am enjoying it - one needs a good book to crawl under the covers with in this weather.

quarta-feira, dezembro 4

Rónai news - confirmed

Another essay by Paulo Rónai (The languages I didn't learn) will be published in the ATA (American Translators Association) Chronicle in the February issue.

The Good Life

is the name of a delightful comedy from the BBC, dating from the seventies and starring Richard Briers, Felicity Kendall, Penelope Keith and Richard Eddington. I used to enjoy watching it with my wife twenty years ago in our salad days, and I hadn't seen it since then (more recent BBC products have taken over our public TV airtime). But now...everything is available on video (although not yet on DVD), and our library has fifteen episodes. Charming, light, without a care. Felicity was my ideal of fofura (sabe que essa palavra nao esta no Dicionario Porto?), and the couple that she and Briers portrayed (Tom and Barbara) the perfectly happy couple.



Dinner (delicious, of course) and music with Tracy Richardson and Mark Hagerty in Wilmington, who are excited about coming to Rio in the spring (our spring, that is). Tracy had a copy of the most recent issue of Early Music America magazine, which ran a feature article on early music in Delaware. Our ensemble, Melomanie, was pictured on the table of contents page (the first thing you see as you open the magazine), and profiled second in the article (with the picture once more). And the article mentioned that Tracy will be playing the premiere of the Suite for Harpsichord by Sergio Roberto de Oliveira in March.We read through a half-dozen sonatas from a manuscript collection of 20 by J.J. Quantz.

The last of the six was in F minor, with a slow movement in B-flat minor (and a Neapolitan moment in that! C-flat!). Really sad - sounded like a cold Februrary day when you feel like there's no reason to go on living. I think we will play them (though not the F-minor) at Williamsburg in May.
terça-feira, dezembro 3

Anywhere, anytime

The US government justifies extrajudicial execution of Americans anywhere in the world

"Could you put a Hellfire missile into a car in Washington, D.C., under the same theory? The answer is yes, you could."

Conceived in liberty...

and on its way toward Big Brother. Read about it here
segunda-feira, dezembro 2


The sole end of all enlightened society is to get up a good opera.
Thomas Love Peacock, Crotchet Castle



Once, when I was young and true,
Someone left me sad-
Broke my brittle heart in two;
And that is very bad.

Love is for unlucky folk,
Love is but a curse.
Once there was a heart I broke;
And that, I think, is worse.

Dorothy Parker


Eu não tinha este rosto de hoje,
assim calmo, assim triste, assim magro,
nem estes olhos tão vazios,
nem o lábio amargo.

Eu não tinha estas mãos sem força,
tão paradas e frias e mortas;
eu não tinha este coração
que nem se mostra.

Eu não dei por esta mudança,
tão simples, tão certa, tão fácil:
— Em que espelho ficou perdida
a minha face?

Cecília Meireles

Powered by Blogger