music soothes the burned out beast

I rushed over to college yesterday only to find my 8:30 AM ballet class sitting in front of a TV monitor waiting to view a video. “Didn’t she tell you she wouldn’t need you today?” a student asked.

I walked home slower.

Since class was canceled I was able to fix Eileen breakfast and spend some time with her before she left for work.

Between having lunch with my Mom and spending time with Bach at the piano, I managed to ameliorate my burn out a small bit. It is encouraging to see my Mom’s outlook on life improving.

While she was in her shrink’s office I read Bach Collegium Japan, and John Eliot Gardiner by Alex Ross, a music writer I admire (link to his blog, The Rest is Noise).  Once again I had the real copy of this article in the current issue, but this time I read it online.

Later in the day, I carefully played through Bach’s A major English suite. Lovely music. Here are the Prelude and Allemande lovingly played on the harpsichord by B. Van Asperen.

I also played through a few movements from his F major English suite (no. 4) working especially on the first movement.

Bach led me to Brahms which is what I was playing when Eileen arrived home last night. Music does soothe my soul, there is no doubt it.

In between, I purchased some MP3s. The first group was Prokofiev’s second piano sonata and Schumann’s G minor piano sonata. I put them together with Prokofiev’s first piano sonata and listened while I made Eileen’s supper.

Afterwards, I couldn’t resist buying and listening to Paul Simon’s new album, “So Beautiful or So What.”

Not bad for a 69 year old guy. I enjoyed listening to it.

Last night laying in bed and reading about Ives’s work “Thanksgiving” which began life as an organ piece and later becomes the fourth movement of his “A Symphony: New England Holidays.”

I realized that my database privileges at Hope College would allow me to instantly listen to this if it was on Naxos. And it was. And I did. Whew. Life is good.



Democrats Allow Trims to Favored Programs –

Has links to pdfs of summary of recent legislation and specific program cuts


Hedda Sterne, Artist of Many Styles, Dies at 100 –

This woman’s art looks interesting. I’d never heard of her before reading the obit. Typical experience for me: to discover someone in their obituary.

I like the fact that she never settle on one style.


Poetry for Everyday Life –

A strong essay by my favorite conservative David Brooks on language and metaphor.


An American Tragedy –

Lots of Civil War stuff around due to the 150 years thing.  I winced as a U of M NPR radio announcer stumbled over pronouncing sesquicentennial and then actually gave up. Ah literacy and preparation. Anyway, this is a good short article about how many Americans differ in how they see the Civil War.


Obama, the G.O.P. and the Budget Cuts –

This is a link to letters in response to an article on this topic. I especially liked the last one from U of Notre Dame poly sci prof, Sotirios A. Barber, in which he writes:

The modern G.O.P. believes that the current distribution of property and opportunity is basically fair. It believes that, in essence, egalitarian measures by government entail theft.

Its anti-unionism implies that even government’s concern for equal bargaining power entails theft, for management’s unequal bargaining power represents property fairly earned. The modern G.O.P. is a Social Darwinist party.


Unfettered Campaign Money –

Good editorial critiquing some current thought and anticipating some more actions of the Supreme Court.


United States Sanitary Commission Processing Project: A Sense of History | The New York Public Library

Browse images from the records in the Digital Gallery

Very cool Civil War project from NYPL.


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