Henryk Gorecki is a composer caught in the ‘big hit’ category thanks to his powerful Symphony No. 3. Dawn Upshaw’s performance in the Cantabile section sent this piece to the top of the classical charts for decades. I love the deep lulling emotional resonance of this symphony – yet have not felt the need to seek out more by Gorecki. A must have for any classical fan or anyone who enjoys those emotionally compelling musical moments in motion picture funerals.
Louis Moreau Gottschalk: A Night in the Tropics. Here we have the opposite of Gorecki – a nearly forgotten AfroAmerican classical composer. Part of my personal mandate to widen my musical worldview to seek out what is rarely represented to the view of the world I get. This is rich, playful & pleasant program music. Impressionist with w strong Creole flavour. A clear inspiration for Scott Joplin.
So this wider world view moves from Polish, to AfroAmerican to Spanish with 3 cds of Enrique Granados’s piano music: Goyscas/Folk Songs; Piano Music 7; Piano Music 8. I first heard Segoiva playing guitar transcriptions & was fully expecting Granados to have written only for guitar & was amazed that in fact piano was his focus. The music is full of great for melody, subtle Spanish sadness & joy. Goyescas are his impressions of the famous & sometimes disturbing etchings of Goya.
Impressionistic, romantic at times to the point of florid this is classical music that welcomes new ears to the world of non-pop in a way that isn’t intimidating or emotionally dry. His Andaluza (Spanish dance no.5) may be one of the most popular & recognizable pieces of Spanish music you didn’t know he had written.
Daphne shook the parchment over the candle flame. Small burn marks appeared but she moved it so no more than a slight smoulder was seen. As she moved the paper I let a few splashes of the albino newt’s blood fall from the glass dropper. They simmered a moment as the heat drew them into the paper.
‘We’ll know in a moment, Syc, if …. ‘
The parchment burst into flame. Daphne let go and the blackened flakes drifted to the floor where I stepped on them to prevent singe marks on the carpet.
‘That’s a sure a sign as any.’ She brushed her hands clean.
‘Oh yes. No sign is as powerful as any sign. It means you aren’t to know. That you are diverting valuable energy from where it needs to go to pursue this avenue of thought.’
‘It can’t be.’
‘That attitude won’t get you very far here. Anything can be.’
‘But … that’s why I am here. To learn to see, foretell. If I can’t see how well my studies will go what’s the point.’
‘The point is …’ came from the doorway behind us. We both spun around. ‘… until your studies have begun there is nothing to foretell.’
‘Cal how long have you been there.’
‘Long enough Daph. Long enough.’
He came into the room with Lear.
‘Did a good job on that PA system today. Why does it take two of you?’
‘It doesn’t.’ Lear sat on the edge of the window. ‘But it looks better when two of us do it. Makes it look harder than it is, so that on those rare times one of us does it alone people are even more impressed.’
‘Always something with you two.’
‘Yeah.’ Caliban looked at Lear and they laughed.
‘I know you aren’t here to line us up for a double date.’
‘And pray tell Daph why would you say that?’
‘Look guys, I may be new here but I’ve been around. You two are …’ she stopped.
‘Are what?’ I asked. ‘Are brothers?’
‘Amongst other things yes. Bonded is the word we chose though. Goes a step beyond Bounders. United in more than blood and bone.’
‘You mean,’ it sunk in. So much for my erotic fantasy about Caliban and those sturdy legs of his. ‘How long?’
‘About four years now.’
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HotDamn! It’s A Queer Slam
Tuesday – September 19 – feature – Art Bar Poetry series – 8 p.m., Free Times Cafe, #20 College At., Toronto – $5.00http://It’s No Accident