Well, dear readers, has anyone noticed that it’s September? Yes, you heard it here, dear readers, it’s September and it is my fervent hope and prayer that September will be a month filled with health, wealth, happiness, creativity, and all things bright and beautiful. We need all those things in abundance during this crazy time we’re all living in and through as well as through and in. Otherwise, I am sitting here like so much fish listening to the marvelous Prokofiev fourth piano concerto as done by Peter Serkin and Eugene Ormandy, a mighty duo. It sparkles, it gleams, and the sound is classic Columbia stereo. But let’s not talk of Prokofiev, let’s not talk about love, let’s not talk about the man in the moon or the lady in the lake, let’s talk about my favorite symphony, Rachmaninov’s second symphony. I’ve written about said symphony many times in these here notes, but I’ll tell the story again about my introduction to it. I was driving home from a friend’s house and had some classical station on, and as I was driving, the most stunningly beautiful music was playing, and I was so taken with it that I finally pulled over so I could concentrate on what I was hearing. And at that moment, what I was hearing was the third movement of the symphony, simply the most beautiful thing I’d ever heard. And so, I sat there like so much fish, window open, cool breeze blowing, luxuriating in that music and not having a clew as to what it was. Finally, it ended, and the DJ came on and said we’d been listening to the second symphony with Adrian Boult conducting. I wrote that down, and the next day I went to Vogue Records and found that album, brought it home and played it to death. Of course, in the CD era, I bought every iteration of the symphony, old and new, but I longed to hear the Boult version again, but it was not on CD. Over the years, I would search every now and then to see if it had been released, to no avail. Then a track showed up on a Rachmaninov compilation, only the third movement, but with Boult, so at least I had that. I also found it astonishing that no one had uploaded the LP to YouTube. So, to make a long story long, I was looking at the for-sale items of an eBay dealer who sells classical CDs very cheaply and who I’d bought from many times – right here in LA somewhere. And he had a budget CD of the the second symphony paired with Rachmaninov’s marvelous The Rock. So, I clicked on it to see what what, and I was could not believe my eyeballs – conducted by Adrian Boult, with The Rock conducted by Walter Weller. The CD came out in 1997 on a budget label called Belart, Belart being a subsidiary of Polygram in England, under the moniker The Boult Historic Collection. So, I bought it immediately and it arrived yesterday, and it was like having a reunion with an old friend. Yes, there have been much better recordings before and since, and this was the shorter version that was the usual one done until people started restoring the cuts that Rachmaninov had made over the years. But it was fun hearing what I fell in love with all those years ago. Sadly, it’s obvious not from a first-generation copy, sounds pretty dull and lifeless – I wish someone would do a first-class transfer at some point. And there you have the nuts and Boults of the story.
Yesterday was a nice day. I got a little over eight hours of sleep, did stuff that needed doing, got in the motor car and drove to the bank, where I used the ATM, then drove to the mail place, where I was happy to see that both important envelopes had arrived. Then I came right home. I had some Kritzerland show work to do, which I did, then I decided to have an instant replay of the food I’d had the day before – a chicken, avocado, and cheese wrap, and a side of pasta salad. That arrived about forty-five minutes later and I ate it all up but saved the side of pasta salad for a snack later. I had several telephonic conversations, made a post on Facebook, soliciting questions for our one and only Facebook and YouTube Live test, which we’ll do on September 10. So, why don’t a few of you dear readers go to my Facebook page and ask some fun questions, the more the merrier. After that, I finally sat on my couch like so much fish.
Last night, I finished watching the last of the Dragon Tattoo trilogy, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, the very satisfying final film. I remembered very little of it, so that was fun. And when the right people finally get their various and sundried comeuppances, you just want to applaud, especially in the courtroom scenes, which are wonderful. Noomi Rapace is so wonderful in this and she gets every nuance out of what is a very complicated character, and Michael Nyqvist could not be better, but then again, the entire cast is great. It ends quietly, which seems like the right choice. Again, the original theatrical version ran two hours and twenty-seven minutes, while the extended version runs three hours and has important footage that really helps. So, if you’ve never seen these movies, you might want to invest in the extended edition box of the three films on Blu-ray.
After that, I listened to music, I had a couple more long telephonic calls, ate the pasta salad, and relaxed.
Today, I’ll be up when I’m up, I will greet September with a smile and a laugh and a song, I’ll do whatever needs doing, I’ll do more banking, I’ll hopefully pick up some packages, I’ll eat something fun but not over 1000 calories, I’ll have to do a Diet Coke run, and then at some point I’ll watch, listen, and relax.
The rest of the week is more of the same, with more Kritzerland show work, and some telephonic conversations to have, and I’ll continue on my diet of 1000 calories a day, and I don’t care who knows it.
Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, be up when I’m up, greet September with a smile and a laugh and a song, I must do whatever needs doing, I must bank, I must hopefully pick up some packages, I must eat, I must do a Diet Coke run, and then I’ll watch, listen, and relax. Today’s topic of discussion: What was your favorite classical musical discovery and how did you discover it? Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, happy to welcome in a new month, namely September with a smile and a laugh and a song. And it is my fervent hope and prayer that September will be a month filled with health, wealth, happiness, creativity, and all things bright and beautiful.