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October 24, 2020:

THE WANING EVENING

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, I am sitting here like so much fish, listening to music as the evening wanes.  Yes, you heard it here, dear readers, the evening is waning.  The Waning Evening – that sounds like one of those English novels from the 1940s, doesn’t it?  The kind that would be underscored with the Rachmaninov second piano concerto or the famous part of the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini.  A novel of hearth and home in the days following World War II.  Perhaps that will be the title of my next novel.  What is the expression?  It’s waning, it’s pouring, the old man is snoring.  Oh, wait, that’s raining.  And let me just tell you, that in my house when I was growing up, the old man snoring could be heard three blocks away.  My father was the loudest snorer in history.  It’s in one of the Kritzer books, but when the family would go to the movies, my brother and I would go sit by ourselves because invariably ten minutes into the movie, my father would fall asleep and suddenly you’d hear that snoring in the movie theater, until my mother would punch him and wake him up.  There are many such tales in the Naked City and that was one of them.  Otherwise, I’m listening to Mr. Philippe Entremont’s later recording of the Saint-Saens third piano concerto.  You’ll remember that I was going through that box set, but I’d read an Amazon review that there’d been a problem with disc eighteen – it had totally wrong tracks on it – so, I never played that disc.  According to that review, Sony had done a replacement disc, but you’re talking seven or eight years ago now, maybe longer.  But the reviewer had included the Sony address in Germany, which is where the set was issued, so I took a chance and wrote the person, and in a nice turn of events, she was still working there and wrote me back right away, saying she’d be happy to send me the disc.  And so she did and it arrived yesterday and I’m playing it now.  His later discs for Columbia are not as well recorded as the earlier Columbia recordings, for simple reasons – they weren’t recorded in the US.  Anyway, it’s nice to hear this disc and it was great that they still have the replacements and send them out gratis.  Hey, wait a darned minute – I’m supposed to be writing these notes in a hurry because she of the Evil Eye will be here all too soon, and yet on I’m going about The Waning Evening and other tales designed to bore you to tears.

Yesterday was an entire waning thing from start to finish.  For various and sundried reasons, I didn’t get to sleep until after five in the morning, all having to do with project one, and then at 9:20 the doorbell woke me up – it was the tree trimmer person who needed me to move my car so they could trim the tree and remove the trimmed stuff.  Someone named Grant Geissman neglected to tell me it was happening, or I could have moved my car the night before.  So, I moved the motor car and went back to bed.  I got up at 11:30 briefly but went right back to bed and slept until almost two, so I do think I got eight hours of sleep.

Once up, I answered e-mails, forwarded the last of the sale orders, went to the mail place and picked up a package and a five-dollar residual from something or other, then stopped at Hugo’s and got some pasta papa to go.  I came right home and it was still piping hot, unlike when you have it delivered, and it was really the perfectly perfect meal and not to bad calorie-wise – about 700 all in.  After that, I had a few other things to do and then I finally began working on project one again.  I futzed and finessed a bit, then mushed on and got further on, which is good.  After that, I sat on my couch like so much fish.

Last night, I knew I didn’t have time to watch anything full through, so I watched the special features on one of the Hitchcock movies in the box set, namely Torn Curtain.  These features are all written, produced, and directed by Laurent Bouzereau, who made himself a cottage industry in doing these, especially cozying up to big directors.  I find his stuff predictable and really kind of awful.  He does his “thing” rather than just let people talk – way too many clips without purpose for a film that people would have just watched – what IS the point.  And what writing does he do exactly?  It’s talking heads and clips and photos.  There’s always some interesting bits of tid from the people, but with Torn Curtain you get the one featurette that he actually did write because I guess no one wanted to be interviewed.  There’s nothing we didn’t already know in this one.  The best special feature on that Blu-ray is the Bernard Herrmann cues married to the film, although whoever did it spent no time actually mixing it – like most film scores, it was recorded completely dry – they add the reverb when they’re mixing the film.  So, it sounds awful – I’d love to go spend a day or two really doing it right, because Herrmann’s score bits are fascinating.  And since almost the entire score has been recorded, I’ll bet some clever person could marry the whole thing and we’d have an alternate version of the film.  John Addison’s score, which I liked and still like, is simply too light and almost fun and it gives the film the exact opposite of what it really needed, which was gravitas, which is exactly what Herrmann did – he scored the film Hitchcock made and his firing is so dispiriting, but sadly Hitchcock succumbed to the executives at Universal. And it was the greatest loss Hitchcock suffered as a filmmaker, greater than Robert Burks and George Tomasini, his cameraman and editor.  One can only imagine and dream what Topaz and Frenzy would have been like with a Herrmann score.  Because with Herrmann’s music, Torn Curtain is a whole different ball of potatoes and that’s especially true of the murder of Gromek scene, which plays completely without music in the release version – that was Hitchcock’s intention, but it was also Hitchcock’s intention that the shower scene in Psycho would have no music.  He was wrong there (obviously) and he was just as wrong in Torn Curtain because the music MAKES the scene even more tense and excruciating.  Interestingly, Herrmann does leave the last two minutes of it unscored.  Anyway, if you have that disc and haven’t watched that, it’s worth your time.

After that, I did more work on project one, shaved (so I wouldn’t have to in the morning), and the rest you know.

Today, I’ll be up at eight-thirty, and then I’ll go have an early and light breakfast somewhere, do some errands and whatnot, stop at the mail place, and then come home.  I’ll futz and finesse on project one, then we have two Zoom rehearsals in the afternoon.  After that, I’ll have a light second meal, since the first meal will be 300 calories if I have my usual thing.  I’ll probably do a Gelson’s Caesar salad with chicken.  That’s around 700 calories so it works out perfectly.  I’ll do more work on project one and then I’ll watch, listen, and relax.

Tomorrow are more Zoom rehearsals, and then I can hopefully have a bit of a partial ME day.  Next week is all Kritzerland show stuff and project one stuff.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, be up by eight-thirty, have a light breakfast, do errands and whatnot, hopefully pick up packages and mail, come home, have two Zoom rehearsals, work on project one, eat a second light meal, and then watch, listen, and relax.  Today’s topic of discussion: What are your favorite films of Paul Newman and Julie Andrews?  Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, as The Waning Evening comes to a close.

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