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November 19, 2020:


Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, light and sanity – let us keep saying that over and over again.  It has prevailed, but the attempts to have it not prevail are reprehensible, disgusting, childish, and if this situation were reversed and the other side was doing this, what do we suppose the reaction to THAT would be.  I am by nature not a political person, but I don’t care what side of the street you are on, what is going on right now has to stop – the lies, the hypocrisy, the undermining of voters.  In the end, there will be a change of regime in January that WILL bring light and sanity rather than endless lies, deception, and ego.  Having to have yet another new story or five every day is so disheartening. Hasn’t this year been hard enough without this crybaby bad behavior?  Again, I don’t care what side you’re on, any thinking person can see what is going on here and it is pure reality TV bull manure, direct from that playbook and I must tell you the media fuels it.  I wish everyone would just stop posting, I wish the media would not be so desperate for ratings that they make things worse than they are, and I wish some folks would gain an iota of moral fiber and guts.  I know the latter is not going to happen, but it should. People liken this to cult mentality, and I think that is probably accurate for some.  Light and sanity – keep it coming and let us get past this daily nonsense that is, in the end, going nowhere.  End of rant and I has spoken and sorry if this rankles everyone, but this is not a partisan issue for me or any reasonable person – it is an issue of right verses wrong, it’s that simple.

Otherwise, I am sitting here like so much fish, having heard three marvelous discs from another Klemperer box, featuring twentieth century music with two selections cheating by being five years off.  I will say that Klemperer’s performances of two Stravinsky pieces are as good as any I’ve heard, and probably better.  The second disc has pieces Klemperer wrote – his symphony has its moments, just not enough of them, but his string quartet is much better.  There’s a mono performance of a Hindemith piece that is brilliant, and the final two pieces, the cheaters from 1895, are two orchestral bits from Humperdinck’s opera Hansel and Gretel.  Now, I know you will not believe this, but I don’t know from Humperdinck or Hansel and Gretel the opera – well, I didn’t until I heard the second piece, which is quite famous and wonderful to boot.  I was, in fact, so enamored of what I heard I immediately searched Amazon to see which performances I might like to have, and I settled on three (I thankfully had a nice credit to use up) – a famous mono von Karajan performance, an RCA performance conducted by Kurt Eichhorn that gets raves, and finally the one that sounded like it might be the one to have, conducted by Jeffrey Tate – uniform five-star reviews everywhere for that one.  I also have in my cart a version in English, but we’ll see how I like the ones I’m getting, two of which will be here on Sunday.  I think I’ll begin with the Tate.  And back to Klemperer – am I the only living person of my age to not know that Mr. Otto Klemperer had a rather well-known son named Werner?  Who knew?  And now I’m listening to some marvelous symphonies by Franz Schmidt.  I’m on symphony two right now.

Yesterday was, for reasons unknown, a little irritating, in that little things irritated me all day and evening.  For example, wanting to go back and hear a CD I got just a couple of months ago and of course not being able to find it, which is infuriating.  Having to make two trips to the mail place and enduring long lines both times.  I did get eight hours of sleep, so that was good.  I spent a good part of the day making piano tracks for project one because I thought it might make Richard Allen’s job a bit easier if he had them in his computer for tempo reference and because I’d made many errors when he filmed my hands.  So, as a guide it will be hopefully helpful or helpful hopefully.  I ordered Togo’s for food – one medium pastrami (roughly the same as a Subway six-inch) and one ham and Swiss mini (really small).  They arrived early and I ate the pastrami, and it was still hot, and it was excellent.  I saved the ham and Swiss for later.

I got no work done on project two, but I’ll be up for another two hours so may try to do a bit after I post these here notes.  Once the piano tracks were all done, I did the second trip to the mail place, came home, ate the ham and Swiss, which was kind of boring, and then I got really irritated by the second stupid PayPal dispute filed this week for stupid reasons.  We’re not hard to find – our damn e-mail address is right there on the PayPal invoice.  The first guy from the other day closed the dispute as soon as he got my message, and last night’s guy did the same. I just wish people would think before doing these silly things. Then I finally sat on my couch like so much fish.

Last night, I watched seventy minutes of a motion picture entitled Stavisky, starring Jean-Paul Belmondo and Charles Boyer, directed by Alain Resnais, and with a score by my close personal friend, Mr. Stephen Sondheim.  As I mentioned the other day, I saw it in January of 1975 in New York.  I enjoyed it very much, mostly because of the music, but did find it weirdly structured and not always easy to follow.  I felt exactly the same last night.  But the period sets and costumes are fantastic, the actors are great, it’s very well directed and I’ll finish it up tonight.  I don’t know what to think of this Image DVD transfer – it seems awfully brown to me, but that may have been intentional as there are a few scenes where it’s not the case.  I’m sure it can look better.  It’s not very sharp but that’s no fault of the transfer – it was shot with really heavy diffusion filters.

After that, I made a show order for the December Kritzerland, a few more things irritated me, including the usual endless barrage of Facebook negativity, and the rest you know.

Today, I’ll be up when I’m up, I’ll do whatever needs doing, I’ll definitely do some work on project two, I’ll hopefully pick up some packages, eat, and then at five-thirty we have a little Zoom rehearsal for Doug’s play.  If Zoom is cooperating, we’ll read through it – while I don’t ever do first rehearsal read-throughs under normal circumstances, with new plays or plays I don’t know well, I do like to hear it out loud once.  It’s only eleven pages so shouldn’t take that long.  Then I’ll watch, listen, and relax.

Tomorrow I may try for a day of rest, save for three Zoom rehearsals for the Kritzerland show.  Saturday, she of the Evil Eye comes so I’ll have to be absent for a few hours, then I have a visitor coming for a visit at four, and that will last a couple of hours, as I then have work to do in advance of Sunday’s blocking rehearsal for Doug’s play, which will be over at the Group Rep with masks on.

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, do whatever needs doing, work on project two, I’ll eat, hopefully pick up some packages, have a Zoom meeting, then watch, listen, and relax.  Today’s topic of discussion: If you had to choose one Sondheim song that truly “gets” to you, which would it be and why?  Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, having needed to have an I has spoken moment.

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