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February 7, 2021:

NOTES WITHOUT MUSIC

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, I do believe I have been listening to music from almost the time I got up to right this very minute as I start to write these here notes. Of course, there were a lot of notes in the music I listened to, but these here notes are entirely different as they are notes without music. That, by the way, is the title of Darius Milhaud’s autobiography, of which I have a signed copy. So, let’s just talk about what all this music I hear was exactly. I began with the Elina Garanca album Revive. I’d really enjoyed the other album I heard, Romantique, but I’m afraid this one was a disappointment. I do love her, as you know, but here it’s almost like she’s a different singer, just singing various arias but without having to play the character from them and it all seems a bit ponderous and heavy to my ears. The bad sequencing certainly didn’t help matters. After that disappointment, I listened to the Saint-Saens Requiem, which I found an exquisite piece of work and I do mean exquisite – haunting and melodic and just gorgeous. For me, it’s right up there with the well-known ones. Not sure why this one is rarely talked about but I’m happy to talk about it right here and right now. The accompanying piece, Psaume XVIII wasn’t as good, I thought, but oh that Requiem was sublime. Then it was a short Mascagni opera called Zanetto and I enjoyed it very much, as I have every single thing I’ve heard by him. He’s become a real favorite, he has. Then it was back to Saint-Saens for Suite Algerienne, a fun orchestral piece, followed by his short opera La Princess Jaune, which I’d heard a bit of on the Tube of You and it’s quite entertaining. I really thing Saint-Saens is the berries. Then it was an opera by a composer I’d never heard of, Riccardo Zandonai. If I remember correctly, he was taught by Mascagni. And Puccini really liked him and he was Puccini’s choice to finish La Fanciulla del West but after Puccini passed, his son nixed that idea and it was finished by someone else. The Zandonai opera is Francesca di Rimini and I really liked it a whole lot. The orchestral writing is wonderful, and it’s tuneful and interesting. I gather that this CPO recording is the only complete recording. The performances and sound are excellent. From there we lightened up and listened to Peter Cornelius’s comic opera, Der Barbier Von Bagdad, based on the same source material as The Barber of Seville. I found it quite delightful and fun and there are nice tunes throughout. The companion piece is by Ferrucio Busoni, called Arlecchino, and that one was a bit more difficult in its musical style and language but it’s still enjoyable in its own way. I think that covers it all. Whew!

Yesterday, as you already know, was a musical day from start to finish. I got up at noon-thirty after eight-and-a-half hours of sleep. I answered e-mails, then began listening to music. Then I went and picked up some packages, then came back home and listened to more music. I ordered from California Pizza Kitchen – salmon and veggies – very good. Then I had a telephonic conversation with Muse Margaret and read her the two new paragraphs, which she thought were just right and added some fun color, so I inserted those into the book, and then we discussed a couple of other book things that popped up from the proofer, one of which was the title of the book. I don’t think Muse Margaret was crazy about it in the first place – it’s definitely going to change but that change could literally be adding one word and replacing another. But I’m now thinking of alternates that might work and be fun and evocative. When I came up with the title, I hadn’t begun the book, only had the idea of it and the notes and the title’s rhythm pleased me and I thought it was fun. But in the writing of the book things happen that are spontaneous, and those things can sometimes impact a title. So, I’m pondering, and we’ll see what we end up with.

I also had a conversation with Hartley Powers about whether we need an introduction to project one aka Tonight’s the Night and she felt it might be a good thing, so we’ll probably do that. And we talked about how to do our cast party thing, so that’s figured out now. Then it was back to music. At some point I had the rest of the ham that was left (not that much) and some Swiss cheese for my evening snack. And some of the Darling Daughter’s pumpkin loaf.

Today, I’ll be up when I’m up, I’ll do whatever needs doing, I’ll film the introduction to project one aka Tonight’s the Night, and then I think I’m getting the proofed book back and will enter fixes. I’ll eat, hopefully pick up packages, then at some point I’ll watch, listen, and relax.

Tomorrow begins our busy getting ready unveil project one aka Tonight’s the Night to the world. I’ll be posting more posts and continuing to try and spread the word as best I can, but the Facebook algorithms are just disgusting. For example, I make a simple post about finishing the book and that gets 399 likes. I make a post about project one aka Tonight’s the Night and am careful not to mention where it’s airing or anything much (I put that stuff in the comments) and 50 people like it. Does that make a lick of sense or even a lick of cents? Not to me it doesn’t. And that’s been the case with each of the Tonight’s the Night posts – very frustrating. I sent out my own eBlast last week, as I do for every Kritzerland show. I normally don’t do a follow-up e-blast, but I may this time. I mean, I read on Facebook where people are watching the most arcane crap – somehow, they find that. I’ve posted about the Kritzerland shows on every cast album and Broadway group and I think maybe three people have bothered to watch them. So, they’re either not seeing the posts, or they prefer arcane and poorly done crap. I suspect it’s a bit of both. I’ll also start gathering together the music for the next Kritzerland show, but most of the week right through Valentine’s Day will be project one aka Tonight’s the night.

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, film an intro, enter fixes if I get the proofed book back, eat, hopefully pick up packages, and then watch, listen, and relax. Today’s topic of discussion: It’s free-for-all day, the day in which you dear readers get to make with the topics and we all get to post about them. So, let’s have loads of lovely topics and loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, happy to have finished the notes without music.

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