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Random Thoughts

I've been dreaming a lot lately. That is, the dreams are more vivid and I'm remembering having had them.

I had at least three or four interesting (to me) dreams last night. I only remember details from two of them.

In the first, I was involved in a theater performance with Vicki Stern. I don't remember Vicki ever doing theater, but she and theater were both a part of my childhood. We weren't especially close or anything, but I always thought well of her. After all, she was a world-class swimmer and represented Panamá in the Olympics, probably in '92. So, in the dream she and I got to talking backstage, just the two of us catching up in one of the dressing rooms or the green room, having a deep, meaningful conversation. At the end, I felt especially close to her, so I drew near and kissed her, tenderly and gently, on the lips. She didn't resist, but she didn't kiss back either. After the kiss she politely explained that she wasn't interested in pursuing that, but did so in a way that didn't feel awkward or embarrassing and left nothing but friendly feelings between us.

In the second, I was playing hoops. I chased after a loose ball at the sideline near the baseline. I gained possesion but was about to fall out of bounds on the side. I saw one of my teammates in the middle and flung the ball to him. The teammate was an acquaintance from college who I developed a dislike for, a particularly short guy with an overinflated sense of self whose name, Nuno Pedro Ludovice de Gusmao Sacuto, more than made up for his lack of stature. In the dream, Nuno was sitting at the top of the key after having been knocked to his ass by a defender, and my pass sailed clear over his head and out of bounds on the other side. He looked pissed that I misgauged his height, so I shouted out, "I'm sorry, I couldn't tell you were sitting, not standing," implying that if he was standing he'd have been able to jump for it, so that his genes, not my errant pass, was at fault. It doesn't make much sense now, but in my dream I was pleased at having derided his height.

Also in the dream was one of the tallest people I've known, a former friend from high school aptly named John Hightower. I don't remember his role in the dream, but I do remember it wasn't flattering.

It's interesting to note how my subconscious/unconscious retains and manifests these positive or negative impressions about people in my past.

--

On the drive to work this morning, WGBH was playing three lovely pieces for oboe and piano. (I didn't catch the name of the composer.) I think the oboe gets a bad rap. I used to be one of the philistines who complained that the oboe sounds like a wounded duck. My feelings towards it started to change when I heard a couple of recordings of the Bach aria "Es ist vollbracht" from Cantata 159, with a sublime oboe obligato soaring over the adagio baritone voice. Another favorite is Sibelius' "The Swan of Tuonela," with the plaintive oboe probing over the windswept orchestral texture. When played skillfully, there are few instruments as expressive as the oboe.

--

The announcer on WGBH also mentioned that today is Haydn's birthday. I developed an aversion to Haydn in college when I had to analyze his symphonies to death. I find musical analysis tedious, and it wasn't long before I transferred these feelings to Haydn's works themselves. The truth is that Haydn is a fine composer. He can be tedious, but I think that's more a result of his period. He belonged to the high classical period, where form in music was strictly defined. Within the limitations of these classical forms, he was very creative; however, he never transcended these forms the way Mozart did or broke free of them the way Beethoven started to. I doubt I'll ever truly enjoy most of his symphonies or chamber works, but when you listen to his choral works (particularly, in my opinion, The Creation, The Lord Nelson Mass, and the Te Deum) you hear evidence of musical genius at the height of its powers.

While he was talking about Haydn, the announcer used the word "opera." It took me a moment to figure out what he was talking about, since Haydn is not a name one associates at all with the term "opera" in its common usage. Re-inserting the word into context, I realized he was using the plural of "opus"; it's just not something one hears very often.

--

There's been a positive development on the London front. I'm going to keep mum on the details, partly because it's tentative right now and I don't want to count chickens prematurely, and partly to respect the privacy of others. I have a lot to take care of on my end before the move can happen, but it is a HUGE help knowing this option is possibly available to me.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
rsc
Mar. 31st, 2005 09:45 am (UTC)
I'm surprised you were able to listen to WGBH this morning. Weren't they fundraising?

however, he never transcended these forms the way Mozart did or broke free of them the way Beethoven started to.

I'm not sure I would agree with this. Haydn did some pretty interesting things with form.

the announcer used the word "opera."

of course, when this is the plural of "opus" it should be pronounced with a long "o". But my betting is that the announcer was Ron della Chiesa, and I wouldn't be at all surprised at his not knowing that.

Haydn did in fact write at least one opera (I think it's called Il mondo nella luna ("The world in the moon") or something like that), but it's just about never performed.
spwebdesign
Mar. 31st, 2005 10:07 am (UTC)
I'm not sure I would agree with this. Haydn did some pretty interesting things with form.

That may be my Haydn bias speaking. His music feels to me so formal and restricted, except for his choral works, which really do sparkle and soar.

They did the fundraising after the oboe piece. They talked on interminably about Haydn and how a $100 contribution would get you a Haydn CD and so forth. I tuned most of it out, which is part of the reason I didn't catch on to the use of "opera" more quickly.
rsc
Mar. 31st, 2005 02:14 pm (UTC)
We usually listen to WGBH from the time we get up until the end of the classical programming (4 PM weekdays, noon weekends, assuming we're home all that time), but we can't tolerate the begging. John switched to WCRB this morning, and quickly concluded that their advertising was no more bearable than WGBH's begging. So it's CDs during breakfast for us for the next week or two.
am0
Apr. 3rd, 2005 12:28 pm (UTC)
Random
Hightower has a tendency to pop up unexpectedly. I seem to run into him about once a year, never expecting the encounter.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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