David (quemadmodum) wrote,

Ghosts of Christmas

Last week, on December 7th, I was walking home and a recycling truck drove past, piled high with discarded Christmas trees on their way to be chipped and turned into compost. How appropriate it seemed: the trees had performed their role for the holidays, it was the day after Epiphany and it was time for them to retire....but not before their departing spirits saturated the street with a cloud of balsam, which hung in the air for several minutes after the truck had turned the corner and disappeared.

Last night Geoff and I performed the Brahms Serious Songs (yes, I think I will continue to call them that) and Ibert's "Don Quichotte à Dulcinée" at an informal musicale in Cambridge. Very nice and appreciative audience. I tried the experiment of reading the King James translations of the Brahms texts before each song and it seemed to heighten people's interest and attention.

Another snowstorm has obliterated the unseasonable spring weather of last week and the trees are plastered postcard-fashion with snow. I wonder how long it will stick. We stayed home this past weekend because I had to work on an emergency translation on Saturday and I had to sing on Sunday evening anyhow, but I wish I could have watched the snow falling in Shelburne.

The Harvard radio station is just finishing up the Beethoven orgy with the Op. 131 C sharp minor quartet, one of my favorites. It was this piece that made me think over 20 years ago what a good idea CDs would be...I always felt that the hushed opening fugue was "music for 3 in the morning" and how wonderful it seemed that someday it would be possible to listen to it without any surface noise. The late Quartets were some of the first CD recordings I bought back then and I am happy to say that they justified my imaginings.
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