I’ve Been Reading

Book Reviews, Odds 'n Ends No Comments »

An Open BookOver the past month or so I’ve had a chance to do some reading, and I thought I’d share what books have gone before my eyes.

An Improbable Life: Memories by Robert Craft

For Craft, assistant and surrogate son to one of the musical greats of all music; Igor Stravinsky, had his musical beginnings at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Kingston, New York. It was not religion, or the Episcopal Church which drew the young boy to music, but a fine music program. Craft’s parents were not Episcopalian, and it appears Craft only joined the choir at the behest of his parents to gain some culture, but this experience was the impetus of what would become a life vocation; musicologist, and conductor.

As is with much of Craft’s various works, the writing style is urbane, cultured, broad, and filled with excursions into a complex dialectic kaleidoscope of people, places, remembered, and re-created quotes from the world’s creative personae.  If, however, one reads this book to answer the blazing old question revolving around the rumor that Craft actually co-composed music of Stravinsky’s serial period, the reader with gain no crumbs or insight to the debate. Craft does not speak openly in this arena. In fact, much of the book reminds me of other works surrounding Stravinsky and their relationship; almost written in his former “diary-style”. The end of the book, which to me appears to be a literary allusion akin to the final notes of Petrushka, trails off into a pianissimo with no formal conclusions—it just ends. Read More

Felix says, “Lets go this way”

Journey, Odds 'n Ends No Comments »

Late in the afternoon on Tuesday, September 1, Felix calls to suggest that we make a reservation at our favorite little Japanese Restaurant in Pasadena named Matsuri; Felix wanted to take me out for a birthday dinner. How wonderful I thought, our special eatery where we went on our first dinner date, and how romantic…great! We also decided that we would eat early enough so we can take our “constitutional”, our favorite thing of late, taking a nice leisurely walk after dinner.

san-marinoI decided that we should walk down to San Marino, a mere block from my house, and take a new route; one I’d taken many times, but not shared with Felix.

“Okay”,  Felix responds, and off we go. We head down my street ending at the famed Huntington Library where we make a right turn, enjoying the lovely homes, wide sidewalks, and pleasingly quite street; beauty mixed with the over riding haze of burning mountain smoke, turning a half bright moon into dingy shades of yellow, and orange. Read More

A Day in the Park

Odds 'n Ends No Comments »

TinkerbellWednesday I spent the entire day and most of the evening at Disneyland. I went with my good friend Ian, or as he is known: The Gay Son I Never Had.

It had been quite some time since I had been to Disneyland, mainly because I used to be able to get a free pass any time I wanted, and with leaving the entertainment industry, I had come to the realization that the people I knew had either retired, or died! So, with a week off from work, I cleaned out some of my bank account, and ventured into the park as a regular paying customer. Below are some of my observations: Read More

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