I know that I’ve bored some of you with my Mahler obsession in the past but this time’s slightly different.
I discovered Mahler in about 1964/65 as a result of buying a Bernstein Columbia box set which included the symphonies 2, 6 and 9; I absolutely fell in love with the 2nd symphony. To the degree that I recall saying [to myself of course] that I’d travel anywhere in the US to hear it performed live. I never actually did travel but in the intervening years I’ve heard it live twice, in LA and in SF.
About at that same period a NY businessman, a very wealthy businessman, Gilbert Kaplan, also discovered Mahler’s second symphony. He became so obsessed with this single piece of music that he travelled the world to hear it performed by all of the top conductors. In 1982, after a series of rehearsals, Mr. Kaplan hired the American Symphony Orchestra to present Mahler’s Second Symphony under his baton at the Lincoln Center. The music critic of the Village Voice gave the performance a rave review,he declared the interpretation “one of the five or six most profoundly realized Mahler Seconds” in the previous 25 years. Even those attendees not schooled in music seemed to recognize that they had witnessed something remarkable. That’s about when I became aware of Gilbert Kaplan.
I just became aware of this upcoming PBS-TV series. The title is Soundbreaking, an 8 part series starting on Nov 14. I’m really looking forward to it, it’s the history of recorded music and recording techniques, it’s the technology not specifically the artists: a subject I’ve been interested in all my life. Here’s the webpage.
This flower is an orchid, there’s a commonly held view that growing orchids is difficult and best left to horticultural OCD’s. Not true, all they need is a cool well lighted window sill, occasional dilute food and regular water[weekly]
I bought this plant at Costco about 3-4 years ago, it looked just like that when I bought it, actually it is 3 plants in one pot consequently it cost a bit more than singles, I paid $18.
Supermarkets and suchlike have started selling potted orchids at their checkout lines – impulse buys, and it’s become a big business over here. I suspect that it may be similar in UK. What amazes me about this orchid is how easily and constantly it flowers. For example, it put out several flower spikes in about March this year and it looked like this by April. It flowered continually until about two weeks ago, five months! I pruned off the dead spikes and this week there are five new flower spikes and three of them already have several buds; I guarantee that by the end of this month they will all be in full bloom and they will also last through Christmas.
I believe this variety is called Kaliedoscope, it comes in a variety of colors plus the supermarkets are selling a range of different varieties, I have about 5-6.
So if you like to have flowers in the house look out for these, you can’t beat ’em for longevity and easy maintenance.
At this stage in my life I find myself writing short pieces about events in my life, they’re not intended for publication, they’re just intended to keep my mind active. I’ve previously posted a couple of them here and they were well received, here’s another.
In the summer of 1963 we were in England after having spent the winter and spring traveling around the Mediterranean in our red VW Beatle but it was time to return to the US. I saw an ad in the Observer for a ‘student charter’ ship sailing from Southampton to New York within a week or so, the price was very reasonable. So we booked passage and on the scheduled day arrived at Southampton docks having already shipped the VW to NY. We were informed there that we wouldn’t be boarding the ship at the docks but would be transported in small boats out to where it was anchored, this was apparently for the charter organization to avoid docking fees. And so it went.
I’m reading, and enjoying, ‘The Road to Little Dribbling”, Bill Bryson’s latest book, it’s a sequel to 1996’s ‘Notes from a Small Island. I found myself Googling his name and there among the results was his participation in Desert Island Discs, a program that I used to listen to many years ago. Listening got me thinking, which seven titles would I choose were I ever put in that predicament. I could trawl through near 10,000 titles in my iTunes picking ‘possibles’ and then editing that list down to seven, that would take weeks, or I could just pick ’em off the top of my head; I chose the latter. And then I thought this would be an interesting post for the Spill, we have a group of dedicated listeners all with very clearly defined musical tastes, so the question is, were you to be confined to a desert island for the rest of your life, which seven titles would you take with you?
Let me just make a comment on today’s headline, “Jeff Bridges Lists California Compound for $29.5 Million.”‘ First off that compound was in Montecito, possibly/probably the most exclusive, most expensive location for serious ‘old’ money’ in Southern Califorornia. If you made your money before the ’29 crash you invested in Montecito. The Kennedy’s had their honeymoon in Montecito. The place is nothing but mansions and palaces all the way from the Pacific to to the mountain top.