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March 5, 2003

I've figured it out!

There isnt going to be a war with Iraq, and our alliances are not actually in disarray! Rather, Bush and all of our allies are playing an elaborate "good cop/bad cop" routine on Saddam, and it just might work!

Moving all of the troops and weapons to the gulf was necessary to provide the credible threat, but that doesn't mean they're actually going to be used--it is much cheaper and less risky to merely brandish them than to actually wield them.

Opera: (DVD) Tristan und Isolde Richard Wagner

George and I watched this DVD from a live, outdoor performance in 1973, with Jon Vickers and Birgit Nilsson in the title roles. Neither of us had seen this nor heard it in it's entirety before. Unfortunately, the technical quality of the DVD was so very poor that we didn't much enjoy it. Not sure how much I would have enjoyed a better procuction, better recorded, it's mostly a major downer.

This production had one of those execrable minimalists sets, if you can even call it that. Just a couple of curved stairways that got shoved around into slightly different orientations for different scenes. Bleagh!

March 7, 2003

Concert: Arlo Guthrie

This concert at Northeastern University's Blackman Auditorium was a lot of fun, after a slow start. Arlo was accompanied by his daughter and son-in-law on guitars/backup vocals, and one of his sons on keyboards. He sang some newer stuff, some old favorites, and some of his father's songs, but the best part of the show was his stories.

March , 2003

Took delivery on my new Rambouillet frame today, and transferred the parts from my plastic Trek, building it up as a fixed/free rig. Only got a brief ride coming home from the shop, and didn't want to ride too fast because the roads are wet from snowmelt, and I haven't yet installed fenders. I haven't got the position dialed in (need a shorter stem) but my initial reaction is very favorable indeed.

Concert: Boston Symphony Orchestra Beethoven and Harbison

Bernard Haitink conducted Beethoven's 4th Symphony and the world premiere of John Harbison's Requiem.

It has been a while since I listened to the Beethoven 4th. It is a bit of an anomaly: Bracketed by the Eroica and the Fifth, arguably the two most important orchestral works of the 19th century, the 4th harkens back to a more 18th century feeling. I get the feeling this is something Haydn could have written if he had lived a few years longer...not that there's anything wrong with that!

The Harbison seemed OK on first hearing, but it didn't knock my socks off. Partly, I couldn'g help comparing with with the Britten War Requiem, which isn't very fair, since the latter is among my half-dozen favorite compositions.

March 9, 2003

Film: (DVD) 61* Billy Crystal 2001

I don't know quite what it is about baseball that makes it so cinematic. There are lots of fine baseball films, far more, proportionally than any other sport. I suspect part of it is because of the anything-can-happen-in-the-9th-inning factor, part to the unique mix of idividuality and teamwork. This one followed Mickey Maris and Roger Maris throught the '61 season and the pursuit of Ruth's home run record.

March 10, 2003

Film: (DVD) Lulu on the Bridge Paul Auster, 1998

Harvey Keitel is a jazz musician struck down by a stray bullet, Mira Sorvino is a waitress/actress. Fate brings them together in a somewhat bizarre film. Keitel can act, and Sorvino is cute as a button with a radiant smile.

March 11, 2003

Film: (DVD) The Other Side of Sunday Berit Nesheim, 1998

Coming-of-age tale, set in Norway in the 1950s. The protagonist is the teenaged daughter of a very strict minister, tempted by evil worldly things like earrings, lipstick, rock 'n' roll and Coca Cola...

It's quite a charming film if you like this sort of thing.

March 12, 2003

Film: (DVD) The Bourne Identity Doug Liman, 2002

A spy thriller mostly set in France, good fun with Matt Damon as an amnesiac CIA hit man and Franka Potente (of Run Lola Run fame) as his partner in flight.

March 13, 2003

Well, we seem to be teetering ever closer to the brink of war. I myself am on the fence, being generally opposed, but not entirely sure that I'm right and that Bush is wrong.

I am quite disgusted with the current French-bashing mood that is abroad in the land. People are saying terrible things about Chirac, who is, after all, the leader of a democracy where an overwhelming majority is opposed to an invasion.

Film: (DVD) Kissing Jessica Stein Charles Herman-Wurmfeld, 2001

This was a pleasant comedy with a lesbian theme.

March 14, 2003

Film: (DVD) Band of Brothers

This HBO miniseries is clearly an offspring of Saving Private Ryan. Produced by Stephen Spielberg, directed by Tom Hanks, it has much the same look, including the high shutter speed action sequences.

This follows a company of the 101st Airborne from training, through D-Day, Market Garden, Bastogne, the Ardennes and on to final victory. It's quite a fine piece of work.

March 15, 2003

Got the fenders on the Rambouillet, went for a brief ride on it. Feels very nice, but will benefit from some wider tires.

Film: (DVD) La Sentinelle

I found this post Cold War spy thriller very hard to follow. No redeeming socaial importance. Not recommended.

April 1, 2003

April Fools day

New domain:


April 2, 2003

I woke this morning to the news of the rescue of Jessica Lynch. What a story! I have to say, as for myself, at least, the emotional response is all out of proportion to the objective facts.

The story of the captured soldier freed by daring comrades is compelling enough, but there's something primal in the overlying story of gallant warriors rescuing a beautiful damsel in distress. I cried when I heard the news.

April 11, 2003

Film: (DVD) My Big Fat Greek Wedding

Very funny film, highly recommended.

April 13, 2003

Dream: I have arranged to have 5 Poems of e.e. cummings by my late friend Peter Young performed. The performance is to take place at 3 in the afternoon. I somehow manage to oversleep and miss the performance...

Music: Jazz at Brandeis

A fine concert, George had a couple of fine solos, but I ran out of videotape, so I didn't get it.

Film: (DVD) Chloé in the Afternoon

April 15, 2003

Film: (DVD) Groundhog Day

I've seen this before, but it's worth seeing more than once, more than once, more than once...

April 16, 2003

Steve Grimes 1943-2003 Very sad news, my good friend and former employer died of a heart attack. He will be sorely missed.

I put up a tribute page to his memory.

April 18, 2003

New PDA: Sony Clié

This is so cool!

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The overall Booklist has been moved to a separate page.

Books reviewed on this page:
War and PeaceLeo Tolstoy5/26/03


The overall film list has been moved to a separate page.

Films reviewed on this page:

March 8, 2003B.S.O., Bernard HaitinkBeethoven, Harbison
March 7, 2003Arlo GuthrieNortheastern University
February 21-March 1, 2003Gilbert & Sullivan: PatienceSudbury Savoyards
January 18, 2003B.S.O., Ton Koopman, Andreas SchollBach, Haydn
December 7, 2002B.S.O., Marek JanowskiBartok, Strauss
November 29, 2002New York Philharmonic, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Pierre Laurent-AimardJanacek: Cappriccio; R.Strauss: Burleske; Brahms: Sym. #2
November 2, 2002B.S.O., Marek JanowskiBartok, Strauss
September 22, 2002Boston Folk FestivalBarachois, Bill Staines, Cheryl Wheeler, Richard Thompson
July 21, 2002London Philharmonic, RostropovichShostakovich, Lady MacBeth of Mtsensk
July 3, 2002Stan Rogers Folk FestivalOysterband, Fairport Convention, others.
May 3, 2002The Australian OperaWagner, Die Meistersinger
April 18, 2002B.S.O., Seiji OzawaMahler, Sym. # 9
April 13, 2002M.I.T.G.a.S.P.Gilbert & Sullivan, The Gondoliers
March 7, 2002B.S.O., Hans Graf, M. Piccinini, A.HäfligerColgrass, Schubert
February 21, 2002B.S.O., James LevineDvorak, Wuoronen, Mozart, Ligeti,Schumann
January 10, 2002B.S.O., Bernard HaitinkBruckner: Symphony #7
December 9, 2001Brandeis University Symphony OrchestraBeethoven: Piano Concerto #3; Dvorak: Symphony #6
December 8, 2001Brandeis University Early Music SocietyVarious works
November 17, 2001M.I.T.G.a.S.P.Gilbert & Sullivan, H.M.S. Pinafore
November 3, 2001B.S.O., Federico CorteseIves: Ragtime Dances, Mozart Pf Conc #9 k271, Kurtäg: Grabstein für Stephan; Schubert, Sym. #4
Novembr 2, 2001Blue Man Group, Seiji OzawaBrahms: Symphony #1
October 6, 2001B.S.O., Seiji OzawaBrahms: Symphony #1
May 3-6, 2001M.I.Tl G & S PlayersGilbert & Sullivan: The Grand Duke
April 13, 2001Harvard-Radcliffe G & SGilbert & Sullivan: Utopia, Limited
March 4, 2001Newton North High School Chorus and OrchestraHaydn: Missa in Tempore Belli; Symphony #49 "La Pasione"
March 3, 2001B.S.O., David RobertsonJanácek Sinfonietta,
February 18, 2001Theatre de Chatelet (DVD)Janácek, The Cunning Little Vixen
February 4, 2001M.I.T.G.a.S.P.Rowe & Sullivan, The Zoo
February 3, 2001B.S.O., James LevineMahler Symphony #3
February 3, 2001George and his band at Harvey Finstein School of Music
December 27, 2000The Christmas Revels, CambridgeAppalchian/African-American Revels
December 23, 2000San Carlo Opera (DVD)Wagner, Tannhäuser
November 18, 2000M.I.T.G.a.S.P.Gilbert & Sullivan, The Sorceror
November 16, 2000Harvestfest, Newton North High School
November 2, 2000B.S.O., Christoph EschenbachMozart: Piano Concerto #23; Mahler Symphony #5
October 24, 2000Leon RosselsonJohnny D's
October 7, 2000The Savoy-AiresGilbert & Sullivan: The Mikado
June 18, 2000George and his band at Harvey Finstein School of Music
May 21, 2000Small Ensemble Concert--Newton North
April 29, 2000Spring Revels
April 22, 2000B.S.O., André Previn, Pamela FrankPrevin: Diversions; Barber: Violin Concerto; Mozart: Symphony #39
March 10, 2000Revels, Inc/Shakespeare & Co.The Mysteries
February 26, 2000B.S.O.,Seiji Ozawa, Christine Goerke, Ian Bostridge, Thomas QuasthoffBritten: War Requiem
February 19, 2000B.S.O., Bernard HaitinkMahler: Symphony #7
February 12, 2000George and his band at Harvey Finstein School of Music
January 29, 2000B.S.O., Sir Simon Rattle
Peter Donohoe, Piano
Dvorák: The Golden Spinning Wheel,
Bartók: Piano Concerto #1, Brahms: Symphony #2
January 8, 2000George on TromboneN.E. Regional Senior District Festival
December 19, 1999The Christmas Revels, CambridgeItalian Renaissance Revels
December 12, 1999Pierre Boulez, Met Opera (video)Wagner: Siegfried
November 19, 1999Matapat, Lexington
November 18, 1999Harvestfest, Newton North High SchoolSt. Sæns Danse Macabre
November 7, 1999M.I.T.G.a.S.P.Gilbert & Sullivan, Iolanthe
November 4, 1999George and his band at Ryles, Cambridge
October 2, 1999B.S.O., Seiji Ozawa
Florence Quivar, Mezzo; Paula Delligatti, Sop.
Mahler, Symphony #2
September 29, 1999B.S.O., Seiji Ozawa,
Hildegarde Behrens, Soprano
Wagner: Tannhäuser, Götterdämmerung excerpts;
Strauss: Electra excerpt.
August 14, 1999M.I.T.G.a.S.P.Gilbert & Sullivan, Crichton
July 24, 1999David Mallett
June 19, 1999The Publick TheatreGilbert & Sullivan The Yeomen of the Guard
April 13, 1999Harvey Finstein School of Music student groupsGeorge and Tova at Watch City Brewery
March 7, 1999Newton North High School Chorus and OrchestraMozart: Requiem, Symphony #38 ("Prague").
March 5, 1999Harvey Finstein School of Music student groupsGeorge and Tova in Jazz recital at Newton Congregational Church.
March 4, 1999Newton North High School various groups.
February 6, 1999B.S.O.,Seiji Ozawa,
Jacques Zoon (flute)
Debussy: Pelléas et Mélisande "Symphony"
Mozart: Flute Concerto #1 in G, K.313
Stravinsky: Le Sacre du Printemps.
January 30, 1999B.S.O., Robert Spano,
Andreas Haefliger (piano)
Lindberg: Arena
Beethoven: Piano Concerto #2
Sibelius: The Swan of Tuonela, Symphony #3
January 16, 1999B.S.O., Sir Simon Rattle,
Dawn Upshaw (sop.)
Knussen Flourish with Fireworks
Weir Natural History
Mahler Symphony #4
Schumann Piano Concerto
December 23, 1998The Christmas Revels, Sanders Theatre, Cambridge
December 12, 1998Caroling with Nym Cooke, Hardwick, Mass.
November 28, 1998B.S.O., Roberto Abbado,
Lief Ove Andsnes (piano)
Mahler Symphony #1
Schumann Piano Concerto
November 8, 1998M.I.T.G.a.S.P.Gilbert & Sullivan, The Mikado

November 29, 2002Lorraine BraccoThe Graduate
November 23, 2001Helen Mirren, Ian McKellnThe Dance of Death-August Strindberg
September 30, 2000Tova/Black Box Theatre, Cornell UniversityThe Maids-Jean Genet
May 30, 2000Kelsey Grammer/Colonial TheatreMacbeth
May 26, 2000The Huntington Theatre Co.King Hedley II
September 3, 1999The Publick TheatreNine
August 21, 1999Orange Tree Theatre, Ithaca, N.Y.Sonata
August 13, 1999Firehouse Theatre, Ithaca, N.Y.Sister Mary Ignatius Explains it All For You
May 22-29Newton South/North High SchoolsRichard III
December 18, 1998Newton North High SchoolThe Bone Violin, May Flies
November 12, 1998Newton North High SchoolTo Kill a Mockingbird 052999

November 27-30, 2002New York, N.Y.
October 8-13, 2002Evanston, Illinois
October 4-8, 2002Las Vegas, Nevada
July 3-9, 2002Canso, Nova Scotia
May 24-27, 2002Long Island, New York
November 21-24, 2001New York City
October 16-19, 2001Cape Cod, Massachusetts
September 29-October 3, 2001Las Vegas, Nevada (Interbike Show)
June 16-23, 2001Nags Head, North Carolina
October 5-14, 2000Evanston, Illinois
September 30-October 2, 2000Ithaca, New York
June 22-25, 2000Urbanna, Virginia
October 7-13, 1999Chicago/Evanston, Illinois
August 19-28, 1999Ithaca, New York
August 12-13, 1999Ithaca, New York
July 23-25, 1999Bridgeton, Maine
November 25-28, 1998Fort Lauderdale, Florida
1988-89France, England
1980Yucatan, Mexico
1975England, Belgium, Yugoslavia, Turkey

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