Monday, October 22, 2007

Good Times

It's becoming ever clearer to me that I'll need to give up sports for Lent again this year - at least if this blog is to have any chance of surviving. Still, what a weekend! I actually got to go to Game 6 on Saturday night, which was basically just a big party with the Red Sox taking an early lead and eliminating any suspense. (By the way, the friend with whom I attended can confirm that I predicted a big night for J.D. Drew. I also called Dustin Pedroia's bases-clearing double in last night's Game 7. My powers are undiminished.) The only real drama that night was whether I'd get back to my car safely since I'd ended up parking about a 25-minute walk from Fenway in a not particularly safe part of town. (I was alone since my friend had taken the T to the game.) It's not so much the money as the principle: I couldn't bear to spend $50 to park, and I always enjoy a good hunt for a free space. Usually, I can get within a 10-15 minute walk, but this time I should have just forked over the fifty.

Thankfully, I survived to get to watch the Patriots treat the Dolphins like a chew toy Sunday afternoon, then to accompany an enjoyable, but draining early evening recital, and finally to sit back and watch Boston finish off the Indians. (All this bad treatment of dolphins and indians seems politically incorrect somehow.) Performing Britten's Holy Sonnets of John Donne for the first time was quite an experience. As I remarked to several people afterwards, this is an example of music that's hard to experience outside of an actual performance. Although I have a good recording, I find these songs too intense for the recording medium. I think they really need to be experienced live (with an audience) which means I found myself discovering a lot about them as I was playing. That's not always a great thing, but it is exciting and somehow comforting to remember that there are aspects of live performance that remain irreplaceable.

In the midst of all this, The Office had one of its best episodes ever last week, after a slightly disappointing first 2-3 episodes. Episode 4 confirmed that this is a pantheon TV show, deserving of its spot in the little TV Rushmore I created over there in the right margin. I think I could easily highlight more than 50 distinctly great moments in that one hour, but the brilliance was summed up in Pam's attempt to describe her ambivalence about the Angela/Dwight/Andy triangle. She realizes both that they're all bad for each other because each is insufferable - and yet she has enough unexpected sympathy for each of them that she has to admit she cares that none of them get hurt. (I need to rewatch to get the quote right, but it pretty much summed up what makes this show work.)
[Update: OK, here's what Pam said: "Now that I think about it, Angela and Andy might actually make a good couple. But I couldn't do that to Dwight...or Angela.......or Andy."]

Meanwhile, in one bit of bad weekend news, I just discovered that the amazing IMSLP sheet music archive has been taken down - probably for good. I hope that something arises to take its place. I don't know enough about what happened, but I suspect it grew too fast and there weren't enough controls for keeping copyrighted material off the site. Now, the poor guy who ran it is overwhelmed by threatened legal action and has found it necessary to abandon ship. Still, I think that kind of free access to old music is the future.

Much more to say about all of these things, but time's up...

[UPDATE2: Here's a terrific summation of the IMSLP situation.]

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