I learned about this lecture at the Collège de France...

Given in 2012 by the pianist Jérôme Ducros, entitled L'atonalisme et après by way of comments at this post at Slipped Disc, to which I was sent from Dr Townsend's Friday Miscellanea. I've put the English and the original versions here. Jacques Attali, eh, he is a clever fellow and a perceptive commenter on matters cultural and political but his affliction by that Mitterand fellow is something I cannot myself get quite out of mind. 

I hadn't realised it had been so long...

Since I'd written here; good heavens. Well, it is the dies caniculares, the dog days (and we have had and are having hundred degree days, although I expect today is the last of them), so perhaps I'll pretend to have been on vacation. 

Was prompted to write here because of a post of Fr Hunwicke's today. It is the first in a series but I did want to note the profound thesis:

Any ecclesiology which can be adduced to give support to a situation in which, seven or even nine years after the act, a magisterial pronouncement or enactment of a Roman Pontiff, expressive of Scripture and of Apostolic Tradition, can be treated as so much disposable garbage, now you see it, now you don’t, is an ecclesiology which I, for one, repudiate from the bottom of my heart. And will continue to repudiate as widely and with as much energy as my advancing years allow me.

Athanasius contra mundum, one bishop withstood that wretched English king, &c &c. 

Have been listening to Arvo Pärt's Pari Intervallo...

From the minimalist 70s. Here is the original version, for organ:

There is a version for kantele (which is a Finnish plucked string instrument):

For flutes (the piece was written for the organ or for four recorders, I think, depending on where you look; Jeremy Grimshaw, here, says for 'four wind instruments originally, then organ, then recorder quartet', eh):

For bajan, bayan, which so far as I can tell is a Russian accordion made in the early part of the last century (and which is quite lovely really, surprisingly):

For piano, four hands:

For two pianos:

For solo guitar:

For bassoon quartet:

For harp:

Et post commotionem ignis: non in igne Dominus. Et post ignem sibilus auræ tenuis.

A word I had never heard, 'galimatias', was used by the ten year old Mozart...

As part of the title of his Galimatias musicum in D major KV [why is this not just K? what is KV? so much I'm ignorant of...] 32; Peter van der Graaff broadcast that Mozart on KWAX earlier... I've already written this on Facebook.

Peter van der Graaff is playing Mozart’s Galimatias musicum on KWAX and was unsure what ‘galimathias’ is. From the Latin ‘gallus’, rooster, and the Greek ‘mathia’, knowledge (polymath, e.g.), it has an interesting history (used of the thoughtlessly rote recitation of the genealogy in St Matthew’s Gospel, e.g.). It means, more or less, ‘nonsense’, in the sense I personally use that word, ha. “Discours confus qui semble dire quelque chose mais ne signifie rien”— a confused discourse that seems to say something but really means nothing.

I found the entry for the word at the CNRTL site

Discours confus qui semble dire quelque chose mais ne signifie rien. Synon. embrouillamini.Térence dit en quatre mots, avec la plus élégante simplicité, ce que celui-ci ne dit qu’avec une multitude de métaphores qui approchent du galimatias (Sainte-Beuve, Port-Royal, t. 3, 1848, p. 233).Ce n’étaient, en face de lui, qu’opinions, tendances, suppositions, croyances, conjectures, phrases creuses, discours, galimatias... à lui qui n’apportait que des faits, on ne répondait que par des mots (J. Rostand, Genèse vie,1943, p. 150).
♦ ,,Galimatias double : galimatias que ne comprend ni celui qui le fait, ni celui qui l’écoute ou le lit`` (Ac. 1835-1932).
Prononc. et Orth. : [galimatja], et [-ɑ]. [a] ds Barbeau-Rodhe 1930, Pt Rob., Warn. 1968 et Lar. Lang. fr. [ɑ] (à part Dub.) ds des dict. plus anc. tels que Land. 1834, Gattel 1841, Besch. 1845, Littré. [a] ou [ɑ] ds Passy 1914 (cf. -as). Ds Ac. dep. 1694. Étymol. et Hist. 1580 jargon de galimathias (Montaigne, Essais, éd. A. Thibaudet, I, XXV, p. 170). Orig. inc. On le rattache couramment (cf. FEW t. 1, p. 222a) au b. lat. ballematia « chansons obscènes, jeux »; hyp. contestée (ainsi que d’autres hyp. encore moins convaincantes) ds EWFS2, qui se rallie à une autre explication : au xvies., dans le jargon des étudiants, le lat. gallus « coq » aurait désigné les étudiants participant aux discussions réglementaires, d’où avec la termin. gr. -mathia « science », *gallimathia (v. aussi Bl.-W.5). Pour Kahane Byzanz, p. 369, il s’agirait d’une expr. humaniste répandue à partir de Byzance dont la base serait le gr. κ α τ α ̀ Μ α τ θ α ι ̃ ο ν « selon Matthieu » et ferait allusion à la généalogie du Christ (Évangile selon Matthieu, I, 1-17) qui était récitée à l’Église sur un ton de monotone psalmodie, d’où le sens de « discours, psalmodie » donné à un type m. lat. *galimateus, d’où viendrait l’occitan galimatias. Fréq. abs. littér. : 78. Bbg. Arickx (I.). Les Orthoépistes sur la sellette. Trav. Ling. Gand. 1972, no3, p. 131. - Elwert (W. Th.). Qq. mots désignant le « lang. incompréhensible ». R. Ling. rom. 1959, t. 23, pp. 64-79. - Gall. 1955, pp. 473-474. - Sain. Sources t. 1 1972 [1925], p. 24; pp. 287-289; t. 3 1972 [1930], p. 7, 88, 111, 411.

I am specially pleased by the likelihood that the expression derives in part anyway from the garbled reading (plus ça change...) of the genealogy in the first chapter of the Gospel according to St Matthew.

Was asked, 'What works of Bach were performed at the OBF?'... [III]

10. Komm, Jesu, komm BWV 229 (organ) [Thursday 7 July]

11. O Lamm Gottes, unschuldig BWV 656 (organ) [Thursday 7 July]

12. Partita for Solo Flute in A minor BWV 1013 (arr Rachel Podger for solo violin) [Saturday 9 July]

13. Partita no 2 for Solo Violin in D minor BWV 1004 [Saturday 9 July]

And what was sung at the Conductors Showcase, which of course now, five entire days later, I cannot recall, tsk.

14. Jesu, meine Freude BWV 227 [Thursday 7 July]

Was asked, 'Which works of Bach were performed at the OBF?'... [I]

And I missed a couple in my answer. Quite frankly, I could have concluded by saying 'and the Fantasia on a Theme by Jeffrey Archer' and been believed, not that I would have abused my interlocutor's trust in such a way.

1. Mass in B minor BWV 232 [Thursday 23 June]

2. Christmas Oratorio BWV 248 (partes IV, V, and VI-- the first half was performed last season-- at three separate noon concerts, none of which I was able to attend) [Monday 27 June, Wednesday 29 June, Tuesday 5 July]

3. Von Gott will ich nicht lassen BWV 658 (organ) [Monday 27 June]

4. Trio Sonata in E minor no 4 BWV 528 (organ) [Monday 27 June]

5. Concerto for Three Violins in D minor BWV 1063R [Thursday 30 June]

(This is having to be put into two or three posts lest all the weight of the videos tip it into the realm of inaccessibility.)

This afternoon's Brahms was a happy and memorable...

Ending to this season's Oregon Bach Festival, and I was very pleased to see Silva Hall so full. It is true, however, that am finding this keeping up here rather tedious at this point. Perhaps in a day or two or a few days I will write a more substantial bit of nonsense about this or that. In any event, a video recording of Brahms's Symphony no 3:

Matthew Halls is most definitely not Christian Thielemann, ahem. And the second half of the program, Brahm's Ein Deutsches Requiem, with the lovely soloists Nicole Cabell, soprano, and Morgan Smith, baritone. 

Maestro Halls dedicated the concert on the altar of the memory of those who have died in the past week in such infamously tragic circumstances. 

Am going to listen to Arvo Pärt's Für Anna Maria, which is an album of his then-complete piano works performed by Jeroen van Veen from 2013; there do appear to be Partian compositions for piano after that year but am too eager to be off the machina to investigate further.

Rachel Podger's recital tonight will be splendid...

I have no doubt; and she seems such a charming and vivacious lady, too, although one may regret her politics, I suppose (Facebook is probably only a semi-useful tool for judging those sorts of things). The program this evening begins and ends with Bach. I'm presuming that Miss Podger has herself put the solo flute partita, BWV 1013, into shape for her violin-- there don't seem to be any 'standard' versions for violin on YouTube, anyway.

Giuseppe Tartini's Sonata no 13 in B minor B:H1:

And then four selections from Nicola Matteis's Ayers. There are all sorts of recordings of Matteis's airs but I don't see an exact reproduction of the set of four individual pieces on the agenda tonight (passaggio rotto, movimento incognito, fantasia, corrente) so am including this video, which is airs occupying about the same nine minutes allowed for tonight.

Finally-- and I mean I have been eagerly awaiting this since I first noticed its presence in the evening's program a couple of months ago-- Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber von Bibern's famous Passacaglia. 

And in this performance by Andrew Manze.

And Bach to end the evening, his Partita no 1 in B minor BWV 1002.

So the libretto to Gabriel Kahane's...

Gabriel's Guide to the 48 States was potentially 'offensive', I gather, prompting the University to post this notice at the doors to Silva Concert Hall:

OBF UO disclaimer re Kahane

Who the hell knows exactly what the University people were really thinking, tsk. I speculate on Facebook....

Ha, ha. Am very amused: the University’s guardians of public speech have had a notice posted at the door disclaiming any responsibility whatsoever for some of the text used in Gabriel Kahane’s ‘Gabriel’s Guide to the 48 States’. Ha, ha. :-) Will get a photograph at the interval.

After I’m back at the house, I think the issues are two: one, the use of the word ‘Negro’ repeatedly (of course) and, two, the section entitled ‘The Negro in Washington’, which to any sensible reading amounts to an anathematisation of the existence of and practices of slavery— but perhaps that no longer works without prefacing every sentence with, ‘Slavery is a great evil that should have never existed, should have been suppressed, as indeed any mention of it without this curse should also be’, in imitation of and improvement, even, upon Cato.

I think Kahane’s libretto is incoherent in this particular passage. The slaveholder John Randolph is quoted as indulging in “bitter invective”— presumably against those who were agitating against the terrible peculiar institution?— but the text itself reads:

”You call this the land of liberty, and every day that passes things are done in it at which the despotisms of Europe would be horror-struck and disgusted. In no part of the earth— not even excepting the rivers on the Coast of Africa, was there so great, so infamous a slave market, as in the metropolis, in the seat of government of this nation which prides itself on freedom.”

Which certainly doesn’t seem to me to be any great encomium upon the District of Columbia, ahem. Perhaps am simply misunderstanding the libretto.

There was a long (for the Register Guard) article in last Saturday’s edition about the University’s institution of speech guardians. Let me see if I can fairly characterise the University’s practice.

Someone, offended or hurt or whatever by someone else’s speech can go to the speech guardians and report the putative offense. The speech guardians then approach the putative offender and, if he is willing to listen, will then explain the offense together with its perhaps several ramifications, hoping to persuade the putative offender of the error of his ways. Apart from the fact that the speech guardians are apparatchiks of the University (although they for their part distinguish here in such a way that they are able to aver that they really don’t function as agents of the University administration, I happen to think it’s awfully close to being the proverbial ‘distinction without a difference’), presumably bearing only an image of the chancellor’s mace on their paperwork binders and not actual models of it, they have no authority to do more than beg these ‘interviews’. If I want to tell ‘em to go f. themselves, apparently I can do that without any repercussions whatever. The anonymity of the offended student is of course defended.

I think I've needlessly confused things by not distinguishing myself between 'the University's guardians of public speech' and then the 'speech guardians'. The speech guardians are a real University office, although that's not the name they use. By 'the University's guardians of public speech' in the first sentence in the quotation from Facebook I meant whoever makes identity politics/pc nonsense decisions in the administrative Empyrean over there. The Register Guard article, by Diane Dietz, is here. I should re-read it and see whether or how much I've distorted it, ahem, but not tonig... this morning. 

Tonight's Beethoven and Kahane were quite entertaining...

If perhaps in different ways; as Gabriel Kahane remarked at the beginning of his Gabriel's Guide to the 48 States, following such a splendid performance of the Piano Concerto no 1 is not the most easy of second acts, or something like that. 

Jeffrey Kahane’s Beethoven’s Piano Concerto no 1 was delicate where it should have been and beautifully assertive in those other passages, and the OBF Orchestra played as well as I’ve heard them this season. So glad I was able to be here for this!

I should add that Kahane performed, as an encore, a lovely version of ‘America the Beautiful’ (presumably his own, or perhaps his improvisation?— I don’t know), entirely fitting for these days of sorrow and anger and hope.

’Gabriel’s Guide to the 48 States’ proved to be a delightful musical entertainment; I was pleasantly surprised by a coherence that I had half suspected wouldn’t really exist. Kahane has a decent voice, too (as do the OBF Orchestra, we discovered, in the ‘page’ devoted to the Sacred Harp).

I was not a little conflicted with the Gabriel's Guide: I wanted to like the piece, and the concept is certainly interesting and clever, and did enjoy much of it but, frankly, had Mr Kahane consulted with me I should have advised him to stick with a song cycle with his own instrumental accompaniment and perhaps a quartet of other musicians backing him-- as 'part song cycle, part oratorio', eh, the guitar and banjo seemed superfluous and the orchestra made some of his vocals incomprehensible (although, again, I was pleasantly surprised at how immediately understandable much of the text was without consulting the libretto). Perhaps over time and with more performances Kahane will make an emendation or two here or there. 

A rain-dampened Friday here...

After weeks of demi-perpetual sunlight, which is a relief after yesterday's relatively exorbitant humidity-- one doesn't mind the Sun's exertions on our behalf but we need not welcome Humidity (surely there is a deity or demi-deity there?) too. I didn't in fact go back out last night, missing my likely only chance to hear Frank Martin's Mass for Unaccompanied Double Chorus but while the flesh was weak the spirit was weaker, alas. I posted videos of the works performed here.

The Oregon Bach Festival Facebooker posted an intriguing sentence yesterday to the effect that, 'yes, we'd love an encore performance of MacMillan's A European Requiem'-- so I have been daring to entertain the hope that somehow that is being managed. I don't see how it could be done at any time other than Sunday evening, however, and, as pleasant a place as Eugene is, I myself, were I here only for OBF or some other event for a week or so, I should be very disinclined to change my travel plans to stay beyond the originally scheduled time of departure. Still, spes contra spem.  (One of the soloists, the baritone Morgan Smith, is still in town, certainly-- he's performing in Brahms's Ein Deutsches Requiem Sunday afternoon.)  

Tonight's concert, before the interval, features the pianist and ensemble director Jeffrey Kahane performing Beethoven's Piano Concerto no 1 in C major with the OBF Orchestra.

Mentioned earlier on Facebook that I've never heard this in concert but that's not true, I think, because I have vague memories of listening to a performance at Music Hall in Cincinnati-- suppose if I cared I could go and investigate when that might have been, or if my memory is playing tricks again.

Gabriel Kahane, after the interval, will perform his 'part art song cycle, part oratorio' (something like that) Gabriel's Guide to the 48 States, referring to the US as it was during the Great Depression. I have expectations of at least goodness! Chose the video infra because it also features Chris Thile, who was here the other day, whose concert I missed, alas.