Jul 13, 2014 · 4 minute read · Comments
musicLorin MaazelPittsburgh Symphony OrchestraPittsburghRichard Wagner
RIP, Lorin Maazel. A music conductor of fame and longevity has died (at age 84), generating no shortage of obituaries, such as this one.
Very often famous people die without my really having known much about them, and of course, this case was no exception. But this post isn’t about what I didn’t know, but what I do know, and remember.
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Jul 10, 2014 · 1 minute read · Comments
For The Chess Improver, I wrote “Completing my first tournament: 7th round and summary of what I learned”.
Jul 3, 2014 · 2 minute read · Comments
musicimprovisationPittsburghbluesold timeguitarukulelepianosingingIrish fluteLaura
The past two years, Abby and I have gone to an annual July 3 music potluck/party, and we went again this year. Both in 2012 as well as in 2013, I was too intimidated to participate in music jamming, and only watched. This year I was determined to contribute, and I brought my ukulele (which I only started learning a month after last year’s party, actually) and my Irish flute.
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Jul 3, 2014 · 1 minute read · Comments
For The Chess Improver, I wrote “My 6th tournament game: an error that reveals an attempt to learn”.
Jun 26, 2014 · 1 minute read · Comments
For The Chess Improver, I wrote “My 5th tournament game: lessons from an uncomfortable miniature”.
Jun 19, 2014 · 1 minute read · Comments
For The Chess Improver, I wrote “My 4th tournament game: first time I attacked in the middlegame”.
Jun 12, 2014 · 1 minute read · Comments
For The Chess Improver, I wrote “Lessons from my 3rd tournament game: the nature of endgames”.
Jun 11, 2014 · 6 minute read · Comments
musicRichard StraussAlso sprach ZarathustraFour Last SongsIm AbendrotMetamorphosenHerbert von KarajanGundula JanowitzJessye NormanNathalie StutzmannNaziatonal
So it’s the 150th birthday of Richard Strauss, the German composer who famously declared himself a “first-class second-rate composer”, since he considered himself not in the rank of Mozart and Beethoven.
Nevertheless, I would certainly consider him one of the great composers of all time, because of his innovative explorations of color, and the tension between counterpoint and tonality.
Here’s a tour of some of my favorite performances of his music.
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Jun 9, 2014 · 3 minute read · Comments
For the first forty years of my life, I believe I never ate any rhubarb. At least, I don’t ever recall anything identified as rhubarb that I ate. It was just something I heard about, in the context of pie, and I rarely eat pies, and am rather particular about pie when I do eat it (for example, I have sometimes eaten pumpkin pie, because my father likes it, but I never once really enjoyed it).
My Krestschmann Farm box subscription has always recognized that some people don’t like rhubarb, and allows opting out of receiving it. Since I never ate it, I didn’t know whether I liked it, but looking up its description online, I felt no need to try it, so I always indicated that I did not want it.
Today was the first time I cooked rhubarb and made something that I actually enjoyed eating. Here’s the story.
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Jun 5, 2014 · 1 minute read · Comments
For The Chess Improver, I wrote “Lessons from my 2nd tournament game”.